Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Essaouira


This is our last Morocco post, and I must say, my favourite part of our getaway. The Brit and I left our laid-back surf spot behind for a few days and road tripped to the infamous beach town of Essaouira. This place is best known for serving as a haven to hippie travelers and artists in the 1970s, including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley... and it still has remnants of its psychedelic past. The beaches themselves are long-stretching and lively.. full of families and vacationers, but its the old town that gives Essaouira its edge. Wrapped around by an ancient wall, the historic town is a giant maze made up of narrow passages, alleys and underground tunnels, all surrounded by towering old buildings. To be honest, the Brit felt a bit claustrophobic and confined at times, but I simply loved the intensity, the people, noises, smells {except for the fish market} and constant stream of visual stimulation from the absurd to the absolutely stunning. The old town has endless lovely guest houses, called riads, each designed in its own unique theme or character. We stayed in the Riad Dar Zayna, a gorgeous sanctuary, decked out in traditional Moroccan tile-work and furnishings with an amazing rooftop terrace and the best breakfast in town {all I have to say is apricot jam and massive mugs full of steaming creamy coffee}. 

The shopping in Essaouira is amazing, there are so many markets and vendors down every crammed laneway, each selling various takes on gorgeous hand-crafted silver and beaded jewelry, leather, rugs, spices, teas, crystals, hand-painted ceramics... I ended up buying a cherry-brown leather knapsack {okay maybe two} and tiny hand of Fatima pendent to wear around my neck {she's meant to ward off the evil eye}. We just wandered the maze for hours, tucking into tea houses or finding a courtyard patio to have a tagine and a rest.. and then back at it, into the madness, the crowds, the curious looks from the women behind their veils and tiny street cats running around looking for their next meal. At times it felt quite intense, children begging, vendors constant calling out to us, motorcycles suddenly speeding down the once-tranquil passage, but I think its that intensity I craved... as for the Brit, let's just say he was happy to get back on the beach and amongst the waves. 

 xo Ashi

9 comments:

efromwonderland said...

very talented picture making :)! makes me feel like going there! lovely post girl!

The Fancy Drifter said...

Gorgeous photos! The Britt sounds exactly like my hubby haha, I'm the total opposite - love crowds, love chaos, and would surely like those markets!

xDanielle

Holly said...

I never even knew this place existed, but it looks so dreamy and I would love to visit. Your photos are gorgeous!

Mallory said...

Beautiful blog Ashi!

Andrea Reh said...

Terribly, terribly jealous. I'm dying to get to Morocco - it looks just as I'd imagined - and then some.

Andrea x

Laura said...

thank you :))

janel said...

I love your pictures! It looks like such a fun place to visit!

the lovely birds said...

oh my gosh! i've always wanted to visit morocco! looks like you two had a wonderful time! was the food just amazing??

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

wow you guys - Moroccan beach towns are so totally rad! looks like that place had the best kinda vibe going on, especially infused with past energy of those great icons you mentioned. incredibly cool!

Sean can sometimes feel that claustrophobia too but i'm like you, the more activity and crowd swirl the better : ) your photos, as always, are stunning. i adore the last one of you both, just darling! happy week Ashi & the Brit!!! ♥

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