Oh Oui, Essaouira!

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.p1070745During our travels, it’s always cool seeing items repurposed into useful and creative ways such as these tires turned into blooming planters orp1070731 stacked, and combined with a mural to form an amusing vignette.Mural and recycled tires in EssaouiraFounded 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.Activity on Avenue de l'Istiqlal. Essaouira, MoroccoFor a change of scenery, we headed towards the vibrant port, a constant hub of activity, first passing elders hanging around Place Moulay el Hassan.dsc_0278Entering through the Bab el Mersa entrance gate and the imposing watchtower Borj el Bermil. p1070700p1070754When the sea is in favour, the fishermen go out in their small boats.dsc_0286Returning to the docks, the fishermen line up to sell the catch of the day.

p1070691We 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.p1070687At 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.dsc_0368And 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.p1070756When we visit Morocco again, Essaouira will be a favoured destination as it should be for you too!

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4 thoughts on “Oh Oui, Essaouira!

  1. I like pictures of doors and these ones are interesting. My 2 favourites are a yellow and a black doors. Take care and have fun!

    • Hey Rich, glad to see you here! Our Moroccan travels are finishing up this weekend. We started in Casablanca and did a four-week tour of the country. Atlantic Oceanside, Sahara Desert, the Medinas of Marrakesh and Fes, hiking with Berbers in the Atlas Mountains, etc. Currently in the Blue City of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. Back to Casablanca and then off to Dakar, Senegal next. – Gord

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