Marakech then back to Spain.
06.04.2007 - 11.04.2007 27 °C
So after an hour of dribbling self pity to Karolina in our safe Casa hotel room I had only got the gentle understanding of a loving girlfriend and not the kick in the pants I was really after. Finally we packed and headed for the train, with the adrenalin of yesterday long gone, but my worst enemy, self doubt had snuck in for the first time on the trip. Maybe I have bitten off more than I can chew, it would be nice to go home or even just hang out in Stockholm for the rest of the year. After sitting in the sun on the platform too scared to leave our perch on our backpacks in case the train left without us (not an invalid fear) it finally squeaked and ground its way into the station.
Now its 30 degrees and this thing is looking like the Piccadilly line at rush hour, Karolina and I fight our way on but there is no where else fit apart from where the two carriages join. "No problem it will clear after a few stops" it is translated to me through a Swiss couple from a German speaking Moroccan gentleman. So four hours later as we pull into Marrakech we are still sitting on our back packs trying to stop them from touching the shit and piss that has trailed from the overflowing toilet that makes us gag every time the door is opened. So even though I have spent the last 4 hours being thrown around in a tin can, that is hot, cramped and stinking, some little sadistic bone in my body loves the adventure. We watched the green coast of Casablanca turn into the red rocky foot hills of the Sahara, with random mud brick villages appearing from nowhere and the barren landscape only broken by the occasional sheep herder and his flock in the middle of no where looking for the odd stalk of grass. We arrive in Marrakech ready to see what is now in store.
The next day we hit the town with two English students, Ali and Elliot, these two doughnuts have hitch hiked from London to Morocco as part of a charity event called Link. and an American guy called Dwayne and a Spanish guy called Elfant I think. The problem was he didn’t speak English and everything had to be communicated through Ali or Elliot who spoke French with him. Dwayne was in his sixties and lived in France as a base to learn Arabic. So along with Karolina and me we formed a rag tag group to go and explore Marrakech. Marrakech's heart is the Medina. This is based around a huge square with its maze of Sauk’s running off it, drawing in many a lost tourist who then try their luck with the local salesmen. This Medina comes into its own at night when it becomes a melting pot of colour, noise, spice and action as the restaurateurs try and convince you to take a seat to dine on anything from Cous Cous tanjine, boiled sheep’s head, spicy snails, freshly squeezed orange juice or ginger tea which is claimed to be a powerful aphrodisiac.
The snake charmers play their flutes "calming" Cobras and chase you with whatever snake they can lay their hands on. Men with monkeys throw them upon you to take a photo only to refuse you that price offer of 20 dirham (2 euro) and then demand 200 dirham. There are acrobats and musicians playing traditional music and little kids, that could use a good bath, still out at midnight begging for money. Of course there are the peddlers in the markets selling everything from traditional Kaftans to the latest cross trainers.
However after 3 days of dodging taxis, dodgy sales men and horse drawn carts it was time to head north to Casa for Karolina fly home to Stockholm and for me to carry onto Spain.