Thursday, November 10, 2011

Marrakesh Express...

The past days have been filled with the most extreme travel circumstances I have ever experienced.  In brief, we have been squished like sardines in buses crammed full of people and animals, sat for hours in traffic created by a sacrificial sheep festival while passengers got out to walk alongside the bus, shared a five person taxi with seven other people for an entire day, endured journeys with carsick children and screaming babies, braved the dark corridors of the overnight train from Tangier to Marrakesh, and finally, learned how to sleep sitting upright.  
Despite these odds, there was not a single thing I would take back.  Each experience is an adventure, and I am enjoying every moment.

And, our perseverance was rewarded in the end.  After eleven hours on the train, we arrived here, at Riad Layla Rouge.  This was the perfect place to end our travels through Morocco. 


The staff at Layla Rouge were some of the nicest people we met during our travels.  When we arrived, we were served what would become the first of many silver pots of mint tea our hosts had ready for us day or night. We were given soaps and shampoos for the showers, cooked a hot breakfast, and given a tour of the terrace where tortoises basked in the sun.  In the afternoon, we were personally led through the souk to the best carpet shop in Marrakesh, and the best place to buy stock up on spices. At night we shared more mint tea as we sat on the terrace with the hostel's family of tortoises, and had our room smudged with burning spices from Mecca before we went to sleep. 
The intimacy and hospitality of Layla Rouge was so nice, and so needed after our extreme adventures navigating Morocco's public transportation.

Needless to say, I didn't want to leave.