After the mountains we drove to Essaouira. A seaside town that is quite nice to hang out in. The surprise was that we stopped at our guides house for morning tea on the way and his mum made us tea. The apartment was quite nice and as usual a roof terrace was available (everywhere has a roof terrace!). We then drove to visit the Argan tree groves where they make Argan oil. These are the tree made famous because goats climb them to eat the fruits and leaves. Contrary to what we were told yesterday, that they only grow in Morocco and no one knows why, they also grow in Algeria and Israel.
We reached Essaouira, said good bye to our driver by tipping him (I’m always dubious of tips suggested by tour companies who should be paying them more). Our hotel is quite nice in the old part of Essaouira, within ear shot of the mosque and the seagulls. This town probably has more seagulls per capita than anywhere else in the world. They also have a lot of cats. This is mostly due to it being a fishing port and both the gulls and cats seem to be well fed from left over bits of fish.
We had dinner at a cafe with a terrace to watch the sunset, but than was a bit of a fizzer and we went inside for more drinks and dessert. I wasn’t feeling great so left early and actually got a good nights sleep in. I rose the next morning to go on our walking tour of the town. We wandered through places like the jewish quarter and the spice markets, down many narrow streets but this town isn’t too hard to get lost in.
We also visited a wordworking place, because we all know tourists love to buy stuff. I did buy a special box that requires some skill to open it bu finding the hidden key and then the hidden key hole. I then found my favourite photographic subject so far. Its not quintessentially moroccan and its nothing amazing. But its two kittens sleeping on a sack of something next to a blue door in the market. I just loved it and its one of my favourites from the trip.
We also went up onto the fortifications on the sea wall but the overcast conditions took away from the views, but the walls are intact and many of the original cannons still there. The fortifications were built by the Portuguese when the town was known as Mogador. The cannons were built by the dutch and installed many years after the walls were built. Just about everyon tried to conquer Mogador but no one successfully managed it.
We then wandered to the boat harbour to see the fishing boats, the fish and the fish cleaners. Afterwards we went to the silver smiths, because we haven’t spent enough yet. Then we went out for a Moroccan BBQ lunch where sardines were on offer for those who likes that kind of thing. I had some meatballs and lamb. The rest of the day has just been wandering around, finding gelato shops, coffee shops and taking more photos. We have the morning free also before we leave for Marrakech in the afternoon, our final stop on this tour.