Essaouira moves at it’s own pace and was the perfect escape from Marrakech. It was time spent basking in the winter sun, drinking mint tea and fresh squeezed juice, aimlessly walking a maze of narrow streets in the walled city, finding something new around each corner.
I’m usually less interested in the trinkets sold in markets, each seller haggling the same ‘artisan’ item, but am more drawn to the food markets. The road down the main souk in Essaouira is particularly seducing. The crumbling archways guide you down a filthy path lined with hanging meat, mounds of olives, and donkey pulled carts filled with overly ripe fruit. It’s alive and pulsing, you have to move with the crowd. If you pause for too long a speeding bike will push you to the side, or a cart full of avocados will lap at your heels. It smells. The sweet foul smell of rotting fruit and meat that’s never known a refrigerator. It’s repulsive and intoxicatingly beautiful. Our hostel was off this main road, and each time we walked it home there was something new to see, a new shopkeeper to talk to or sweet to try.
The Fishing Port and Blue Boats
On one side of the port, massive weathered boats sit waiting for repair. While on the other fisherman prepare their boats to go to sea, or bring in their catch to be cleaned and sold. Somewhere over head are a frenzy of greedy seagulls hoping to scavenge a few remains. Through the busy port tourists can walk through virtually unnoticed as people are too busy crowding around, admiring and debating over the bountiful display of seafood. Getting to wander through the blue boats and sit watching the busy port was one of the highlights of being in Essaouira for me.
Ride a camel, surf, or just sit on a rooftop watching the amazing sun set on the wide windy beach, Essaouira will enchant you. The windy city by the sea.
On a side note, I’ve always said that I’d officially be an adult once I learn to love olives. Welp! It’s official; this girl has reached adulthood because I learned to love olives in Essaouira. (Just keep eating them and you’re bound to like them one day).