Tag Archives: Marrakesh

Madrid to Essaouira

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.

Arriving at the airport

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.

Omelet with mushrooms and delicious mint tea

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.

Riad Al Medina

Riad Al Medina

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!

All aboard! Here’s my newest adventure.

Ok, I’m spilling the beans.  I’m headed to Morocco.
I’m going with artists who take other artists to beautiful locations around the world.
While they are making art, and possibly trying to tutor me, I’ll be doing my usual scribbles, then adding color to them.
For those who have forgotten their geography lessons

For those who have forgotten their geography lessons – here’s where Morocco is.  I’ll first get to Madrid, then head over to Marrakesh, then a car ride to Essaouira.

The reason I’m blabbing is because I just saw something that makes me believe that
I’m going on a journey to an apparently magical place.
Why magical? Well, one of the trip coordinators told me to google “goats in argan trees.”
I mean, here, our goats just chill on the ground. Where I’m going, they hang out in trees!
Morocco goat in argan tree

Seen on google maps!

Really?  So, obviously, I then wondered about the so-called Marrakesh express and was it a real train, or was it “magical” (or smoke induced) taking you to see magical things like goats in trees.
But apparently, this song is a straightforward description of an actual train ride Graham Nash took in North Africa.
In the beginning, as a wealthy Englishman, he was travelling first class in a luxurious private suite. But after a while, he decided it would be more interesting to move to another car, where ordinary Arabs and poorer tourists ride.
In the back cars, the ordinary Arabs really do travel with their livestock. Nash found that he had a lot more fun travelling among the working class Arabs and lower class tourists than with other rich people. Disclaimer: This may or may not be true. I found it on the World Wide Web. 😉
Morocco Marrakesh express

All aboard that tra-a-ain.

Just know that when I return, and I’m sharing sketches of goats in trees, and magic carpets and purple camels (I just made that up), it’s probably not drug induced, or from those worms that crawl in your ears and slowly eat your brain, although now that I’ve thought about that I might wear earplugs at night. Just in case.

“Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water.” – W. C. Fields