Train Trips

Morocco: The Marrakech Express?
  |  Gorp.com
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Now let's switch continents. In North Africa, a fine track loops from Tangier, Morocco, down to Casablanca, on to Marrakech and back to Tangier.

Marrakech, a travelers' Mecca in the 1960s and 1970s, is still a fascinating place.

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On this trip, like many, the people who travel with you are an added attraction. I shared a compartment with a woman who had clothed herself in a gold-embroidered veil, royal blue gown, black mesh stockings, and ornate gold rings on eight of her fingers. Her teenage daughter wore a pink T-shirt under a scarlet sweater, tight white leggings, scuffed blue loafers, and a short-sleeved black leather jacket. What a contrast in generations.

The great souk (the public market) in Marrakech can be as challenging as it is exhilarating. Countless shops line both sides of narrow stone-paved lanes that crisscross at odd angles until the visitor, lost within minutes, simply goes with the flow of the crowd.

The souk is a world unto itself, where genuine treasures are offered alongside well-disguised tinsel. Woe to he not blessed by a keen eye or who has not learned the basics of free-for-all bargaining.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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