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Amazing Railway Adventures with Nick Knowles | Preview (Channel 5)

Nick kicks off this new series of Amazing Railway Adventures in Morocco, right where it sits on the border between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

His train leaves from Tangier and it’s a special one: Al Boraq, which speeds along the high-speed line making its way down the west coast.

At its fastest Al Boraq reaches nearly 200 mph and on board Nick meets Ghizlane Aaboud, an ONCF manager in charge of a sustainability programme which has seen the high-speed line run entirely on wind power. The ambition is to run Morocco’s entire railway system on green energy within the next two years.

At Kenitra Nick leaves Al Boraq to take a brief diversion to the local fish market. Perfectly placed on the Atlantic coast, this market is a seafood bonanza where Nick can buy and then see cooked the freshest of sardines.

Arriving in the capital, Rabat, there’s a chance to wander through the old medina before joining a group of gnawa musicians. Nick hears how this traditional music originated from West African slaves and he learns to play one of gnawa’s traditional instruments.

Next morning, he heads for Rabat’s twin city Salé to find out about its piratical past, before travelling down the Atlantic coast to try his hand, for the umpteenth time, at surfing. Nick finds a small dog surfing nearby outclasses him on the board!

In Casablanca Nick relives a piece of film history at Rick’s Café, a real-life tribute to the fictional Rick’s Café in the Hollywood classic. He then travels to Berber country to sample mint tea and learn how to cook with an authentic Berber tagine pot.

Marrakesh brings a visit to El Fenn, a luxury hotel built around traditional Moroccan riads, interior courtyards offering cool and serenity within the bustle of the city. There, whilst experiencing a hammam steam bath, he learns about the hammam’s role as a social hub – for business, pleasure – and setting up dates for your adult children!

Nick’s adventure is rounded off with a tranquil dawn balloon flight giving fabulous rose-tinted views to the Atlas Mountains and a glimpse into the vastness of the African interior.

Returns Sunday 10th March.


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