Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > CommunityBuzz
Reload this Page >

Riding-on-the-Marrakesh-Express DO Dec. 16-18, 2011

Riding-on-the-Marrakesh-Express DO Dec. 16-18, 2011

Old Dec 16, 10, 4:42 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: Fallen Plats, ex-WN CP, DYKWIW; still a Hilton Diamond & Club Cholula™ Super Plats
Posts: 25,247
Riding-on-the-Marrakesh-Express DO Dec. 16-18, 2011

Looking at the world through the sunset in your eyes
Traveling the train through clear Moroccan skies
Ducks and pigs and chickens call
...
Wouldn't you know we're riding on the Marrakesh Express


Dec. 16 (Fri): The usual suspects assemble in Casablanca
Dec. 17 (Sat): --> Marrakesh on the train ("Marrakesh Express")
Dec. 18 (Sun): Marrakesh

There appear to be 9 trains daily, so we'll take one in mid/late afternoon for those who can't arrive until Saturday. Unlike Graham Nash, I expect most of us will opt to stay en 1ère Classe.

As best I can tell, this will be the first FT DO on the African continent. There was one in Tenerife in the Canary Islands a while back, but those are Spanish territory & not on the African mainland itself.

They're taking me to Marrakesh
All on board the train, all on board the train
All on board



Definite (2):

MikeMpls & WifeMpls
Interested (8):

MrHalliday
pbjag+1
ralfkrippner+1
roadwarrior365
the_happiness_store
tkey75

Last edited by MikeMpls; Dec 31, 10 at 9:18 pm
MikeMpls is offline  
Old Dec 16, 10, 4:46 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: Fallen Plats, ex-WN CP, DYKWIW; still a Hilton Diamond & Club Cholula™ Super Plats
Posts: 25,247
Reserved for DO related links & info

Moroccan currency calculator

Moroccan Railway

This is the train schedule for Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, departing from Casablanca Voyageurs to Marrakech:
Départ Arrivée
04h50mn 08h05mn
06h50mn 10h05mn
08h50mn 12h05mn
10h50mn 14h05mn
12h50mn 16h05mn
14h50mn 18h05mn
16h50mn 20h05mn
18h50mn 22h05mn
20h50mn 00h00mn
If I'm reading this right (seems almost too good to be true), the first class fare one way is 140.00 MAD (Morocco Dirhams) = 16.81 USD at current exchange rates; second class fare is 90 MAD = 10.81.

I would suggest we take the 2:50 p.m. train, which will give us time for lunch in Casablanca & allow for some late arrivals.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

For those who are digging out today (12/28) in the Northeast & Upper Midwest, the current temps in Casablanca & Marrakesh (local time 4:30 p.m.) are 73 & 70.

Last edited by MikeMpls; Dec 31, 10 at 10:04 pm
MikeMpls is offline  
Old Dec 29, 10, 8:08 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: PBI
Programs: DL 2MM/PM, AA MM/GLD, Hilton Gold, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,586
Put down pbjag +1 as very interested.
pbjag is offline  
Old Dec 29, 10, 10:19 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Somewhere between here and there...
Programs: WWF, Appalachian Mountain Club
Posts: 11,522
Wow! What a great idea. Color me interested.
tkey75 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 10, 10:27 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 11,928
I've been to Fes.
But this sounds like the winner of the year. I will probably be forced to burn vacation at that time of the year, regardless this jumps to the top of my bucket list.
the_happiness_store is offline  
Old Dec 30, 10, 3:55 am
  #6  
Moderator, SkyTeam and Germany
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: FRA/STR/NUE
Programs: AB, BA, LH, KL, QR, spg, IC
Posts: 5,882
This is indeed very interesting! I'll try to talk my wife into it...

Please have me +1 as "interested" on your list.
ralfkrippner is offline  
Old Dec 30, 10, 4:26 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: LAX/TXL
Programs: LH HON,AA EXP, BA Silver, Hyatt Diamond, and a few more
Posts: 355
I always wanted to visit Moroco this would be the perfect oppertunity, but its to far out to confirm.
roadwarrior365 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 10, 9:48 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: PDX/AUS
Programs: AA-UA-AS IHG-SPG-Carlson
Posts: 4,562
I am interested in this, thanks !
MrHalliday is offline  
Old Dec 31, 10, 12:42 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: LAX/TXL
Programs: LH HON,AA EXP, BA Silver, Hyatt Diamond, and a few more
Posts: 355
Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
[I]


