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March 9, 2017

So, our first mistake related to traveling from Marrakesh to Morocco, was to book a flight rather than take a train. The second mistake we made was to listen to Fernando and get to the airport 2.5 hours early at 6:45am! There were no lines at the check in counter, and the security for domestic travel was simply at the one gate used to fly domestically!

Fortunately, there was one coffee shop in the entrance area of the airport, so we purchased our breakfast there and sat and waited for two hours before we decided to enter the gate area. The man who operated the security at the gate thought for sure us tourists were in the wrong place and waved us to the international area. We showed him our boarding pass, and though surprised, he let us pass through.

Upon arriving in Casablanca, we made a few more traveling errors. When deboarding the plane, security checks each passenger’s passport and boarding pass to allow them entrance to the international terminal. We weren’t continuing on past Casablanca, so we didn’t have to wait in the line, though squeezing by everyone would have been hard anyway.

We were directed through a different corridor where we ended up at immigration. Should we have been able to read French, we probably could have figured out to follow the green line so we could skip immigration, but our mastery of language only included English and some Spanish. We showed the woman guarding the entrance to lines our passport stamp to indicate we could go around, and she told us we had to fill out the paper first.

We did this and walked back where a gentleman stood who understood enough English to point us in the right direction. We eventually skipped the immigration line and were met by a security guard on the other side who wanted to see our passports. He flipped page by page through our passports for a Casablanca stamp. We kept telling him we came through Marrakesh. Eventually, he let us through. At least they were all friendly!

Clearly, no one flies from Marrakesh to Casablanca, with Casablanca as the final destination as we confused most everyone. The flight was only 50 minutes, but with two hour before time and the bag waiting time, our airport time was far longer than the three-hour train ride, and we didn’t get to see the countryside!

Once we finally got outside to our ride, we had to wait for people in our group who were coming in from International places! To add to the length of our trip, the airport is really far away from the City (at least as it relates to traffic in this City of 5 million people), and it took a good hour to finally arrive at our hotel. The train station, on the other hand, was about 10 minutes away! Jimmi and Margit took the train about four hours after us and arrived at the same time.

Tired, we didn’t do much for the few free hours we had in the afternoon aside from grabbing lunch in the roof-top restaurant in our hotel, but at 6 we headed downstairs for our free happy hour and welcome dinner at the Mövenpick Casablanca Hotel. It was Brien’s birthday, so after dinner we hopped around to a few clubs.

Our first stop, and ultimately our best stop was at Maison B (B for Brien). He is a tequila drinker, so we ordered the menu item listing “6 shots”. The bar added 2 more shots complimentary. It was a quiet night, though we were out very early for Casablanca standards, so after a few more beers, we walked across the street to a Hooka lounge while we waited for our ride to Sky28, a club on the 28th floor of the Kenzi Tower Hotel. This place, though somewhat dead as well, was nice and offered lovely night views of the white city. As midnight rolled around, we called it a night. ETB

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