Morocco here we come! (March 8-9, 2018)

I’m really excited to go to Africa for the very first time! We are meeting friends from Maryland, Virginia, Arkansas, and Oklahoma for a Gate 1 Discovery tour that our friends Sandy and Alan (Virginia) vetted for all of us. Destination: Morocco, westernmost country in the Arab world.

Cyd (Arkansas) and Barb (Maryland) are going three days early like we are to get a little ahead of the jet lag and to be able to see a bit more of Casablanca, the largest city in Morocco and backdrop for the classic WWII movie of the same name.

Cyd and Barb had a seamless flight from Virginia to Paris. We, on the other hand, had a little excitement. We got a call at home saying there was a chance we could miss our connecting flight out of Newark (snow issues) if we didn’t take an earlier flight out of Virginia. “When is this earlier flight?” we asked. “In ONE hour,” was the response. And, oh by the way, if it took off on time we could not get to the airport and have our bags checked in on time. Bottom line: we were advised to rush to the airport In Case and Hopeful that the earlier flight was delayed. We grabbed our bags, ran out the door, got to the airport in record time thanks to Barb’s chauffeur service, and learned that the earlier flight was in fact Not Delayed and, therefore, we could Not get on. So we checked our bags for our original flight and began our three hour wait. Sure enough it was delayed a half hour, as anticipated. Once boarded and on the flight line, we were told we would have to sit for close to an hour more due to issues in Newark. Thankfully we had seats close to the front of the plane because we ran off as soon as the doors opened in Newark and quickly found the bus that delivers passengers to other terminals. It left as soon as we got on, skipped the stop at Terminal B and got us to Terminal C with just enough time for us to run through the crowd to our gate! Talk about luck, we boarded with the last of the passengers about 15 minutes before the doors were shut.

Besides being grateful we were not spending the night in Newark, we were excited to have seats in business class. The service, lie-flat seats, and multi-course meal were wonderful!

We landed in Lisbon ahead of schedule on a rainy, foggy morning at 7:30 a.m. local time … 2:30 a.m. Virginia time. We found the lounge and settled in for our five hour layover. The highlight of the wait was having a Portuguese pastry called pastel de nata. Promise me you will NEVER miss a chance to dive into one of these little delights. Divine. We discovered/fell in love with them when we stopped in Lisbon on a cruise a few years ago, so the first thing I looked for was this little mini-pie/tart shaped treat.

 I got a first class seat for the hour and a  half flight from Lisbon to Casablanca. We have no idea why. It came with a delicious eat-as-fast-as-you-can hot meal and a beverage of my choice. I decided to do a little day drinking and had wine with my mushroom ravioli. Dan was back with the riffraff making do with a cold sandwich and a Diet Coke.

Like we hadn’t already had loads of good luck, our flight out of Lisbon as well as Cyd and Barb’s flight out of Paris had on-time arrivals in Casablanca a half hour apart. We found each other at baggage claim and headed to the hotel via a hotel shuttle. Our ride from the airport into town was at the end of the workday and therefore in the height of traffic. Once we got into town we were amazed by what looked like single lane one-way roads that actually accommodated traffic going both ways. The clearance between cars could be measured in inches sometimes with mirrors folded in and drivers paying very close attention. We arrived at our center-city hotel after 45 minutes in a sometimes chaotic maze of determined drivers.

Our rooms at the Kenzi Tower Hotel are fabulous. Dan’s and mine is a two-room, bath and a half king suite, so we have no complaints. The lady checking us in said she decided to upgrade us all and she seems to have been true to her word. Our very satisfying day ended with a very casual meal of salads and sandwiches at the bar in the lobby.

Morocco is one of three (do you know the other two?) nations to have both
Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines.

To the north, Morocco is bordered by the eight-mile wide Straits of Gibraltar
where the Atlantic meets the Mediterranean.

Morocco boasts the fifth largest economy in Africa.


5 thoughts on “Morocco here we come! (March 8-9, 2018)

  1. Wow! How great that all the details worked out so well, plus some fun extras! (Sorry, Dan). So looking forward to hearing about all of your adventures! Thank you for taking us along! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always..I LOVE reading about your trips! So glad in the end you made your connections and meeting up with Barb & Cyd. Thank you Schele for always sharing your trips! Looking forward to your next blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad you made your connecting flight. I can’t believe that I beat you to Africa—LOL

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