Essaouira was not somewhere I had heard of until recent times. Having proven itself to be so welcoming, I've ended up staying here for nearly one week. To put that into perspective, consider that the average tourist visiting Morocco would likely a) visit Marrakesh and b) for typically no more than 3-5 days though largely due to the infrequency of flight schedules I'd imagine. With Easyjet's direct Luton to Essaouira route introduced less than 15 months ago, the number of visiting tourists from the UK have been growing ever since and may one-day soon rival numbers flying into Agadir - the better known resort down Morocco's southern Atlantic coast.
You wouldn't necessarily need to spend this long here - unless you were also using Essaouira as a base, but the vibe here (and something I'll write more about in a spin-off post) has been been a large part as to why I've spent so long here. The other part comes back to us re-remembering the very essence of travelling: people. You'd expect to hear that from any non socially-awkward traveller.
As such, I've spent most of my days and evenings with two independent holiday-makers that I shared a taxi with from Essaouira's airport those days ago.
But now, and as of this writing, they've gone home and I'm a little sad but they will be equally sad to have left here as I know this country (and it's warm, caring people) will have left a long lasting mark on both of them - as it will me. This week I've really come to understand just how much Morocco is adored by all its visitors and why first-timers will likely be very keen to return.
Before I conclude this post with some images of the town, here's a little light background information on Essaouira.
- The town was formerly known as Mogador and the fortified walls of the Medina, within where I'm staying, is UNESCO protected as 'Outstanding Universal Value'.
- It's also yet another location I've been to where the Game of Thrones team have shot. Not really surprising when you consider the above and even that original cannons dating back to the 18th century remain within the fortified walls.
- It's a sea-port town. This means there is plenty of fishermen, plenty of fish and unfortunately, plenty of those universally despised vermin we know as seagulls!
Dom and Nathan will be particularly amused to hear that during my time down by the port on my own, one of the gulls landed a wet creamy looking one right bang on the back of my neck. LOL. Not. Anyway, sit back and enjoy some more images of Essaouira - in winter!
Well, I was always going to start with those two images following the 'winter' reference above, wasn't I....
The south Bastion defence perimeter, followed by several images outside the fortified walls of the Medina.
Inside the Medina
Exiting the Medina on the south-west side, and located south of the main path running straight through the Medina, you will reach the Skala du Port and bustling sea port.
The Skala du Port shown below is a fortified tower that defends the harbour entrance. You can climb this at the reasonable price of 10 dirhams (less than £1 GBP). These days, and if anything, it allows decent views down on to the sea port and back to the Medina - perfect if you're wanting to take some photos.
And for my two final, and favourite, pictures of the day...
Hope you've enjoyed the post, folks. Until soon....