Sunday, November 10, 2019

Essaouira, Morocco. . . . . . . .

October 9, 2019
Arrive:   7:30 AM
Sunrise:  7:35 AM
Temp.  85F

. . . . . and how do you pronounce it?  
You can say Ess-a-wee-ra, but Moroccans say something like Es-sway-ra as
 they speak quickly and often leave letters out.

The road there from the port of Safi was not a really pretty ride - and it took
 a good 1.5 hours to get through the rough, dry countryside.
Essaouria was founded in the 18th century and built to rival Agadir. 
Formerly it was known as Mogador, meaning "the fortress." Designed as a
fortified town surrounded by ramparts, it played an important role
 as an international trading seaport, linking Morocco and sub-Saharan
 Africa with Europe and the rest of the world.

Above, probably the best view along the road to the sea.

Another 'camel stop' with rude men who said "no" to photos unless you paid.
I managed this one with a glimpse of Bob with raised arm, for free!

FYI - camels in Morocco are actually Arabian dromedaries with just one hump.
The main difference between a dromedary and a camel is in fact the number
 of humps. However, the dromedary also has longer limbs than the camel and they
are lighter and swifter, often being trained for riding and racing.

When we reached the old fishing port at last, I realized the long ride was worthwhile.
The sight of the ocean, the smells and colors alone were mesmerizing and, although
 the locals were not too responsive to pose for photos, I did manage a few.

Surrounding Essaouira's UNESCO World Heritage Medina are its 18th-century walls,
 or ramparts. On the northern and western flanks, these ramparts protect the Medina
 from the crashing Atlantic waves This section of the ramparts is called Skala de la
 Kasbah, and a climb up the steps to the top platform -- with a line of Portuguese
 brass cannons still pointing out to sea and its northern bastion, Bab Ljhad -
offers a fantastic view of both the Medina and the ocean. 

The Kasbah was fascinating. 
Filled wall to wall with colorful, interesting shops selling local handicrafts
 such as paintings, leather, Argan oil, spices, and fragrant thuya wood turned
 into lovely boxes, and other decorative objects. . . . . . . 

. . . . . . such as these amazing bowls which I would have loved to bring home
 if it had been possible to pack them safely and deal with the extra weight!

Bowls and tagines for cooking and serving tasty Moroccan couscous dishes.

The fishing fleet was in, there was a lot net mending taking place.

Following the lovely bustling morning, we proceeded to the beach area for a really 
tasty fresh seafood lunch outdoors, followed by a walk along the quieter beachfront. 

Later we returned to the ship for our onward sail of 142 nautical miles overnight to
 the city of Agadir.

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