Well it was actually dark by the time we arrived so we checked into our riad and headed out for dinner. And a fine night it was too, good company and very good mojitos.
Up early the next morning, the sun was shining and it was time to see what Essaouira had in store for me. This fortified town was the first fishing harbour in Morocco and has played host to the likes of Orsen Welles when he was making Othello in the 50s, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa and Cat Stevens in the 60s and apparently the Rolling Stones like to hang out futher around the beach. A real rockers haven it seems.
We had a local lady play guide for the morning. She was a wealth of knowledge and gave us a good overview of the history of the town and too much info about the french and what they may have done wrong. There's not a whole lot of love for the french in this country any more. She took us to some of the more unusal spots within the medina and showed us how the locals live.
I lost focus on the chat when I got my first glimpse of the ocean. Mmmmm wish I was here for a week.
There is nothing as good as the smell of the ocean. Oh well maybe jumping in but it was a bit too cold for that.
We wandered around the harbour checking out what the fishermen were up to.
Then we headed into the depths of the medina, a UNESCO world heritage listed place. The narrow widing streets opened up to some very cool shops and hotels but many of the buildings are yet to be restored. This mix of old and new really adds to the character of the town.
As with all the medinas I've visited, there are loads of shops selling weird and wonderful things. My little eyes did light up at some of the wares!
The people of Essaouira are so relaxed and friendly. There is no great hassle from the shop keepers and everyone has a smile or a chat, abeit in a language I can't understand. But that didn't stop us from chatting anyways.
I took myself off to the local hamman after lunch. I wasn't up for the skin slapping, body pounding that is the traditional scrub but did have a lovely massage. I left looking like an oil slick, but a very relaxed oil slick.
I was obviously in a bit of relaxed delirium as I seemed to forget I was a homeless vagabond and managed to become the proud owner of a moroccan carpet, a big lantern and a few other bits and pieces. All homewares .... and I have no home. Interesting.
The next day I toddled off to the post office to see about shipping said purchases back to Australia. While one man packed my already well packed goods in more wrapping and tape, another dude explained the cheapest options to me in broken english. The air freight service was loads cheaper than post, $140 for 10kg. Much cheaper than I had expected. So I handed over my money and looked fondly at my newly acquired goods, not knowing if I would ever see them again.
All too soon I had to leave this wonderful seaside town and head back to the delights of Marrakech. This was my last night in town as I was leaving the group a day early.
My farewell dinner was at an outside stall on the main square. It was so much fun ... people everywhere, stalls selling all sorts of weird food made out of even weirder animal body parts, everybody laughing and having fun.
And me cooking a few kebabs ....
I didn't eat at this next stall, not being a fan of goats head soup and all
And then finished off the night with a relaxing cocktail at our rather fancy hotel
Link to the online photo album
|Morocco - Essaouira & Marrakech|
And would you believe, my precious purchases arrived in Melbourne 6 working days after I sent them. Unbelievable!