Tag Archives: Morocco

Train to Rabat

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Well it’s Day 2 the sun is shining its nice and warm and it’s my birthday, perfect. We were up bright and early for breakfast which was served in the magnificent courtyard. The Riad was just as described first class. It was then off down into town to exchange some money pay the bill then off to the train station for the next leg of our journey to Rabat. On our way to the bank we asked a driver at the local taxi rank how much would it cost to get to the station and he told us 100 dirham which is about £7.50 which in England would not be so bad, so we said we needed to go to the bank, collect our cases and we would be back. On returning to our Riad to collect our cases we asked how much should a taxi cost to the station, we told the receptionist how much we were quoted and she was shocked when we told her 100 dirham she said it should be about 14, but the actual cost in a metered taxi was 8 dirham about 75p, so top tip always ask for advice in your hotel and always get metered cab as these are normally very cheap abroad.
We arrived at the station, buying the the tickets was a breeze with my very limited pigeon French. We did our homework on the train network ONCF before we left so we new our first class tickets for the two and a half our journey was only going to be £9 each bargain. The train we were on served along with various other stations Fes, Rabat, Marrakesh and Agadir, which a hell of a journey, but a great way of getting around if you want to see the Moroccan countryside.

The Journey Begins

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Well had a good journey down to Stanstead, Airport we took advantage of the greet and meet service and this was a breeze courtesy of Aardvark Parking Service the cost for the week was £50 which I thought was reasonable. Check in was ok despite all the horror stories about Ryan Air’s baggage allowance and case size rules, but if you stick by these rules you will be fine. The only real bug bear I have with Ryan Air is the free for all in finding a seat surely it would not be hard to allocate seats would that not be quicker boarding? Perhaps it would not I’m sure somebody can put me right on that one. Another observation that never ceases to amaze me is why are items (especially electrical) for sale in the duty free shops twice the price as outside, I thought the meaning of duty free was that you don’t pay tax so it should be cheaper, just a thought. Our flight time to Morocco is approx 3hrs the weather there is a very nice 27 degrees.
We arrive in Fes have one night there then it’s on to Rabat by train which should be interesting, looking forward to that. So watch this space for all the details

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Morocco, Fez & Rabat

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Well we are off on our travels again, we are heading back to Morocco but this time we are flying to Fez then onto Rabat the capital. We are staying in Fez for one night at the Riad Layali then off to Rabat by train for four nights staying at the Riad Sidi Fatah then back to Fez and the Riad Layali for two more nights. Now if anyone has not been to Morocco its a wonderful place with plenty to see and do. If it’s your first visit I recommend the wonderful city of Marrakech with its amazing medina and souks, (see my photos on my Flickr feed, any friends out there contact me for full access to my photo’s). I will be posting to this blog and uploading photo’s wi-fi permitting, so like always follows us if you will

Marrakesh Trip Overview

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Just reflecting on our trip to Marrakesh over the last few days and thought I would write about my overall view of the city. On our first day of exploring the city I noticed that it was almost like going back in time, the constant throng of people making there way through the narrow streets busy going about there business, lots of what we call in modern times fast food restaurants, but the similarity stops at the name these fast food places consist no more than a very small shop at best and at worse a couple planks of wood suspended on two trestles with just a charcoal burner, selling there food to the the busy local people. Along with the food sellers there were all sorts of other trades going on, wood turning (by hand no machinery) really beautiful Moroccan lamps being made from any old bits of scrap tin, clothing, to butchers where the meat that they were selling in some circumstances look good and in others not very appetising at all, where there would be some sheep’s heads along with a tray of their brains and intestines, the streets where we saw all this going on were not for the tourists (as we were some 15min walk away from the main tourist spots) it was Moroccan every day life it was as though the whole place was stuck in a time warp from medieval times. To visit Marrakesh would not be everybody’s cup of tea some would think of it as “filthy dirty disgusting place” as I read in one review of the city, but as I and my other intrepid travellers Marianne (my wife) and Jackie, (our life long friend) we found it a really fascinating place, the people the culture everything about it was magical, and if anyone reading is apprehensive about visiting cities like this give it a try, the streets are safe, we walked what must have been miles around the streets during the day and the night and never had a problem, just one tip though if any off the locals want to show you the way to any of the tourist attractions politely decline and go with your nose or preferably a map as they will drive you mad and want money at the end of it.

Must do’s in Marrakesh are the main square Jamaa El Fna which during the day hosts many fresh fruit drink sellers and various other stalls with people selling herbal remedies etc, in the afternoon the street entertainers come out, snake charmers, acrobats, and anything else the locals think the tourist would like, some quite bizarre like teeth pullers along with an array of teeth on display to show his work, but the square comes alive at night with the many street entertainers, stalls selling various Moroccan dishes (a must try) with many restaurants around the square which have high veranda’s where you can see spectacular views of the square in full flow at night (see my photo’s on Flickr)

Other sites to visit are the Gardens Majorelle which are a nice refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the Medina, although they were a lot smaller than we imagined and the website portrays.

Also visit the Bahia Palace within the Medina where some really good local architecture can be found also the
Marrakesh Museum which unfortunately we did not get to see, also take a trip to the new city just outside the city walls where you will find modern shops french influenced cafe bars, another world from inside the city walls.

So as you can see we had a great time in Marrakesh a real must city to visit, so for all you less adventurous people bite the bullet and give it a go, and stay in one of the big hotel chains outside the city walls and visit the Medina on an organised trip, and for those who are more adventurous stay in a Riad which are really beautiful very Moroccan and a real tranquil places, within the city the wall’s and experience life Moroccan style.

So anyone thinking of visiting Marrakesh do not hesitate to contact me for anymore advise.

Stay safe and keep following