taking the train (Moroccan edition)

Turns out, I am definitely not done writing about our Moroccan adventure! 

Seeing the Moroccan train ride in Spectre was nostalgic and also gave us the giggles.

All that space! No other people! Wood panels! An ensuite bathroom! A dining car! Alcohol! What!

Maybe there's a special, super expensive overnight train that we weren't aware of? Maybe the overnight train from Tangiers really is that special?

To the internet!

Aha! The one reference I could find to specially reserved parlor cars on the ONCF. I'm sure those are crazy expensive. James Bond's train budget probably exceeds our entire trip expenditure.

These photos are all of our one first class leg - because the compartment was otherwise too crowded to get photos of just us.

For us plebians, the internet showed me that our train experience was the norm. First class is nice, but not that nice, even on the couchette (overnight train with beds).

After our initial cramped, overly warm experience on the second class train from Marrakech to Rabat, we booked first class seats from Rabat to Fes and that was nice. Way less crowded (six seats to a compartment instead eight) and much nicer overall.

(We also figured out that there were shades on the windows to make the car get less hot. They have those in second class, but we didn't figure it out until the end of the journey to Rabat. Oops.)

It's a little more expensive to travel first class and overall, it was worth it for us (just for the extra room). We tried to get first class tickets again, but never managed - first class is guaranteed seats, whereas second class is overbooked a lot.

We were lucky in that we never had to stand in the hall in second class, we always got seats together.

Yes, second class can get that crowded!

(There's no third class.)

I brought cards, UNO and Munchkin Pathfinder. We played a lot of games on the train. A lot. Of Games. 

And second class was still fun, because the views were spectacular and we got to meet people. (Sometimes the same people! We somehow caught up with the same policeman from the train to Rabat on our journey from Fes to Casa!) As the most extroverted person in our group (aside from Rem, who spent the train rides watching movies on M's laptop), I probably enjoyed that more than anyone else, but it did make for fun stories after.

Plus, we basically went to Cascades d'Ouzoud because the British father-daughter tourists we met on the train from Casa to Marrakech raved about it so much. (Well, also this blog post by Maroc Mama which links to some other blogging raves.) And that was definitely a fun adventure!

And oh my goodness, the views!!! This one is truncated into a widescreen by the shade covering the top of the window, keeping out the heat of the day.

Overall, our experience with Moroccan trains (all four legs) were a lot better than our awful train ride to Chicago and back. We did have one train with broken/ awful toilets in Morocco, but they could not compare to the awful stench of the Lakeshore Limited, which eventually pervaded the entire train car.

Come on, America! Get your trains in order!