Our list of favourite cities keeps growing and the coastal town of Essaouira, Morocco made the cut.
After our first afternoon in the narrow alleys of the UNESCO World Heritage Medina, we couldn’t wait to share its wonderful blue doors with you. For those who missed them, here they are again.
Including these traditional beauties with embellished stone portals.
Weathered doors and a handsome man; Ginette two loves.During our travels, it’s always cool seeing items repurposed into useful and creative ways such as these tires turned into blooming planters or stacked, and combined with a mural to form an amusing vignette.Founded in the 18th century, and originally a Portuguese enclave known as Mogador, the old walled city was influenced by European military architecture. Unlike the Medina in Marrakesh, the alleys are set in a more gridlike pattern, so navigating the backstreets is a lot easier.
We also found the shop keepers considerably less pushy, which made for pleasant browsing of the various stalls and lively market streets infused with people, textures and smells.For a change of scenery, we headed towards the vibrant port, a constant hub of activity, first passing elders hanging around Place Moulay el Hassan.Entering through the Bab el Mersa entrance gate and the imposing watchtower Borj el Bermil. When the sea is in favour, the fishermen go out in their small boats.Returning to the docks, the fishermen line up to sell the catch of the day.
We watched trawlers unloading, and men loading crates of fish in ice for delivery to local and international markets. Morocco is the sardine capital of the world and the largest exporter of the heart-healthy canned product.At low tide poachers scour the rocky shore for mussels and sea urchins, Moroccan delicacies savoured in seafood Tajines.
In the distance, the whitewashed town sits behind the coastal ramparts.And each evening, in the company of locals, tourists, lovers, and sunset photographers we watched the sky change colours from one of the many rooftop terraces or seafront.When we visit Morocco again, Essaouira will be a favoured destination as it should be for you too!