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Essaouira 2012

While in Marrakech, I wanted to arrange at least one day trip to experience something different. Many of the options just weren’t practical if you were bringing a baby with you. (Hiking the Atlas Mountains? Errr… No thanks!) However, the driver I’d hired to shuttle us from the airport suggested a visit to Essaouira, a small town on Africa’s Atlantic coast, and assured me it would be a suitable excursion for the kid. So off we went… stopping off at a few locations along the way. Locations that would score our driver some commission in return for bringing the naïve tourists to their shops!

Excursion to Essaouira
Our chariot arrives to take us to the Atlantic coastal town of Essaouira. As the baby is only 10 months old, we decided it didn’t make sense to take a coach or taxi and hired a Land Cruiser and driver instead.
Road to Casablanca
Spotted this sign on the way. Was really tempted to tell the driver “Take me to Casablanca!”
He said: “Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon…” 🙂
Excursion to Essaouira
On the long road to Essaouira. It’s 180km from Marrakech and takes three hours thanks to the dusty, broken single carriageway.
Excursion to Essaouira
Sightseeing on the long road to Essaouira…
Excursion to Essaouira
Sightseeing on the long road to Essaouira…
Excursion to Essaouira
Argan Tree farms. These only grow in Essaouira, Agadir and a couple of other places in Morocco.
Making Argan oil
A women’s collective in the Mogador countryside, where they make Argan oil products.

If you’re curious about what’s happening above… The baby is learning how to make pure Argan oil at a women’s collective in the Mogador countryside, close to Africa’s Atlantic West coast. 🙂 If you’re interested: The nuts from the Argan tree are split into two kinds – for cooking and for cosmetics. The nuts for cosmetic oil are mashed and release a light brown oil, which is used in creams, lotions etc. The hard brown residue is then used as animal feed. The nuts for cooking oil are roasted and then mashed and a dark brown oil comes out which has a nutty flavour. Apparently very good for diabetes. The hard black residue that’s left is then used to make Argan soaps.

Tree-climbing goats
Tree-climbing goats in the Moroccan countryside.
Tree-climbing goats
Tree-climbing goats
Tree-climbing goats
Tree-climbing goats
Wild camels in the Moroccan countryside.
Wild camels in the Moroccan countryside.
Excursion to Essaouira
Standing on the hill overlooking Essaouira. You can see the town below and the Atlantic ocean in the distance.
Excursion to Essaouira
Standing on the hill overlooking Essaouira. You can see the town below and the Atlantic ocean in the distance.

Essaouira Beach

Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Beach horse! In the UK we have donkeys.
The Essaouira Port
The Essaouira Port
The Essaouira Port
The Essaouira Port
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Having fun on Essaouira Beach!
Essaouira Beach!
Having fun on Essaouira Beach!
Essaouira Beach!
Look out behind you!! 🙂
Essaouira Beach
Essaouira Beach
Kite flying on Essaouira Beach
Kite flying at sunset on Essaouira Beach.

Essaouira Medina

The Medina in Essaouira is almost identical to the one in Marrakech in terms of what you can see and what you can buy. The big difference, however, is that it’s far less crowded and you are far less likely to get hassled by scammer, or get the hard sell from shopkeepers. Essentially, you are less likely to get ripped off. So I definitely prefer Essaouira Medina to Djemaa El-Fna!

Essaouira Medina
Entrance to the Essaouira Medina
Essaouira Medina
Entrance to the Essaouira Medina. You can see the original cannons that protected the city are still here. — in Essaouira.
Essaouira Medina
Entrance to the Essaouira Medina.
Essaouira Medina.
Entrance to the Essaouira Medina.
Essaouira Red Crescent.
Essaouira office of the Red Crescent.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
Souk inside the Essaouira Medina.
SPOT THE KITTY CAT!
The Essaouira Medina.
The Essaouira Medina.
The Essaouira Medina.
The Essaouira Medina.
Essaouira Medina
Arts shop inside the Essaouira Medina.
Essaouira Medina
Arts shop inside the Essaouira Medina.
cats inside the Essaouira Medina.
Lots of cats inside the Essaouira Medina.
cats inside the Essaouira Medina.

Heading back to Marrakech

Jbel Toubkal - Toubkal Mountain
In the distance you can see Jbel Toubkal – Toubkal Mountain – the highest peak in North Africa.
Jbel Toubkal - Toubkal Mountain
Jbel Toubkal – Toubkal Mountain
Published inAfricaMoroccoMuslim WorldTravels

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