Although I was still on US time internally and woke up super early, I nearly missed my flight! I did not realize there was passport inspection after going through security. And there were tons of people! As I ran to my gate, I could see the door was closed. Oh crap, I thought. Breathless, I asked if there was anyway I could get on? Then I stopped and saw several others in the same situation as me. “They’re taking us to the plane” someone said. Oh phew! I would’ve been flustered had I truly missed it!
Then, on the plane, super roomy! Thank you Iberia! Can you sell a plane or two to United? Their planes have zero leg room!
Arriving in Marrakech, it is one hour ahead of Madrid, so I get to live 12:25 to 1:25 all over again. Kind of makes up for the running for the plane out-of-breath part.
I was met by our driver and my guide, Abdul. We took off in comfort in the German camel (a Mercedes SUV).
We stopped at a roadside diner for lunch, where I got an omelet with mushrooms, a flat bread and two dipping sauces (not sure what flavors?) and had my first (but not last) taste of their delicious mint tea. Ahh.
Three hours later, we arrived in Essaouira. My riad was in the walled medina, so we left the car, took my luggage and walked through the cobblestone streets the last part.
The riad Al Medina was very charming.
My room was nice, with separate living area, bedroom and upstairs bath. The bathroom lighting was a bit dim, but otherwise it was a nice place to stay.
Next up – our first day in Essaouira with the group and Karen!