The sun was setting as the train pulled out of the Casablanca station and they continued to smile reminiscing the events of the past day and a half. The three travellers were one their way to the capital city of Morocco, ready for more adventure; although nothing could top the memories made in Marrakesh.
Stepping out of southern city’s terminus turned into a rude awakening after 10 hours on a 2nd class train. The sun was hot, although not enough to take the chill out of the bone from the frigid night before. A bathroom was no where to be found and the trio didn’t have enough local currency to buy tickets out of the red city for the next day. Despite not having a hotel room booked, they were optimistic about their short sejour in Marrakesh. Quickly they jumped into a petite taxi only to notice the meter wasn’t running – too quick obviously. After a marathon taxi bartering session, one where the three foreigners had to vacate the taxi and haggle with another taxi driver, finally they were able to settle on a fair price.
Unfortunately the first hotel had no availability, as much as they tried. They also didn’t have a bathroom for non-guests (the group only found that out after consuming an over priced coffee). Luckily though they found a friend who was willing to spend his time off helping them find suitable lodging. For the next hour and a half they searched the medina, entering into some pretty sketchy hotels which didn’t help settle the jitters of the first time Morocco travellers. After they gave up though, and settled on a room normally beneath their standards, they found a jewel of a riad. Owned by an Australian/Moroccan company the suite the travellers were presented was truly a sight or sore eyes. Immediately they grabbed their luggage, longing for the tranquil surroundings in an often chaotic medina.
After a quick change of clothes and the burden of finding a place to sleep taken off of their shoulders the three Canadians set off with their new Moroccan friend and tour guide. Between them communication wasn’t a problem, broken English, broken French and very broken Arabic became a beautiful shared language as they wandered Marrakesh in search of a bank, fresh orange juice, three palaces, lunch and finally a mint tea. H’amid was a young Moroccan male who enjoyed speaking English. He had no idea that after his four hours with the travellers they would hand him dirhams (or at least the amount of dirhams they handed him). Even at lunch he paid for the majority of the meal. He was genuine and kind and without him Marrakesh wouldn’t have been the same for the trio.
After lunch the night train ride finally caught up with the travellers and they decided to take a siesta. They also decided on taking a traditional bath, hammam, offered by the hotel. All about that in the next post…
***all pictures used in this post were taken by either Cam or Angie! They are amazing photographers and all credit goes to them.***
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