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Favorite thing: It is next to impossible to find a Map with Street names of Essaouira medina :/ not anymore :D I found an Acrobat PDF format map of Essaouira's medina that you can print right off in no time and for Free :) Try this link http://e-essaouira.com/EssaouiraMedinaMap.html
Written Jul 5, 2010
Fondest memory: After a stressful time on the previous day, dealing with doctors and clinics and having my foot put in plaster, a few hours in Essaouira’s main square, the Place Moulay Hassan, was just what we both needed. Although not tranquil, the pace of life is slower here than in Marrakesh. There is plenty to observe but people take a little more time to talk to each other, and to look around and appreciate their surroundings.
And what surroundings! The square benefits from having the ramparts of the Medina as a backdrop, and the crashing waves of the Atlantic as a foreground. As we sat in a café on the town side we could see the fortification of the Skala du Port shaded almost violet by the haze and the spray, and to our left the glare of the sunlight on the white rampart wall, or Skala de la Ville, encircling the Medina. Seagulls swirled around the lamp-posts, which like some of the buildings here struck me as very European in design.
The square is also a great place for people watching, and later I relaxed on a bench near the 18th century port gateway, watching locals and visitors coming and going, and grabbing some candid photos and soaking up the warm sunshine. It was most probably here, just 24 hours after I had emerged, “plastered” and on crutches, from a Marrakesh clinic, that I realised that it would still be possible to have something of a holiday and enjoy just a little of Morocco after all.
Written Nov 22, 2009
Favorite thing: Everything in Essaouira is within walking distance, If your luggage is on wheels you can manage. You can also hire a carousa, a man with a blue cart, who will walk with you to your hotel. It will cost about 10Dirhams although you will get asked for more. Alternatively you can take a petite taxi, also blue for 6Dh. You will find both options at the Supratours bus stop.
Enjoy your stay
Written Apr 5, 2008
Favorite thing: Essaouira's Medina, with its beautiful streets and souks, is a place you will often find yourself wandering through, usually along the main street, which runs north, all the way through the old city, from the Clocktower to Bab Doukkala. The southern half is called Avenue D'Istiglal, while the northern half is named Avenue Mohammed Zerktouni.
Updated Apr 3, 2007
Favorite thing: The fishing harbour seems to be the hub of Essaouira's economy. It is a bustling place, full of blue fishing boats, fishermen mending nets, repairing boats, selling their catch etc. It is very picturesque and when I was there some French artists were painting watercolours of the scene.
Updated Apr 3, 2007
Favorite thing: Essaouira has two beaches: one to the north of town and one to the south, but it is the southern beach wich is the biggest and the one which is lined with hotels. In the daytime it is dotted with French tourists, sunbathing while in the evenings it is full of locals playing football.
There are strong winds here and the sea is fairly rough, so it is not ideal for swimming.
Updated Oct 9, 2006
Favorite thing: Essaouira is a great place for every type of seafood, ranging for sardines to lobsters. I must say I never rated sardines much until I came here, but the ones served at Chez Sam are delicious.
You can see the fishing boats bringing in their catch in the harbour, then see it being sold in the fish souk and, finally, go to one of the fish grill foodstalls or restaurants to eat it.
Written Oct 9, 2006
Fondest memory: Essaouira had a reputation as an easier place to shop (in terms of hassle) than places such as Marrakech or Fes. With this in mind, we planned to try buying a pair of babouches for Ruth's dad, for somewhere between 40-60 Dh. We started on Rue Laalouj, at a place selling mainly bags & clothes and some random items. They didn't have the exact type of babouches (yellow, pointed) we wanted but instead tried to sell us a shoddy looking white pair for 100Dh.
In the next shop, the shopkeeper came out to speak to us almost as soon as we'd stopped. He didn't have quite what we wanted but still persuaded us to come inside the shop for a look around. These shopkeepers are well used to dealing with tourists and can be very persuasive. He finally found the type and size we wanted, though I think he had to pop out to another shop to get them as he was gone quite a while. Then the haggling began. He wanted 200 Dh, Ruth offered 40. When we claimed to be students he reduced his offer to 180 and we went to 50. His final offer was 150 but we didn't want to go above 60.
In the end we couldn't actually agree a price but all the bargaining was quite fun. And I normally hate shopping... As we were leaving the guy said to us "You want to buy a camel but pay for a donkey".
Updated Jul 25, 2005
Favorite thing: As always, I wanted to see something more driving from Essaouira towards Agadir. So, south of Essaouira, I took a secondary gravel road towards the Atlantic Ocean.
I was very surprised to see numerous goats climbing trees. There are, unique to Morocco, argan trees (Argania spinosa) which have a fruit similar to olives, used to press an argan oil. Goats climb argan trees to eat their leaves and young fruits.
Fondest memory: When I stopped to take pictures a local goatherd stood proudly and started to pose in front of my camera. In a few seconds I saw another, local goatherd running very fast towards me. The young, semi-nude, barefooted boy explained me with his hands and face that he wanted to receive cigarettes and pens he saw inside my car. I gave the goatherds two plastic ballpoint pens and two Camel cigarettes. Well, this, maybe 14 - 15 years old boy, used to smoke a cigarette, hmm... I started at my 16 :-(.
Updated Jun 27, 2005
Favorite thing: Hitchcock could have filmed "The Birds" in Essaouira. It felt a little bit scary walking down to the port, especially when taking this picture as one seagull was heading straight for me! If these birds were ever to attack, Essaouira wouldn't stand a chance.
Written Mar 13, 2005
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