The alarm went off at 5:30am. We needed to catch a 6:50 train and weren’t sure how readily available taxis would be at the early hour. We arrived at the train station with 30 minutes to spare and nothing
to do… lesson learned. The three of us eventually boarded the train and grabbed a first class cabin all to ourselves.
After a few stops, a woman (Mother A) and her daughter joined us in the train car. Always serious, the mother, wrapped in scarf and wearing a long denim dress, watched her daughter
Closely as she sat between Jeff and me. Her daughter, a more typical teenager wore jeans and a t-shirt. Later another mother-daughter pair joined our car (Mother B). The well behaved three year-old daughter carried a bright pink bunny rabbit suitcase with her. Mother B quickly threw it in the overhead compartment as the train left the station. Several minutes later (crowded by most of Ted’s ridiculous amount of baggage), the pink luggage suddenly fell from the overhead storage and landed squarely on Mother A’s head. Fortunately, the bag was totally empty and caused only a quick laugh from the otherwise stern women. It was one of the few times I’d seen one of the Moroccan women openly smile in public. Why so serious?
The train ride was a relatively painless 8 hours. Jeff and Ted alternated sleeping (and snoring) while I finished a book. We met our driver at the Marrakech train station and immediately hit the road for Essaouira. Not surprisingly, the drive to the ocean offered yet another–entirely different–landscape
Essaouira is a small coastal town with world renowned wind/kite surfing. It boasts excellent fresh fish and a relaxed, beach town atmosphere. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our generous host and yet another man with a luggage cart (they must have known Ted was coming). After a long day of traveling, we settled into our latest home. That night we toured the short list of possible restaurants, dined and returned home early.