Muhammedia: A Humble Gateway to Morocco

Exhausted but relieved, we limped into Muhammedia after our harrowing journey from Cagliari. Casablanca, a bustling commercial port, wasn’t ideal for our needs. Instead, we opted for this charming little town, a mere 20 minutes by train from the big city.

The marina itself was modest, a haven for a maximum of 10 vessels, most no larger than 42 feet. Our 45-foot double hulled boat pushed the limit, but we squeezed in nonetheless. The near-empty fuel tanks were our top priority after clearing customs and immigration. Here, our lack of French quickly became apparent. While Arabic is the dominant language, French is widely spoken, and our limited English wasn’t getting us very far. This small town, with almost no tourism, had little need for other languages.

Our first day in Muhammedia was a whirlwind of activity. We restocked the boat with provisions, explored the town, and familiarized ourselves with the train schedule. The city center offered a surprising mix of modern buildings, a beautiful park, and a gleaming new mosque. Residential areas boasted attractive houses, but the traditional Moroccan architecture dominated the landscape. Dust, a constant reminder of our location on the fringes of the desert, swirled around us.

The marina, it turned out, was part of a customs terminal. We received special passes for entry, but a strict 9:00 pm curfew was enforced. Frankly, Muhammedia after 8:00 pm becomes a ghost town. This presented a logistical challenge for our train excursions, as the marina was a 20-25 minute walk from the station. Taxis were nonexistent after 7:00 pm, forcing us to plan our day trips meticulously to ensure a safe return before nightfall.

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