On this one, there remains still a lot to do but the framework is done. Not only has it its hull and ribs but also the planking. The hard and delicate work is now done. It seems really strongly built. What remains to do is fixing the boards for the hull on the ribs. It is the easiest.
Ile de Mogador
Essaouira's Ile de Mogador lie southwest of the port. Also known as the Iles Purpuraires, these two uninhabited islands contain fortifications, a mosque and a disused prison. From April to October the island is a breeding ground for the Eleanora's falcons, who come all the way from Madagascar. There is no scheduled ferry to the islands - which is probably a good thing as the falcons are close to extinction - but in calm weather you can hire a boat from the port to cross to the island.
Check the prices first!
When I was a travel agent, I used to tell my clients that Rule Number One is, always ask the price first. Good advice.
At the harbour in Essaouira, we'd patrolled the stalls, resisting the come-hither tactics of the vendors until we'd seen them all, and then we came back to Stall #1. It was high noon and I eyed the fish suspiciously, wondering how long it had been out there. I decided that to make sure our lunch was fresh, we should choose something that was alive -- lobster and crab. I boldly marched up to the stall and ordered one of each, and the vendor split the little lobster and prepared to cook it. We sat down, looking forward to this meal which we'd heard would be really good and really cheap (we'd heard around 70-80 dh for two).
At the stalls, payment is made upon ordering, and the man came to our table and asked for 380 dh. We were stunned, and I figured that (as I kept doing), I mislaid a zero somewhere). But that was the amount. He then showed us a price list: this fish, that fish...10 dh, 20 dh; crab...80 dh; lobster...300 dh. Why I ever thought it would all be the same price is still beyond me, except that there were no prices posted anywhere, I guess. I tried, with a pathetically thin application of charm, to change my order but he pointed out quite reasonably that the lobster was now dead and being cooked.
He did come down to 300dh, about $45.00 Canadian, which is way more than we've spent for lunch in recent memory. But being our usual fairly resilient selves, we rationalized that we'd make this our main meal of the day, and what the hell. So we perked up and waited for our meal.
Well... it was overcooked, stringy, and I think we each got about 1.5 good bites. The rest was sucking on various tendons and cartilege and imagining lobster. The crab was no better, even the claws.
By the end of the meal we did manage to laugh at it, or at least smile, but it really brought that ol' Rule Number One home.
wonderful thuya marquetry
Thuya is a hardwood, with a lovely perfume, that grows abundantly in the Agadir and Essaouira region, and has been a source of prosperity for these regions.
Almost every part of the tree except the branches can be used. Its used to make such things as coffee tables, caskets and boxes in all shapes and sizes, trays and jewellery. and decorated with polish, inlaid with decorative motifs in citron wood, mother-of-pearl or ebony and sometimes with threads of copper, silver or camel bone.
Essaouira has been renowned as the capital of marquetry and its regarded that some of the countrys best marquetry craftsmen can be seen working in the small workshops in the former munitions stores beneath the ramparts. There are plenty of shops here with items for sale.
Some nice examples can be also seen in the small museum Musee Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah next to the post office and Hotel Majestic and also in the Cooperative Artisanal des Marqueteurs at Rue Khalid ibn oualid which is off the square where you find the renowned Pattisserie Driss.
It will not harm anybody anymore !
The canons are beautifully designed. Each of them is different. Amazingly, they bear Portuguese, Spanish or Flemish armors though they should all be Portuguese. I suppose that some of them were taken from enemy ships that were caught. This one, with a Flemish design is aimed towards the harbor.