Essaouira, Morocco



Essaouira is a pretty 18-century port town with impressive ramparts surrounding its medina - considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many have been lured to its labyrinthine alleys where artists, craftsmen and musicians have made a firm foothold. There's a strong coastal wind to keep windsurfers and kiteboarders busy.There's even hashish beyond the daily catch of fresh fish. Just like other parts of Morocco, Essaouira had its share of film shootings with the most noteworthy being the classic Othello by Orson Welles.

Our driver dropped us off close to Bab El Minzah where Essaouira's "trolley boys" were waiting. Our hotel - actually a riad - is within one of this claustrophobic maze in the medina so our hefty bags went to the trolleys while we walk for some time to the riad's front door. Even before reaching Riad El Mess, we're caught right in the medina's frenzy with rows upon rows of shops selling the gamut from carpets to Touareg Viagra.


Thankfully, our riad is an oasis of calm. A riad is a traditional dwelling with a central courtyard upon which rooms and windows open into. At the center of it all is this fountain with rose petals floating on it. Our own room has a tall ceiling with exposed beams. Quite charming really. We all agreed this is our best accommodation in Morocco.

Steve herds us all for an orientation walk and a little later, guided with our maps, Mel and I went our own way to find dinner. We did meet some interesting locals but as I've found out in this trip, Morocco speaks its own kind of Arabic, a bit different from the classical Arabic we learned in Saudi Arabia. As for French, forget about it as that's totally where my tongue gets twisted. I just rely on body language to save my day. Especially saying "No" to audacious men selling us hashish as we went back to our riad late in the night.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:21:00 AM

    Thanks for sharing. I like your photos.


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