The Marrakech Express

And I thought crossing the Strait of Gibraltar was rough!

Evidently, a thirteen-hour, overnight train trip from Fes to Marrakech is much worse, especially when the train breaks down en route and there are no sleeper cars available.

That said, once we were in Marrakech things picked up quite nicely.

That’s not to say the city itself was amazing. On the contrary, it was Morocco at its worst: hot, noisy, polluted and full of people trying to rip you off.

No, what made our night in Marrakech spectacular was Hotel La Mamounia.

Talk about opulent!

We wiled away the evening at its sumptuous Morrocan Bar, which overlooks the hotel’s palatial gardens. (Miraculously, we had the place all to ourselves, which made it all the more remarkable.)

We then nipped into the famous Churchill Bar for a nightcap (or two), while a jazz duo serenaded the few of us who preferred the sanctuary of a dimly lit and air-conditioned bar to the bedlam of Marrakech’s famous Djemaa el Fna.

Sure, before calling it a night, we grabbed some street food at one of the countless stalls packing the medina’s main square. (We had to do something to remind ourselves La Mamounia was but a temporary reprieve from the Morocco we were experiencing!)

Then bed. Essaouira and the Atlantic Coast awaits…

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