Casablanca, Morocco; Day 1

Today’s travel day had these Adventurers saying farewell to Egypt after three wonderful weeks. Our next destination is Morocco where we will wrap up our two months in Africa and the Middle East.

The attractions of Kenya and Egypt are obvious. Morocco wasn’t always on our list but we added it because we wanted to spend more time in the Arabic culture and every photograph we’ve seen makes us want to see it for ourselves. Casablanca is the easiest destination from Egypt so we’ll do a short stay here before moving on.

This was our earliest start of the whole trip – even earlier than the sunrise hot air balloon ride. Wake up was 2am for a 5am international flight. Whew – that’s early! We got to the airport just before 3am and waited with some other passengers while the airport got the security screening up and going.

3am is early!

We had two flights. The one hour hop up to Cairo, a 2.5 hour layover and then 5.5 hours to Morocco.

Our first flight was full of other early risers but otherwise uneventful. We landed early, got the exit stamp in our passports and found some breakfast. Brian spent our last 200 Egyptian pounds ($13) at the Duty free on some airport priced Snickers and Twix candy bars and then we were off to our gate.

But not onto the plane.

Instead we boarded a bus. Again.

Since we left Asia we’ve flown in and/out of six airports. Nairobi, Mombasa, Dubai, Cairo, Aswan and Hurghada. None of our flights left via a jetway from the terminal even though some were big long haul aircraft. For all of them we were herded into a bus and driven to or from the plane. We thought that was pretty unusual and we aren’t sure why. We could see jetways sticking out of the terminal but never any planes at them. Weird.

After the bus dropped us at the plane

We took the bus to the plane in Cairo and as the door closed we said our farewells to Egypt. But the aircraft had other ideas, it wasn’t quite ready to go. Two hours later – after a passenger meltdown, a snoring lesson from a man two rows up and some ‘technical fixes’ – we finally took off for Casablanca.

Another weird thing that we had experienced today that we had also experienced while flying out of Nairobi for the UAE was the need for us to walk through 4 sets of metal detectors and x-ray machines between Hurghada and Casablanca. 2 at Hurghada and 2 in Cairo.

The number of times that we needed to show some combination of passport, boarding pass, PCR test result, and vaccination card between the front door of the Hurghada airport and customs in Casablanca was nearly a dozen times.

The view of Casablanca and the coastline was a welcome sight as we descended for our landing. There is a famous Mosque with a very tall minaret that is visible out near the water. We may get to see that closer tomorrow.

Casablanca and the Atlantic from the plane
Arriving at Casablanca Airport

The kids traveled well given the start time. They all zonked out on the ride into the city from the airport but nothing unusual with that.

We’re staying in the heart of the city and plan to explore on foot tomorrow. After we sleep in of course.

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