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Posted on Apr 11, 2006 by in 2006 Spain Morocco | 1 comment

Getting up in the 4 o’clock hour of the morning is just wrong. It’s
even more wrong when you go to bed after 1 am and have been drinking (a
very little, but still…). But we did, and I hurried to finish packing
while the Marks checked us out of our hotel room. We got to the
Marrakech airport, where I was instantly amused (terrified?) that the
machine-gun toting … army guy at the door simply looked
at me, and waived me AROUND the metal detector. Apparently I don’t look
like a security threat, and it was too much trouble to actually screen

The gate at the Casablanca airport consists of a door with no line
…. and over 450 people charging towards it from approximately 450
different directions. Most of them were French, and I’m sorry, but I
wanted to kill them all. They are rude, pushy, smelly, and deserve all
the indignities they think the world undeservedly heaps upon them.
(Okay, I don’t really feel like that, but they were a pain at the
airport today.) We walk out the door of the airport (finally) and
casually stroll down the runway right up to this HUGE plane.

Do you know how enormous a 747 is? Every time I’m flying with
Southwest and we roll by the oddly “humped” 747 jet, I’m surprised by
how it can dwarf the Southwest plane … almost by double or more the
size. So, Maroc Air has 1 of these planes, and for some reason they
think it makes economic sense to fly it from Marrakech once a day to
Casablanca. We only reach about 15,000 feet in altitude during our 30
minute flight, and I’m somehow scared that we’re flying so low the
whole time we might hit something … like a telephone pole. It’s

In Casablanca — after waiting an eternity for our luggage, we jump
in the tour guides’ vans (not so comfortable), and begin the nearly 5
hour journey to Fes. (It still makes NO sense to me why we did this,
when there was a 45 minute flight to Fes about an hour after we had

The drive to Fes is incredibly beautiful. Miles after miles of
wildflowers of every color punctuate the horizon … it’s cool, but the
van is cramped and the journey is long. In Fes we check into Sofitel
Palais Jamais … it’s this very elegant, amazing building at the north
(I think) of the markets … and there are also continuously donkeys,
loaded sky-high, marching right past the front door. It’s indicative of
the strange cultural disparity you see here … there are regularly
donkeys next to Mercedes, beggars happy for 15 cents outside palatial
restaurants charging $50+ for dinner … there are just huge gaps
between the rich and everyone else.

By the time we check in we’re beat …. a 45 minute nap, shower and
then it’s out to dinner, but I’m still exhausted. (I’m writing this 3
days later, and I can’t even remember if we did a quick city tour first
…. I think we did). Dinner is nice, nothing remarkable. To be honest,
a tangine is a tangine is a tangine … well, at least after something
like 8 days of them.

Oh … and I do remember waking up to hear the wailing of the call
to prayer. This sounds something like a Grand Prix race about a mile
away — the high pitched whining — and the wailing of ghosts. It woke
me from my pre-dinner nap, and is a very eerie experience.

1 Comment

  1. Hilarious! Can’t wait till you’re home to hear more, but reading this made me laugh. Thanks.

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