During our wanderings, we did travel through Morocco with a big old car, that we called ‘al julhara’, the jewel. One of my favourite places was Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Essaouira is a mid-eighteenth century fortified town, today World Heritage, in ancient times called ‘Mogador’ by Phoenician.
The old fortified village has narrow streets, with small shops and cafés, to discover. In small laboratories near the fortified wall, skilled artisans work briar-root wood. It is a fine wood, light brown to reddish brown, often beautifully textured. Especially used to make pipes, it is very hard, heat-resistant and does not affect the aroma of pipe tobacco smoke.
As we do not smoke pipe, we did choose some decorative objects to bring home.
In the city and outside you are surrounded by the marine atmosphere; the air you breath smells of sea and fish, the narrow streets are impregnated of sea and the small port is crowded with boats and fishermen selling the prey of the day. Besides wandering through the village, Essaouria features a long sandy beach. Though it is on the seaside, it is best suited for nice walking, as bathing is for the most audacious, due to the extremely cold waters.
Living in Essaouira is like living in a world apart. We spent almost a week there and at lunch time, our favourite place was a small restaurant at the port serving small fried fresh soles. Simply gorgeous.