Finally a bit of chaos again...

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Morocco  ,
Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ah, it feels good! Finally a bit of chaos again. Johana and I found return flights from Madrid to Casablanca for about 58 Euros per head with EasyJet. And with only a three hours train ride inland to Marrakech from Casablanca, we both looked forward to spend a week discovering this famous North African city and its surroundings. Carolina and Gunnar also decided to close down their Arco Iris bar in Jubrique and join us for a few days. They opted for the car, ferry and train option all the way from Jubrique, via Algeciras and Tangier.

It's now been more than a year since I returned from Latin America, so I was looking forward to some slight chaos again, although it was only for a lousy week. We arrived late evening on the train from Casablanca and immediately went in search for a Riad. We found one close to the world famous Djemaa el Fna square, with all it's food stalls, snake charmers, story tellers, tooth pullers, dancers, acrobats and musicians. After a night in a crap and noisy bed, we switched to the luxury option next day, before going to meet up with Caroline and Gunnar who had just arrived by train.

We spent the next few days eating couscous and tajine, hunting for bars selling beer, shopping in the souk's, avoiding rip-off artists and pestering vendors (more annoying than I thought), sightseeing and generally having a good time. The walled city of Marrakech is in my opinion not really that beautiful, it is the chaos, irritating vendors and all the crazy stuff on sale that make it such a huge tourist magnet. Add to that all the fancy bars, restaurants and 5 star hotels just outside the city walls. In that sense it can easily compete with most cities around the world.

After a few days in Marrakech, we rented a car and headed for the beautiful Atlas Mountains. We found close to empty roads and spent the whole day from early morning to late night exploring the region. There wasn't really any time to do any hiking, but the scenery made me think back on all the great walks I had down in Patagonia and the Andes chain back in 2005. It was all really peaceful.

After some very nice days together with Caroline and Gunnar, it was time for us to say goodbye and head back to Madrid via Casablanca where we hope to make a short stop at the Hassan II Mosque.
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