Race to Marrakech

Ok, so this is the story of the most stressful part of my trip, trying to get from Granada to Marrakech in a bit over 24 hours; sans aeroplane or any sort of pre-arranged transport. Wingin’ it without wings basically.

5am: Granada

Ok, so 900km between me and my destination, and a 10am deadline to arrive in time for my tour pickup. 5am, wake up and collect my luggage that is strewn around the dorm room, severely annoying my dorm mates in the process. Sorry. TIP 1: Don’t go out the night before and not pack up, particularly if you have to be up early.

Walk to 2-3km to the train station because there’s no taxi in sight. RENFE train direct to Algeciras. Sleep, merciful sleep.

10am: Algerciras

Arrive at Algeciras and head straight to the ferry port. Buy a ferry ticket for 11am to Tangier. Subsequently learn that the ferry is delayed until 2pm, from a passenger no less. Side note – this turned out to be great because I got to spend time with a really awesome pair of travellers; silver lining y’all.

2pm: Trans-continental ferry

Sing “I bless the rains down in Africa!!!!!!” the whole ferry trip over from Europe to Africa, because you just sailed between continents and deserve to feel that awesome.

Ok, turns out there are two Tangier ferry ports. Get the one in Tangier centre because otherwise you will spend 25 Euro on the most terrifying taxi ride of your entire life. Although, pretty breathtaking views the whole way (there’s that silver lining again!)

5pm: Tangier

Finally, arrived in Tangier, second class ticket bought for the overnight train to Marrakech, despite my growing doubt the whole way previously that this night train was a figment of my imagination. Don’t stay in the train station, it will take a part of your soul. Take a walk and go out for dinner, trust me. Also, don’t forget Morocco is 1 hour behind Spain, like I did when standing around wondering why my train wasn’t boarding at 8pm Moroccan time.

9pm: Overnight Train

The train between Tangier and Morocco is pretty cheap, 12 hours travelling time in total. I was in second class, which had me next to another person in a full train compartment. Similar to airplane travelling. I’ll admit I was a bit nervous about taking a night train alone, but I’ll get into that a bit more in a later post.

8:30am: Marrakech

Finally, Marrakech, 1.5 hours to spare. I definitely have not done this trip justice, because believe me, once it was over and I had made it to Marrakech using only improvisation and intuition on a budget, I felt like I could now accomplish anything. Which in the end, is the best part of travel, the things is make you learn about yourself, and what you’re truly capable of.

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