February 6, 2018

Essaouira

To meticulously (at some point obsessively) research an itinerary but still retain that sense of wonder and awe ever after reading so much about a place. That is the magic of Essaouira and it is hauntingly beautiful. Even if I felt like I've read up enough about it prior to arrival, it still managed to sweep me off my feet.


From the Rif Mountains, we made our way down to the Atlantic Coast at the Port city of Essaouira, a tiny coastal town some 3 hours out of Marrakech and possibly our most favorite city in all of Morocco. Not that we liked any of the other places we've visited less.



With the morning's catch already in the markets, the fishermen are busy mending their nets while seagulls soar above occasionally diving for scraps.



I stood atop the citadel of Skala dela Kasbah looking out to the crashing waves of the Atlantic bracing for wind and chill. Also alert for possible bird poop bombs as hundreds of seagulls were flying overhead.





This 18th century fortified town was built according to military architecture hence the canon-lined ramparts and stone gates.  It's medina, once called Mogador which literally means 'small fortress' is a mixture of vibrant cultures enclosed in blue and white walls manned with the friendliest Moroccans.






We held off shopping as we crisscrossed the country but finally let Essaouira take our dirhams. It was hassle free and way cheaper than anywhere else in Morocco. No hard sell and going back and forth with the price not knowing if you got the better end of a deal than when bartering and haggling. I do enjoy that sport but sometimes even that could get too much compounded with the sensibility not to offend and the language barrier. 

Travel Tip: do your shopping in Essaouira, almost everything is a fraction of the cost of what you'd pay for stuff in other Maroc cities.





Sunset at Skala Du Port at the seaside town of Essaouira, on Morocco's Atlantic Coast.


As the town is small, we had so many opportunities to linger in cafes and squares. I love this Maroc way of life of sipping mint tea at every stop. This pot here is quite unique as it was tinged with saffron.

Bsaha (to health) as we raise our glasses to you, where ever you maybe!



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