Marrakech Express

Marrakech Express

Back in 1969 when Morocco’s ancient capital was a hashish-clouded hippy Mecca, Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded their cheesy (and hopelessly inaccurate) foot-tapping anthem ‘Marrakech Express’.

A generation on Peter Millar, award-winning journalist, author and one-time glamrock fan, uses what is now the country’s best visited tourist destination as the embarkation point for a literally reverse-engineered train journey through this still exotic, diverse and challenging North African country that is struggling to maintain its unique blend of tradition and tolerance in the turbulent winds of the Arab Spring.

From the snake charmers and food stalls of Jamaa el Fna, Millar takes us to the ancient walled city of Fez, the wineries of the Meknes valley, cosmopolitan Casablanca, tacky Tangier and the anomalous Spanish exclaves of Veuta and Melilla, squatting on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast like a counterpoint to British Gibraltar. 

‘Witty yet observant … this book smells of train travel and will appeal to wanderlusts as well as armchair train buffs’ Time Out

‘Fills a hole for those who love trains, microbrewery beer and the promise of big skies and wide open spaces’ Daily Telegraph

‘An entertaining companion and at times endearingly self-deprecating in highlighting instances of his cultural naivety. All of which makes this book a must-read and a must-laugh’ Jonathan Fryer

Price £: 
11.99
Paperback
Published: 
15 Nov 2014
ISBN: 
9781909807594
Available from:

Marrakech Express

Back in 1969 when Morocco’s ancient capital was a hashish-clouded hippy Mecca, Crosby, Stills and Nash recorded their cheesy (and hopelessly inaccurate) foot-tapping anthem ‘Marrakech Express’.

A generation on, award-winning journalist, author, and one-time glamrock fan Peter Millar uses what is now the country’s best visited tourist destination as the embarkation point for a literally reverse-engineered train journey through this still exotic, diverse and challenging North African country, struggling to maintain its unique blend of tradition and tolerance in the turbulent winds of the Arab Spring.

From the snake charmers and food stalls of Jamaa el Fna, Millar takes us to the ancient walled city of Fez, the wineries of the Meknes valley, cosmopolitan Casablanca, tacky Tangier, and the anomalous Spanish exclaves of Veuta and Melilla, squatting on Morocco’s Mediterranean coast like a counterpoint to British Gibraltar. 

‘Witty yet observant … this book smells of train travel and will appeal to wanderlusts as well as armchair train buffs’ Time Out

‘Fills a hole for those who love trains, microbrewery beer and the promise of big skies and wide open spaces’ Daily Telegraph

‘An entertaining companion and at times endearingly self-deprecating in highlighting instances of his cultural naivety. All of which makes this book a must-read and a must-laugh’ Jonathan Fryer

Price £: 
9.99
eBook
Published: 
15 Oct 2014
ISBN: 
9781909807778
Available from:

About the author

  • Peter Millar

    Peter Millar is an award-winning British journalist, author and translator, and has been a correspondent for Reuters, Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph. He was named Foreign Correspondent of the Year for his reporting on the dying stages of the Cold War, his account of which – 1989: The Berlin Wall, My Part in its Downfall – was named ‘best read’ by The EconomistAn inveterate wanderer since his youth, Peter Millar grew up in Northern Ireland and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford. Before and during his university years, he hitchhiked and travelled by train throughout most of Europe, including behind the Iron Curtain to Moscow and Leningrad, as well as hitchhiking barefoot from Dubrovnik to Belfast after being robbed in the former Yugoslavia. He has had his eyelashes frozen in the coldest inhabited place on Earth - Oymyakon, eastern Siberia, where temperatures reach minus 71ºC, was fried at 48ºC in Turkmenistan, dipped his toes in the Mississippi, the Mekong and the Nile, the Dniepr and the Danube, the Rhine and the Rhone, the Seine and the Spree. He crisscrossed the USA by rail for his book All Gone To Look for America and rattled down the spine of Cuba for Slow Train to Guantanamo. He has lived and worked in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw and Moscow, attended the funerals of two Soviet leaders, been blessed six times by Pope John Paul II (which would have his staunch Protestant ancestors spinning in their graves), and he has survived multiple visits to the Munich Oktoberfest and the enduring agony of supporting Charlton Athletic. Peter speaks French, German, Russian and Spanish, and is married with two grown-up sons. He splits his time between Oxfordshire and London, and anywhere else that will have him.

    Titles by Peter Millar

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