Hello, dear friends. I’ve been away and I’ve missed you. I’ve taken a couple of back-to-back trips, and haven’t really had a chance to say hello. The longest of my trips was to Morocco to see my mom, and the truth is I wanted to spend time with her, talk to her, give her all my attention without having to divide it among a million things. I’m hoping I got to do that. I’m hoping I was able to make up a bit for breaking her heart when I left twelve years ago .
We took a trip to Essaouira, a tiny town on the Atlantic about a two-hour drive from Marrakesh. The scenic route was beautiful. The destination was even more so. Essaouira is peaceful and sparsely populated but the week we were there it was packed with Moroccan and international tourists visiting on the occcasion of the annual Gnaoua Music Festival. We’re not fans of gnawa music so we didn’t attend any concerts but the gnaoua spirit was everywhere. Youngsters were dressed in African-inspired colors and patterns and hatted with tasseled crochet caps. They looked very cheerful.
Yes the gnaoua spirit was celebrated everywhere. Our hotel offered us complimentary Jeff de Bruges chocolate castanets the weekend of the festival. That was a nice surprise. The hotel itself was a nice surprise. A peaceful piece of heaven perched on top of a mountain, away from the hustle and bustle, with views on the wild forest, dunes and ocean, and a pathway sloping all the way down to the shore.
Essaouira is so small you could see it in one day. Staying there three days meant we had plenty of time to explore. The pictures in this post probably cover most of the major landmarks.
We hit the medina. It was colorful with abundant displays of hand-loomed rugs and fragrant with indigenous Thuya wood carvings.
We climbed the stairs up to the Scala fortress. The view over the city was breathtaking.
We headed to the port. It was very lively. The fish was fresh off the hook. We lunched on grilled sardines.
Hope your summer is going well wherever you are.