Sunday, April 21, 2024

Travelling morocco - Part 1

It's been quite some time since I last wrote a blog post. Between work, family commitments, stress, various issues, life changes, illnesses, and the usual unpredictabilities of life, I just couldn't find the time to pen even a few lines. However, a few months ago, I realized that I still had the ability to write. I engaged in chat-style writing and received feedback that I was quite talkative—or should I say, 'chattative'? This both boosted my confidence and piqued my curiosity. So I said myself, .. lets try. 


So, here we are. My current plan is to create a photo blog post. Generally, taking photos is one of my least favorite tasks when traveling. I tend to be lazy; my brain doesn't work quickly, and the process of taking out my phone, activating it, focusing, and capturing the moment seemed quite tedious to me. But this time, I tried—I had my reasons, but let's not get into that. After all, this is a travel blog, (not digging behind ha ha) i mean, not an excavation of motives. 


Traveling with my two sons requires meticulous planning well in advance to ensure things are affordable, "things to do" are available, and safe both in-control(law and order) and beyond-control(weather etc) meaning and so on. 


April is an ideal time to travel from Germany. Schools are closed for Osterferien, the days are longer with more sunlight, and it's comfortably warm—plus, it's much cheaper compared to the summer holidays. 


Unlike last time(Turkey), this year we choose Morocco. Why? Its near to Europe (within 3 hours for flight), weather is good, secure, Muslim country, with ancient sights to see, lots of activities, and a chance to experience a rich, medieval culture. However, for my sons, the real draws were the aqua parks, jet skiing, and swimming in the Atlantic—oh, and the abundance of sweets. Although it seems attractive and we encounter many German tourists in Morocco, found very few flights travel directly from Northern Germany to Morocco. Those that do are priced at two to three times more than we were willing to spend. Somewhere, I've read while traveling, either you consider time or consider money. You all, who is reading this, get it clearly what I considered. :-D 


Booked a train to Paris, as its 1/4 price to fly from Paris to Rabat, Morocco, than directly from Germany. But, as always (wie immer, this sounds more appropriate than "as always"), Deutsche Bahn, changed the schedule, train cancelled, but only half (that's not good, if you know), and I can and also cannot take the train. Start getting email that, "my train is cancelled, however I can take any train I wish". As bought the plane ticket at the same day from Paris to Rabat, such freedom of choosing train actually didn't helping me. Few times consulting with the Reisezentrum (Train Travel Center), I've finally took decision as, We'd drive (with car) till Hamburg (A family friend would come with us and drive our car back to home), and took the train from Hamburg to Paris. So we started in a very early morning at 5:00 o'clock to drive to Hamburg. Until then kids didn't knew where we are going. ;-) 


Got the train at right time, hop-on. And in few minutes, I went to sleep. Around 12:00 O'clock, we reached in Frankfurt. Here we'd have some break.

Kids made a beeline for McDonald's, which I jokingly refer to as "MacDoof" (though not invented by myself). I was searching for a supermarket, to buy some water. Didn't found. Somehow in Train-Station they hide the supermarket (or simply doesn't exist). Regardless, I bought few croissants, and in about 50 mins we were aboard the TGV to Paris. This wasn't my first ride on the TGV, and just like the last time, I found myself wondering about this luggage racks? What is the concept behind to make this such small? to keep what?
Whatever, time is tight, we've to reach in CDG within an hour from Paris EST.
Got the boarding pass, .. now running for security check

After security check, searched for some food, found Starbucks(definitely not my choice, but nothing else was present), we quickly ate some cheese bread and, after completing the usual procedures, found ourselves airborne. Its a night flight, so no picture. Just my both kids were bored and very upset, as the plane doesn't had entertainment system, which they were expecting and planning ever since they've got the info that we are now going flying in the Paris Est train station. C'est la vie, I said to my Sons and they gave me a rough look, don't know why?🤷. 

Well, reached in Rabat, its near 23:00 of local time.

I'm a valued member of 😎, and they offered me a complimentary taxi from the airport to the hotel. It felt great to be treated like a VIP, seeing someone waiting for me with a name-shield. After exchanging some money, I pointed out the name-shield to my sons. Unfortunately, the taxi driver didn't hold it up for long. Before I could fully recognize him, he spotted us, made eye contact, signaled with his eyes for us to follow, and then quickly set off at a brisk pace. My VIP feelings lasted just only few seconds. :-( 


After checking into the hotel and getting everything settled, it was nearly 01:00 O'clock (AM), and we rushed to eat something. There was a restaurant nearby, and since it was Ramadan, the streets were bustling with people of all ages - young, old, girls, boys - seems everybody enjoying the night. I later learned that people typically go to bed after having Suhur (the pre-dawn meal during Ramadan) and often sleep until noon. School (which still open) adjust their schedules accordingly, starting classes anywhere between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM depends on which class or number of lessons planned, and ending at 6:00 PM. 


Anyway, entering in to a Syrian Restaurant, the Supervisor greeted us with English and introduce him as Malik. I responded, "Nice to meet you, Abdul Malik,", he replied, "Just Malik, my friend". The quoted text quickly became our daily inside joke, shared with smiles all around 😄. But the food was absolutely fantastic. Someone may argue that, we were very hungry, but i bet, if you give me the same food just after i finished my full meal, you'd see my ear-splitting smile on my face. Two examples --

Its very late, we were tired, successfully finished out first leg of our travel (reaching in destination), belly is full, happy and satisfied mind, we did what anyone would naturally do next — we slept. And so, here ends Part 1 of our travels to Morocco. 


Part - 2 would start after we awake.

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