Wednesday, June 30, 2010
It was still light out when we set out from Marrakech on our way back to Casablanca. I was still able to take pictures from the moving train. It would soon be dark because of the problems we had with the tracks, we were horribly delayed. We would return to Casablanca to catch our Air France flight to Paris. We still had one whole day which we decided we would spend it in Rabat, the capital of Morroco. We didn't want to spend any more time in Casablanca if we could help it, only to catch our flight out. So it was onward to Rabat the next day, it's just an hour train ride away. Old Rabat is so beautiful.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
We rushed over to the train station to catch the 3pm for Casablanca only to find the train was horribly delayed. There was a communication problem. We didn't know what that meant at that time. So we waited and everybody was scrambling, trying to find a CTM bus to take them to Casablanca. Finally they opened the ticket office to sell us the tickets and we saw a train coming into the station. We boarded and thought all was fine. It was for a while, then the train stopped, we waited, then it started up again and moved. Then it stopped, waited, then it moved again. It did this for like numerous times and we couldn't know why. Each time it stopped, we would hear people scrambling on and off the train. We were in the first class coach and it was the last compartment. It was getting pretty dark and once I looked out the window and saw people at the crossing gates. I asked aloud, 'why are there people in the shed at the crossing gates?' It was then I realised, the crossing gates wouldn't operate automatically, there was a communication problem. The train had to stop before each crossing gate, someone get off, bring the gate down so the train could move without running over anyone on the ground. After we passed, it stopped, so the train staff could get back on the train. Our trip which should have taken 3 hours took 7. We ran out of water to drink and snacks to eat. But I do commend the Morrocans for doing an incredible job. We did finally arrived in Casablanca at almost 11pm with no reservations. The taxi driver found us a place nearby, that was pretty cheap. We met some incredibly nice people in Morroco that went out their way to make us visitors to their country happy. The train station at the major cities are brand spanking new. They are really doing their very best to bring in visitors.You must visit Morroco.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Let's raise a glass of orange juice to Marrakech. I can't get enough of the orange juice and at US0.75 cents, it is an incredible bargain. We had lunch in a hole in the wall restaurant and we didn't know at the time that the fish dish was a very classic Morrocan dish. It is stuffed sardines. It was really tasty. We never got sick from the food in Morroco but Sophie got sick from the food in France, our next stop after Morroco.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
It was built in the 16th century by a sultan, it is now a ruin. But it showed the magnificence of life then in Morroco. It is a huge compound and today the only living thing and the only ones enjoying his palace are he storks which can be found on the top of the walls. It was a nice walk around it. By the time we finished here to go over to the Saadian tombs, it was noon and the tombs was closed till 2pm. We should have visited the tombs first before the Badii Palace. We went to lunch and had to decide whether we still want to wait till 2pm to see the Saadian tombs or head over to the train station to catch our 3 pm train for Casablanca. Little did we know our train would be horribly delayed.......
Saturday, June 26, 2010
God doesn't skimp in colors. There's no place on earth where this is most apparent than in Marrakech. Just standing in this little section of Marrakech I was able to capture this vast array of colors, glorious colors. Morroco is very colorful, even the sun baked clay houses are so beautiful because the clay is so colorful. I was watching a travel show where the Morrocan man was telling that they use the yellow of the saffron, red form the red field poppies, green from mint and blue from the indigo plant. It reminded me of the trip to the Cairo museum where we were told the ancient Egyptians used natural vegetable dyes also. No one mentioned the red from the cochineal insect. Color is such a fascinating subject and so visual also. We passed by one of these colorful buildings and the smell wafting out was so incredible. It was a spice factory.