December 29-31, 2006
| We spend three days in Essaouira
- and it was worth it. This area has seen a lot of history - starting from
prehistory to Carthaginian trading post in 5th century BC, to Portuguese
fortress in 1506 to actual city being built in 18th century. It is called
the "windy city" which windsurfers take advantage of. It is a small fishing
port with a late 18th-century fortified medina. It has less than 60,000
On the first day, we walk around the port and meet a very nice student.
Given our previous experience, we were waiting for the "upsell" - but
this young man just wanted to practice his English. We learn many things
from him (whether they are true or not is up to you):
The second day, we went horse riding and walked around the town. We started to see preparations for Eid ul-Adha. This is a commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael.
The third day, New Year's Eve, we become quite ill. We walk a little
and see the results of Eid A-Adha. Pictures of this day are graphic
so we put them in a separate page. Only
click here if you have strong stomachs Unfortunately the smell
of the burning sheep heads pervades the entire city -- so we mostly stay
in our room.
Feel free to right click and "Save As..." pictures you especially like for personal use. For the high resolution original, email me at logrus101 at yahoo dot com. We humbly ask for credit. If you are linking to these or using them for non-personal use, ask permission at the same email address. ^_^
|Essaouira is a fortified port with fishing boats...|
|... and fortified doors and walls ...|
|... and ramparts with cannons, water, towers and seagulls ...|
|... and very nice sunsets.|
|We stayed in the medina at the Riad "Villa Bagdad", recommended
by the Lonely Planet guide. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan house with
an interior garden. The house was 3 floors high. In the center is the garden
with no roof. Rooms are all around the center. On the first floor, the rooms
are open and used for entertaining, cooking, eating.
The eating room in this picture is on the first floor. The garden is off camera to the right.
|... this is the garden in the center of the Riad (looking down from the roof)...|
|Each room is beautifully decorated with various rugs and themed objects from all over Africa.|
|The bathroom is heavily tiled. The shower head is, of course, too low!|
|As we walk the medina, people are selling all sorts of things... Mint anyone?|
|... spices ...
Moroccan Viagra (center lower row), roots to fatten up (left lower row) & flowers to keep air (right lower row) ...
|... paintings ...
We saw the same paintings in every medina we visited!
|... pottery ...|
|... raisins & dates in bulk ...|
|... woodwork pieces. Essaouira is well known for work using Thuya- a highly prized wood with a delicious perfume.|
|We tried to capture the feverishness of the market/medina. Every vendor is selling his wares. This AVI lasts about 15 seconds.|
|We also observe many cats. Cats are pretty much everywhere in the city. They will often come to you in restaurants when you are eating.|
|... Cats & chickens.... of course.|
|We ride for hours along the beach. Galloping on the beach is a lot of fun!|
|We see some technology. For example... this arcade hall, occupied with kids.|
|We find ATMs in pretty much every town. However - technology isn't always the best... especially if they relied on ....|
|XP? I wonder where you put the CD and hit "R" to fix the missing files in \config\system?|
|We enjoy watching the people, the variety of means of transport,
the activities etc.
Women are "liberated" in Morocco and, unlike this picture, many women do not cover their heads.
NOTE: the temperature was interesting - it is their winter-and just like in Thailand - their "cold" was pretty warm for us.
|The mean age of Morocco is 24 (in the US, it's 37). Many of
the people we saw are pretty young.
Children are everywhere and, unlike in the US and Europe, they are free to do whatever they want most of the time. School is not mandatory and they are often selling or making stuff.
|Another person wearing a Berber cloak (in gray).|
|Men/boys do most of the kitting/sewing...|
|Men often touch each other, hold each other's hands, etc. in public. This is pretty gender-orientation confusing to us....|