مرحبا المغرب Hello Morocco!
At last summer has fully embraced our half of the globe, a see of pale skin has captured the nation soon to be washed over in a pinky red. For me the arrival of summer has marked mine and Filip’s first summer travels, exploring just beyond the EU in the desert lavished country of Morocco.
Arriving at London Luton Airport via train and coach just after 2am Tuesday morning we spent the first hour sprawled out on Luton’s dusty hard floor, awaiting the security lanes to open prompt at 3am. This was our first time flying out of London Luton, mainly due to the fact it’s the furthest from us, although I’ll give it credit as it’s currently under going a major £110million refurbishment which from the areas that had already been newly opened, was looking world-class. It did also give us our best security clearance yet from a major London Airport, as soon as the security lanes opened we managed to whisk through in search of a better spot to lay and get some sleep before our flight at 6:15. Both of us had still not slept since we woke up Monday morning.
After myself hardly getting half an hour of sleep and now running on fumes, we sluggishly boarded our flight much to my delight as this allowed us to become nodding dogs as we drifted in and out of sleep. Ryanair recently introduced a new check in algorithm which means even if you check in together at the same time you will not get a seat next to the person you are travelling with unless you purchase allocated seating at an extra £4 per passenger. Thus the plane ride was lonely but since we were both so tired, it really didn’t matter to us in the slightest.
Three hours later and feeling somewhat more refreshed, we were welcomed by Marrakech Menara Airport. The arrivals terminal really sets the bar, large free-flowing walk ways smoothed in a modern minimalistic white lead you away from your plane. With its telescopic cladding shining in the Moroccan heat the light drenched capacious arrival hall allowed you time to breathe while you compose yourself from the heat before heading out towards the city under the watchful eye of ‘King Mohammed VI’.
Marrakech Menara Airport
Thinking ahead of time I booked us an airport transfer for the cool price of €10. As we exited the arrivals hall it was apparent that security was tight around the newly opened terminal, barriers guided you up away from the entrance untill after a few steps up we was greeted by a number of soldiers before being flooded by a sea of locals all holding signs with respect names. It took a while to find my name, it actually took about 40 minutes, our driver was totally just chilling in his car and it wasn’t until we started asking around that he appeared. A huge minibus later (just for us) and a short 15 minute drive we arrived safely to our hotel “Residence Ezzahia”. By this point we both managed to get a good first impression of Morocco itself and more particularly Marrakesh. Whichever direction you turn Marrakshi pink plastered buildings greet you, the colour seems to settle the mind. The sun shines gloriously against everything as if the sunset has immersed itself into the cities foundations. Bikes wiz past you almost every second with a number of them regularly mounting the pavement to visit a local store or cash machine.
Restfully now in our hotel room we unpacked before charging up with a few hours sleep. From this we adventured just across the road to a small café called ‘Fayrouz’ as our hotel, it turned out, didn’t offer any food besides breakfast, it soon became clear that this would become a go to place of ours for them lazy days that we don’t want to adventure too far away from the hotel. A heaped bowl of humus with freshly baked pita bread to dip accompanied our generous falafel sandwiches combined perfectly with a freshly squeezed home-made lemonade. As we sat with a cool mist sprinkling down over us we continued to admire our pale salmon pink surroundings before heading further into the city. Finding a local supermarket we picked up a few packs of water and other snacks to take back to the hotel room, a useful hassle free move to keep us fueled on the road in the coming days.
Back at the hotel we headed for the pool; diving in the pleasantly cool water refreshed the senses away from the heat. By now the sun was starting to set and its orange shadow was taking hold. With a can of the local beer, Casablanca (Filip does his alcohol research before travelling), that we bought from the supermarket. We both lounged poolside, reading for around an hour before heading away for some much-needed sleep, ready to discover something brand new, our Moroccan adventure was just beginning.