After staying up until sunrise Saturday night eating kabobs, drinking at a fancy hotel bar, and debating the merits (and lack thereof) of metal, we woke up at one in the afternoon on Sunday and decided that instead of heading east to Fes, we’d jump on a train to Marrakech and try to figure out how to eventually drive over the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara. Pretty typical.
I booked two nights at a five star riad turned hostel in the medina a few blocks in from the Djemma el Fna for about $18 per night and after a quick walk through Rabat (taxi boycott continued) and a delicious departure pastilla and coffee, we were sitting in an eight seat compartment on a train to Casablanca, hoping that we’d get there with enough time to transfer to the train that we were supposed to be on originally which left about two minutes after the one that we mistakenly jumped on as it was leaving the station.
Fortunately, crossing tracks in Casablanca ended up being a non-issue, and we were on the proper train within minutes of arriving. Our second class seats were quite comfortable for the four hour trip, despite the standing room only for the first few stops out of the city.
The train station in Marrakech is on the new (relatively speaking) side of town, near the designer shops, boutique hotels, and expensive clubs and restaurants. The station itself is beautiful and much larger than the stations in Casa or Rabat. It’s also a few miles across town from the medina, and after a quick serving of fries and wifi from the station McDonald’s (again, wifi) we walked across every last foot of it on our way to the hostel and were checked in by midnight. Finding it was a good time, as the directions involved walking through arches and alleys, making u-turns, and walking specific amounts of steps in many different directions from the left side of the largest cafe on the square.
The hostel (Equity Point Marrakech) was without a doubt the most beautiful and pleasant I’ve ever stayed at. Besides the fact that they have a pool and incredible rooftop terrace, the guy who works the front desk (gucci mane enthusiast) was able to get us a rental car (which we’re pretty certain is his friend’s personal car) for three nights for less than the price that the international rental chains wanted for one day.
Our time in Marrakech was spent getting lost in the souks, dodging mopeds and donkeys, eating kabobs and olives in the square, drinking delicious fresh squeezed orange juice, and lounging in the pool.
Two nights wasn’t exactly enough, and I’m kind of hoping that after returning
from this outrageously aimless desert roadtrip that we’ve embarked upon, we can spend Friday night back in the city and see what kind of shenanigans we can find in the newer side of town.