Sunday, November 24, 2019

Kasbahs, Souks, Imperial City and Argan Oil -

October 10, 2019
AGADIR, Morocco 
Arrive: 7:30 AM
Sunrise 7:37 AM
Temp. 82F Overcast 

Agadir, situated on the Atlantic Ocean near the foot of the Atlas Mountains, 
is a popular holiday destination with lovely beaches and a vibrant nightlife. 
 It has a mild winter climate, an important fishing and commercial port, and 
is famous for seafood and agriculture. We did see miles of tomatoes being
 grown under cover on the day long shore excursion.

The morning was somewhat dreary when leaving on the all day tour via comfortable
 buses. We drove to this overview of Agadir and visited the Oufella (Kasbah) in
 one of the oldest districts in the city. 
The fortress with its winding streets built in 1572 was destroyed in the major
 earthquake of 29 February 1960. . . . . and the area is still under repair!

Our friend Kim with her usual fun "I'll try anything" personality, climbing 
aboard the one hump dromedary - her hubby Rob in the background.

I love the expressions on the faces of camels - they always appear to be smiling with
a "come hither" look under those long eyelashes!

We continued on to the imperial city of Taroudant, stopping here for refreshments -
cookies and cooled camel's milk!

Taroudant is framed by ramparts that showcase the city - one of the most
beautiful in Morocco. Walls are steeped in history and its towers have stood
 tall for five centuries to protect the former capital of the Saadian sultans.
Taroudant has a great legacy and a rich history but is not a museum-city stuck
 in time to memorialize its bygone glory.  Here, the bustle of modern life blends
 seamlessly with heritage and tradition.

Why are the goats climbing trees?
The area around Taroudant has become famous for the production of 
argan oil - known around the world now especially in beauty products such
as hair shampoos, conditioners, and many lotions and potions where the 
essence and oil is said to promote well-being.

Tree goats. This eye-catching phenomenon occurs in argan (or argania spinosa), 
a thorny tree with a gnarled trunk endemic to southwestern Morocco and a small 
section of western Algeria. Argan trees produce a fruit that must smell and
 taste delicious because it attracts goats up onto their branches.

Quite an unexpected sight - our Moroccan guide informed us it was very 
commonplace and the goats are actually 'pruning' the trees. 
From the look of their somewhat greasy coats, I'm thinking they must partake
 of the oily nuts for their three meals a day!

Momma and cute baby.

So, while the men apparently support the 'cafe society'. . . . . . . ladies below.........

. . . . . . .were working hard cracking and pressing the argan nuts to extract 
their essence and concoct the oil!

Regarding the visit to an actual shop with a chance to purchase argan oil
 products - which I passed on as I was not thrilled of the thought of leaks
 in my checked baggage - my favorite part was these beautiful 
green pots outside. . . . . . . if only I could have brought these home!

By then we were all quite hungry and, on the long return drive to Agadir
 were welcomed to late lunch at the well-known Chem Ayour Restaurant.
Moroccan Salad
Couscous with seven vegetables
Chicken Tagine 
Veggie Tagine (for the likes of me)
Dessert Pastilla with milk
Wine and water

Beautiful luncheon tent.

It was a huge amount of couscous. . . . . . but very, very tasty!

That night we commenced the sail of 296 nautical miles toward the next port of call,
 El Marsa, which meant a day at sea which was welcomed after visiting busy
 Agadir and Taroudant.  
The city of Laayoune was calling from the desert. . . . . one of the least
 populated regions of the world!

"As usual I finish the day before the sea, sumptuous this evening beneath the moon,
which writes Arab symbols with phosphorescent streaks on the slow swells. 
There is no end to the sky and the waters.
How well they accompany sadness"
---------Albert Camus


  1. Such an exotic place... Without your posts, it would be unknown to me, well, except for the Argan oil fad going on in the cosmetic world. (Naturally, I’m allergic and so will never know its benefits.) Your friend Kim is a hoot. I take it you passed on camel riding.

    1. Vee, I rode a camel named Alice along Western Australia's famous Cable Beach in Broome with my friend Paula some years back. It was at sunset, a beautiful experience - see link below to that post - photos to giggle at and info on these very useful animals.

  2. The first time that I saw goats in Argan trees, I couldn't believe my eyes - the trees look so uncomfortable and vert difficult to climb.
    I really love that beautifully decorated door in the imperial city of Taroudant, but sadly I don't think that it would look right in the entrance to my abode.

  3. Beautiful, so colourful and so many delicious dishes.
    You certainly get around Mary 😂 XXXX

  4. Your travel posts are always so interesting, Mary. What wonderful colours and textures you capture in your photos. Goats in argan trees is something I've never heard of. Amazing. I, too, like the look of those green pots, and the wonderful tagines!

  5. It is all so beautiful Mary. I would have loved those green pots too, and the camels are very sweet. The feast in that beautiful tent must have been quite wonderful. xx

  6. The painted door is my favourite of this set of photos.
    As for the men sitting in the café while the ladies are hard at work - that is one (but not the only) aspect about Mulim-dominated societies that gets me riled up when I think about it.
    The food all looks wonderful, and I now want to make couscous for myself; haven't had one in a while!

  7. Your travels are so fascinating! I had no idea about the goats in trees. Guess we shouldn't be surprised to see all the men sitting in the cafe while the women are hard at work. Ugh. That food looks absolutely amazing!

  8. Love goats in trees. The oil sounds fascinating. Oh the colors in that part of the world are just so intense. I love it.

  9. I feel like you;ve been to Morocco before, right? Taroudant sounds fascinating. And it would make sense you'd got to Laayoune, considering how you;ve been to other far flung, sparsely populated Antarctica!


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