Casablanca to Essaouira

Another Stink'n Holiday

January 10, 2006

We woke up at 6:15 am today and walked to the bus station where we arrived at 7:00 am to catch the 7:30 am bus to Essaouira. No luck, the bus was full and the next available was not until 6:00 pm . Plan B, off to the train station. We made it to the train station by 7:30 am. A train to Marrakesh at 9:15 am. Great, that will get us half way there in sort of an out of the way fashion, but if we can't find transportation out of there, it's a town we want to visit anyway. Tickets to Marrakesh were available but we wanted to buy a discount card which will gives half price on the rest of our train tickets in Morocco. The booth to buy the discount cards didn't open until 8:30 am. We waited for the booth to open and at 8:25 am we started the twenty minute process of getting the cards. At 8:45 am I went to buy our tickets to Marrakesh to find out the 9:15 train was now full. OK, so I bought tickets for the 11:15 am to Marrakesh. I returned to where Tina was sitting to let here know I got the discount cards and the tickets, but to get comfortable for a while.

Tina passed the time by reading while I went on an hour long journey looking for some fresh bread and bottled water for breakfast. The fresh bread here is so good!

Our train arrived twenty-five minutes late it was already full as everybody began to pile in. I was basically hanging out the door with my pack on when somehow the squeezed the door shut. We were all crammed in in the entryway next to the bathroom between the two wagons. I counted six people stuffed in a one person bathroom. I couldn't move at all and at one point my toes became numb. After 1.5 hours a few people began to get off and I was able to move a little bit. We were never able to sit the 3.5 hour trip. However, we were able to pass the time with a woman from Boston and man from New York city. They were going to Marrakesh for the day and returning to Casablanca the next morning. The both of them were visiting Morocco to attend the wedding of the Prime Minsters daughter who they know from New York city. They've been staying in a 5 star hotel in Casablanca and have been chauffeured around for the last three days. All this and I haven't showered in three days because of no hot water or showers in our rooms.

We arrived in Marrakesh right at 4:00 pm. The bus station happen to be right next to the train station. There was a 4:00 pm bus to Essaouira but it was delayed. Surprisingly we were able to get on the bus. We made it to Essaouira by 7:30 pm and found a somewhat clean room in no time. We walked around the medina for a few hours and found a small sandwich shop selling vegetarian sandwiches. We ordered two and retired to our room.

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