Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
Animal carpet wall to wall
American ladies five-foot tall in blue
Clear Moroccan Skies are very much in evidence and here I am in Meknes Train Station waiting for the 9.36 train to Marrakesh.
It is a 7 hour ride. Times have changed from 1969 when Graham Nash travelled from Casablanca to Marrakesh and wrote his hit song “Marrakesh Express “. There are no ducks, pigs or chickens, or any other animal, and i didn’t come across any American ladies in Blue but there was an Italian lady in our compartment that managed to talk for seven hours non stop all the way to Marrakesh. Luckily for me there was the corridor i could retreat to away from her monotonous drone. I think i would have much preferred the sounds of Graham Nashs’ animals !!!!!!!
The train runs on a modern electric line all the way. Fast, smooth and very efficient. A buffet trolley passes by at least twice an hour and the passengers are polite and well dressed. I am able to walk up and down the corridor that runs the length of the carriage, stand by the window watching the passing landscape which gradually changes from green fields to olive groves to brown desert.
We pass fields surrounded by an irrigation system of concrete channels which carry the water to where it is needed and also to drinking troughs for the animals. It must have taken alot of planning and money to construct such a system. The land is vast and open. Farmsteads scattered here and there, some with fences made of cacti with their prickly red fruit ripe for picking. Farmers somehow manage to make a living from this barren land. The sheep and goats are now here and not on the train!!!!
Take the train from Casablanca going south
Blowing smoke rings from the corners of my mouth
Colored cottons hang in the air
Charming cobras in the square
Striped djellebas we can wear at home
The train pulls into Casablanca where Nashs’ Marrakesh Express experience started. I jump off to take a photo but have to make it quick as Moroccan trains are like the Swiss, they keep to schedule and do not hang around for long at stations. Still i wait for the ducks and chickens to board but instead it is only well dressed Moroccan business men who join us on the train.
The train eventually arrives at the modern Marrakesh terminal. The end of the line in Morocco. The train can go no further so everyone alights and heads into the glass fronted building where the taxi touts are waiting for us. I manage to avoid them and enjoy the 40 minute walk along the dusty streets to the Jemaa El Fna and the snake charmers, coloured cottons and striped Djellebas which have survived and can still be enjoyed.
At last after first hearing Marrakesh Express 44 years ago and the exotic dreams and thoughts it instilled in my mind I have had My Marrakesh Express Experience……. At long last I’ve ridden on the Marrakesh Express which took me to Marrakesh.