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Published: September 25th 2018
Would you know we’re riding on the Marrakech Express, They’re taking me to Marrakech, All aboard the train, All aboard the train -
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Sorry I had to do it. That song is stuck in your head now right? We actually took the train in the opposite direction, from Marrakech to Casablanca, and here we are back at the Kenzi Basma for our last night in Morocco.
We had a light breakfast at Riad Challa this morning, still both not feeling too great. Susan is much better than she was though, and I feel better than I did yesterday. We had some scrambled eggs, baguette and cheese, and yogurt. There was lots of fresh fruit but we thought it wise to skip it. There was a small buffet in the reception area, and we all ate at the little tables around the pool. Very nice. We each brought a leftover piece of baguette and cheese for the train.
We hauled our bags down two flights, said good bye to Annie and Linda, who were having breakfast. Linda says "it was fun getting naked with you!" - referring to the hamman in Essaouira 😊. We had
fun travelling with Annie and Linda, the two Chicago sisters; hopefully our paths will cross again. We walked a few minutes through the medina to where the driver parked his car. It was large enough for us, Wendy and Greg, and all our luggage. We were sharing the car with Wendy and Greg, since the train station was on the way to the airport and they were getting picked up at the same time.
The Marrakech train station is very nice, and modern looking. We walked to the trains, found our car, and hauled our suitcases on board. The first class cars each have six comfortable seats, and are lightly air conditioned (I say lightly because it was still quite warm). We lifted our suitcases to the overhead luggage racks, and settled in (note to self for future train trips - smaller suitcases!). We were alone to begin with, and I thought, great, we will get the whole compartment to ourselves. But a few minutes later two others joined us, followed by another, then another, so we had a full compartment - all western tourists.
The train left pretty much on time at shortly after 10:20. We chugged
along, stopping at least 5 or 6 times before reaching Casablanca. There was a guy with a trolley with drinks and snacks and we got some water and paprika flavoured potato chips. I would have gotten a coffee but I‘m just not enjoying coffee right now, my tastebuds are a bit off. I’ll know I’m better when coffee tastes good again!
The landscape was mostly quite flat, and quite dry looking (yellowish rather than green). It was quite pretty leaving Marrakech, then the land flattened out and it was less scenic for the rest of the ride. We had our cheese baguette, and mostly just relaxed in our comfy seats. Our compartment was nice and quiet, until a Moroccan woman got on at one stop before our destination and watched video clips on her phone with the volume up. I’ve noticed Moroccans don’t seem to be very considerate of others when it comes to noise. I guess it’s a cultural thing. She did reassure us that the stop she got on at (Casa Oasis) was not the one we wanted (Casa Voyaguers). We got off at the Casablanca centre train station, Casa Voyageurs, where a crowd was ready to
board the train which was continuing on to Fes. We arrived at about 2 pm, and found a red petit taxi to take to the hotel (after the obligatory bargaining which I’m getting quite tired of). We have a quite nice, big room. I can’t really remember what our room was like when we were here at the beginning of the trip but I’m sure it wasn’t this nice. We have a better view and can see the hazy Atlantic in the distance.
We will have an early night for our departure at 4 am tomorrow. Our flight to Paris is at 8 am, and we have to leave 4 hours prior to the flight. We’ve just had a beer in the hotel bar, and we’ve ordered room service. We just want something light and the restaurant just has larger meals, so we are being supremely lazy and getting room service. After we left Casablanca at the beginning of the trip I was glad we had another night here as I wanted to explore the area more. I liked that Casablanca isn't a tourist city and I wanted to wander around more to get a better feel for the
place. Unfortunately neither of us is up to that so we just stayed in the hotel (very unusual for us - we've never stayed in and ordered room service). But both of us really need to rest so we will be good for our time in Paris.
We have had an great time here in Morocco, and have seen so many amazing things. It is so hard to believe we only met our group and started our adventure a little over two weeks ago, it feels like so much more time has passed. We’ve packed in so much in the 18 days since we left home. I'll miss the frequent coffees, the excellent juice and smoothies, the ubiquitous bread and olives, and the friendly people of Morocco. So good-bye from Morocco, and see you in Paris!
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