Blogs from Essaouira, Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco, Africa

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Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 13th 2020

On Thursday, October 17th, we arrived in the coastal city of Essaouira from the vibrant city of Marrakesh. As much as I enjoyed that great city, and even earlier visiting the red sand desert climes of the Sahara, I could't wait to be near the ocean again. Visiting Essaouira and reveling along her Atlantic shores is a panacea for anyone who, like me, cannot resist the siren call of the sea. Surprisingly, the strong draw I always feel for being near the ocean was nearly eclipsed by the charms of Essaouira’s terra firma. I knew then I would be forever under the spell of Essaouira. It combined all the features I find most interesting about any town – geographical beauty, history, architecture, culture, and most definitely a friendly disposition. Essaouira had all of these. Its medina, ... read more


Yesterday our excursion exploring some of the Ourika Valley had begun early and ended late. We welcomed a somewhat later wake up call on Day 12 (Thursday, October 17, 2019) -- the only problem was the wake up call never came, or did we sleep through it? We’ll never know but we were glad that we had set our own phone alarm just for situations like this. We had to scramble to do some last minute packing to make sure our luggage got placed outside of our hotel room for pickup before breakfast. Thankfully we had taken our showers the night before so we felt reasonably presentable for the day! We enjoyed our last breakfast at Hotel Opera Plaza’s La Rossini Restaurant where we managed to have time for omelets, fruit and coffee which was plenty ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira April 17th 2019

The mind is free and the slightest thought has great influence ~ Moroccan Proverb HE SAID... Today we were travelling northwest from Taroudannt to Essaouira (via Agadir). After a whistle-stop visit to Taroudannt (where we explored the town’s red-mud walls ramparts and crowd-free souqs), we jumped into our minibus and headed to Agadir on the Atlantic coast. We were taking the scenic coastal route to Essaouira. We drove past endless oranges groves and banana plantations (many of which were under cover) on the way to Agadir. Nearly 40%% of Moroccans are employed in agriculture, and this was very apparent as we gazed out the window at the Sous Valley’s changing terrain. We also drove past endless argan trees and witnessed the Moroccan phenomenon of goats in trees. Goats love to eat the outside flesh of the ... read more
agadir beach
briouats on agadir beach
streets of essaouira

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira October 21st 2018

October 13th, 2018 Altight! Here I am writing again. I would have done so in the car last night, but the road from Essaouira to Agadir was unexpectedly winding and narrow. In the dark and in the backseat my stomach rebelled. Yup, I came very close to upchucking my supper. Also, the day in Essaouira was so all consuming both mentally and physically, that my brain turned to oatmeal by the end of the day. So let’s back up. Essaouira. Ok, so I told you already that seeing too many tourists irks me. I mean, if I wanted to see white people everywhere, I’d stay in Canada. Sorry my white peeps, but we are a boring and entitled bunch; a glaringly obvious fact when you observe “our kind” in non-European dominated countries, taking in the local ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 23rd 2018

All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware - Martin Buber I woke up a few times in the night and admired the fog shrouded moon out the window. We left the curtains open to try to get as much cool night air in as possible. The fog really rolls in in the evening, and the temperature drops markedly. Except in our room which stays quite warm. I was hoping to sleep in and have a leisurely morning, but about 7:30 Susan said she thought she better go to the doctor. So I hopped out of bed, threw some clothes on, and sent a message to Abdul. While I was waiting I thought I better grab some breakfast, so I had a pancake and yogurt. I brought Susan a couple of small containers ... read more
Essaouira hospital
Susan at the hospital
Susan and Abdoul waiting for the doctor

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 22nd 2018

Greetings from the town of Essaouira (pronounced ”Essa-weera”), located on the Atlantic coast. Unfortunately Susan is sick. She started to feel not very well last evening at dinner (we left the restaurant early) and went right to bed when we got back to our riad. She had some yogurt for breakfast, but didn’t enjoy the pancake, Moroccan crepe, and fried egg as I did. I sure like their homemade yogurt and fresh orange juice. We headed out about 9:15, for our drive to Essaouira, a drive of about 3 hours including stops. I don’t think I mentioned that the buildings in Marrakech are mostly all constructed with a pretty pinkish stone. We travelled through the Ville Nouvelle, quite a nice area of Marrakech. It is now just the 8 of us in the minibus so we ... read more
Goats in trees
Goats in trees
Argan product cooperative

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira February 27th 2018

From The desert to the mountains...this time it was the High Atlas . We stayed the first night in another UNESCO site . Ait.Benhaddou...a kasbah that has been lived in since the 1600's . Several hundreds of people would have lived there and farmed the flat lands that surround it . Because it is still in such good condition it has been used in many films over the last 30 years . Atlas Film Studios are located in the nearby town . "GLADIATOR" "BABEL" and "GAME of THRONES " have all bèen filmed there. The next day we ciontinued into the mountains .We actually drove through a pass that was 2300m and really cold and windy . Not all that different from home.We were headed toward a mountain village that would have involved an up hill ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira December 22nd 2017

Dec. 22nd – 25th Well, from here on out this whole things slows to a crawl and we drop into the sleepy beachside vibe of Essaouira. We slow roll the alleys, stopping to dig on street food and street cats. We climb across the rocky sea wall surrounding the ancient walls of the fortress that contains the medina and marvel at the coast, the Atlantic and the seabirds. The tide is starting to come in and around each curve the wall keeps coming and an entrance back into the medina is not visible. It’s a high wall with parapets and some cannons that we are given to believe is where Calisi first addressed the Un-Sullied. Game of Thrones is so good that this actually feels like a historical location! UNESCO is going to have to open ... read more
breakfast on the terrace
entering the medina
dentist

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira December 21st 2017

We wake up in the morning in time to get out by 9:45 to catch the 10:45. We explain Steve’s inability to stay in Marrakesh to Yamina and she is totally understanding… or thinks Steve is a basket case and doesn’t mind losing the drama. Either way, she wishes us well, feeds us breakfast and Moha helps us get our luggage to the square to pick up petit taxi. We thank her by giving her our sole bottle of red wine we've been carrying since Spain. The bus tickets are cheap, the ride is about 2 ½ hours and off we go. These buses have been a pleasure both here and in Spain. The legroom is fine, the seats are comfy and there haven’t been any really loud talkers or crying babies. We stop for lunch ... read more
Port boats
port nets
Worker

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira December 20th 2017

Na ranajky kupena marocka loksa a smer plaz. Tu len lehnenie a citanie knihy. Slnko dobre pieklo ale fukal studeny vietor, nakoniec som sa musel obliect a v plavkach som vydrzal len neaku tu hodinku. Po dlhom relaxe smer bus stanica na opacnej strane mesta. Tu zistene,ze bus smer agadir ide po 10/00 kazdu chvilku. Cestou nazad sa este zastavujem na polievku, ktoru zapijam s cajom. Zrejme ma tu natahli na cene, bo ked mi vydaval 5dh uplne ich smaril na stol. Na ubytku mensi oddych a opat smer plaz a zapad slnka. Zapad uplne super, po zapade prechadzka skoro az na koniec plaze. V prechadzke pokracujem aj po nocnej medine. Tu zapadam na swaramu, donisli mi ju bez hranolek a bola aj volaka mensia. Nuz tak to je ked clovek ide jest v turistickej zone. ... read more




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