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On the move, Casablanca to Marrakech

MOROCCO | Sunday, 26 January 2020 | Views [265]

We slept very well, so well we had a very hard time getting up. So much that Ann slept through my morning routine and coming back to bed with cold feet on her legs. So much that I fell back asleep and the 0900 alarm woke us from a deep sleep! Gotta get up, gotta get going.

Our train was scheduled for 10:50, Casa Port to Casa Voyagers; switch trains and then onward to Marrakech. We cleaned our apartment, packed and set out for Le Gare. Taxi was only 20 dirhams ($3) but what was better was the driver. He talked our ear off about the authenticity of Casablanca vs Marrakech. We think we agree, but we will see.


We arrived to the rail station about an hour early. We enjoyed a morning beverage and the warm sun; a nice break from the 2 days of rain. Casa Port is a beautiful station!

The train arrived about 20 minutes early and of course Ann had gone to the washroom in anticipation. I boarded without her which caused a bit of a panic when she was trying to get to the train. All was good, the train waited until the correct time to leave.


The first leg was fairly uneventful for the 11 minute ride. We got off at Casa Voyager, switch tracks and were boarded within 20 minutes. Our first class tickets were within a 6 seat berth, 2 Italians, 2 Moroccan women and us. 


We chatted a bit and the 3 hour, beautiful journey, felt like it was over in far less time.


We had read that using the toilets at stations was frowned upon and this seemed a bit weird until you get into the washroom to see that it’s a toilet with an open pipe to the gravel below. Low maintenance!


The Marrakech train station was very nice! Cab drivers basically rob you, offering a 2km trip for 70 dirhams (only $10, but should only cost $3 at max). We took the local bus for 4 dirhams each (55 or so cents). Trip took 5 minutes.

Arriving to the Medina was overwhelming! The smells, sounds and shear number of people was a lot to take in. Our hotel was about 100 feet from the bus and very easy to find. After check in and checking out the beautiful apartment we were off again. 


Our initial assessment of the area was tourists tourists tourists. That being said, the vendors, although aggressive, were polite and courteous. We walked the orange tree lined streets and enjoyed the sites and sounds.


After a short break in our room, we wandered out for a new adventure. Jama el f’na market is insane, intoxicating smells and filled with noises from buskers, snake charmers, food stalls and much more. It was a lot to take in; even for seasoned travellers.


We were pulled in every direction. Look here, eat this, have your picture with my monkey. It’s insane! The shops are filled with beautiful handcrafts, antiques, cloths, jewelry, tea pots, cutlery, etc etc etc etc. Everything was so interesting to look at, but the vendors are intensely aggressive.


Happily, our room is on the edge of the market and after about 40 minutes of unabated solicitation we just needed a break. Just a couple minutes before looking for some food.

We opted for something familiar and although it was good, it wasn’t great. The tea was the highlight of the meal. All said, a shawarma (weird one with no sauce) a panini pressed sandwich, fries and tea was 55 dirhams or about $8. It filled the gap, but didn’t have a lot of flavour.


The saving grace was the baclava. Oh yummy! Also 50 dirhams, but well worth it!!!



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