Dec. 17 (Fri): The usual suspects assemble in Casablanca
Dec. 18 (Sat): --> Marrakesh on the train ("Marrakesh Express")
Dec. 19 (Sun): Marrakesh

Looking on my calender the 17th is a Saturday. I assume you meant we would be starting on Friday which is the 16th. Please correct me if I am wrong.
roadwarrior365 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 10, 9:08 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: Fallen Plats, ex-WN CP, DYKWIW; still a Hilton Diamond & Club Cholula™ Super Plats
Posts: 25,247
Originally Posted by roadwarrior365 View Post
Looking on my calender the 17th is a Saturday. I assume you meant we would be starting on Friday which is the 16th. Please correct me if I am wrong.
You are correct. I was in Athens when I posted that & probably neglected to consider that most of the world starts their weeks on Monday. I will ask a mod to correct the title.

(Possible attendees updated thru this milepost #10)

Last edited by MikeMpls; Dec 31, 10 at 9:15 pm
MikeMpls is offline  
Old Dec 31, 10, 9:13 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 11,928
Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
You are correct. I was in Athens when I posted that & probably neglected to consider that most of the world starts their weeks on Monday. I will ask a mod to correct the title.
Damn that shoots my schedule. I may have to be removed from the list. Let me redo schedule first though before you make any moves on my behalf.
Happy new year all.
the_happiness_store is offline  
Old Dec 31, 10, 9:58 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: MSP
Programs: Fallen Plats, ex-WN CP, DYKWIW; still a Hilton Diamond & Club Cholula™ Super Plats
Posts: 25,247
Originally Posted by the_happiness_store View Post
Damn that shoots my schedule. I may have to be removed from the list. Let me redo schedule first though before you make any moves on my behalf.
Happy new year all.
I've posted the current train schedule in milepost #2. I'm suggesting we take the 2:50 p.m. train, which should permit Saturday arrivals up to noon or 1 p.m. You would just end up putting up w/ us for an extra day in Marrakesh.
MikeMpls is offline  
Old Jan 4, 11, 12:42 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Programs: AA PLT 2MM
Posts: 559
Interested, but that's way too far out to plan!

Yes, Moroccan train fares are really cheap... and even 2nd class is perfectly comfortable. With the short train ride from the Casablanca airport to Casa Voyaguers, those who want to skip Casablanca entirely could easily do so.
danang is offline  
Old Jan 4, 11, 1:05 pm
  #14  
LLM
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: America's Finest City
Posts: 10,804
I've done this. Had a blast in the carriage with two Syrian ladies, two Moroccans and a British gentleman. Not much to do in Casablanca except the Hassan Deux Mosque which should not be missed. Marrakesh was unfortunately like Tijuana with camels, the only part of Morocco I didn't like. How about a side trip from Marrakesh to Essaouira which was still enchanting in 2008? The bus is convenient and cheap and will take you right back to the train station.
LLM is offline  
Old Jan 4, 11, 4:55 pm
  #15  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 69,099
Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
If I'm reading this right (seems almost too good to be true), the first class fare one way is 140.00 MAD (Morocco Dirhams) = 16.81 USD at current exchange rates; second class fare is 90 MAD = 10.81.

I would suggest we take the 2:50 p.m. train, which will give us time for lunch in Casablanca & allow for some late arrivals.
You are absolutely correct on the pricing, at least as of 8 days ago when we took that trip. We did it in 1ere and, as you noted, the experience on the Marrakesh Express is much different than that of Mr. Nash many years ago.


I would HIGHLY recommend taking a train no later than the 12:50pm that we took. By the time you get collected from the train station, get a cab and get into your hotel (or Riad) it'll be dark out if you're on that later train. The Medina is hard enough to figure out in daylight but doing it for the first time in the dark is a recipe for disaster.

If enough folks are interested and you can find a cooperative proprietor, renting out a whole Riad for the group might be an interesting way to go. There are chain hotels in town (Cash+Points rate at the Le Meridien was a great deal IIRC) but they are all outside the Medina and a ways from the fun stuff.

My wife and I were just in Marrakesh for 4 nights and I can offer some suggestions as desired for things to do, itineraries while there and other bits. Let me know if I can help.

There is an Ibis right next to the train station in Casablanca that is completely tolerable, though the breakfast is pretty awful. It was cheap though, and it precluded needing a taxi that morning. Also note that you cannot really buy train tickets way in advance or from outside the country. If you have a big group it probably makes sense for someone arriving that Friday to get all the tickets then rather than waiting until the day of just in case.
sbm12 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread