Brussels, Belgium to Ait Ben Hadou, Morocco: Travel Day

Ty has been eager to get to Morocco for a couple of years. So we planned 9 days of exploring in Morocco this year.

Leaving Brussels was relatively smooth.

Security was a breeze. Why can’t we get family lanes in the US?! We enjoyed a snack break in the lounge before getting on our flight.

Ryan Air is very bare bones. You don’t get any drinks or food unless you buy it. They don’t even have pockets on the back of their seats. But it was just 3 hours long, and we had electronics and snacks, so we were just fine.

We got through customs, with some weird flirting over pens. I’m still confused by it, but who argues with a customs official!

Ty checked us in for the rental car, and here’s where the day starts going down hill. The desk agent sends us out the doors, up the stairs, and to the tower. Well we go out the doors, up the stairs, and there is no tower. Just a giant, wal-mart size parking lot. With no rental car signs, or employees in sight! We walked from one end of the giant parking lot to the other. Across to the other corner, in the blinding hot sun, before we finally found someone who knew where we should go. It was INSANE! How is this a large well established city?!

We were able to get out of the city with minimal fuss. Thank goodness for Ty’s maps.me app. It’s a marriage saver! (One of our worst fights, may have been Ty driving and me trying to follow some Mapquest print outs in El Salvador. Nothing like trying to tell your driver, turn after 3000 yards. 🙄)

There were these interesting lanes in the city. A full size lane, a half size lane next to it with a bike/motorcycle lane sharing it. I tried to get a picture to capture this.

It is so different here, definitely a good culture shock.

Our destination was estimated about 3.5 hours outside of Marrakech. So we anticipated a long drive, hoping to keep most of it, prior to the sun setting. After about an hour, R was getting a little car sick, so we found ourselves a cafe/hotel. Right as we pull into the parking lot, she starts getting sick. But she’s a good puke and rally kiddo.

We got back on the road as soon, as we ate, and the kids started listening to an audiobook. The scenery was beautiful, but the buildings are very basic. Mostly mud structures along the road. Sunset was later than we expected, about 7pm.

Then we hit road construction. These roads were so bad, rough sections, lanes would go from two to one, with no warning. There are no lights, no paint, and limited signage. Giant trucks would come zooming around a corner, into our lanes. We were also climbing a pass, so the road, was very squiggly. It was basically, a nightmare situation for someone who gets car sick. I was not as prepared as I should have been. We had one air sickness bag from the airport which didn’t work out so well. Poor R was covered in it, after that second ‘event’. So we had to strip her down to her pants, and try and clean up the car as best we could with a few wet wipes. By the third ‘event’, we were scrambling to find any spare bags we had.

Leaving the restaurant maps.me estimated about two hours left of driving. However, when we hit the construction we drove for another hour without our ‘estimate of arrival’ changing at all. 🤦🏻‍♀️ So what was going to be a 3.5 hour drive became a 5+ hour drive. Poor R, just kept asking when we were going to arrive, and I had to keep saying about 2 more hours. It was a long, long evening.

(This was a screen shot from the worst of our route!)

We were so thankful to arrive at our hotel! L thankfully fell asleep about an hour before we arrived. So Ty carried him in and put him right to bed. R, we had to wash off in the shower, because she was covered in vomit. Only after we had showered her did we realize they forgot the towels. I tried to dry her off with one of Ty’s t-shirts. Then we bundled her into bed. The room was quite cold, since they don’t have the heat on until you arrive. She went to sleep with her scarf and hat on her head.

My surprise was a rock hard bed. It was the hardest bed I have ever slept on. It was one step above a park service bunk. But we were exhausted, and it felt good to lay flat. That’s about the best I can say. 😉

Morocco, you will be an adventure!

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