When the Moroccan heat is almost too much to bear and the hassle of the souks becomes a short fuse to homicide it is time to take a break, a pause from the guide book driven madness and cocoon oneself in the familiar. Off to the beach then?
Long established as a refuge for weary travellers Essaouira comes as a pleasant relief for the first timer and as a bolthole for the veteran. Its cool alleyways and bracing Atlantic winds offer calm and refreshment with a dose of magical Moorish culture effused with a European twist.
Barely two hours from Marrakech on the new road and a seventy Dirham bus ticket, travellers find themselves transported to a bustling fishing port with a Spanish/Portuguese heritage that lives on in the cannon studded ramparts and seafaring traditions of its citizens.
Arriving by bus at the city gates one finds a teeming market and a phalanx of barrow boys eager to transport backpacks and luggage through the winding streets to your accommodation. For a price of course so bargaining is required although not to the level of other more intense local
Continue reading Easy Essaouira
Go to any bookstore and head for the travel section, there you will find numerous tomes offering advice on where to go, what to see, how to travel and of course things to do before you die. I don’t know about you, but for me I would rather look at a list of things to do while I am alive and kicking; my preferred way of looking at things.
The idea that you need to cram in these must-see destinations before you fall off your mortal coil or go pining for the fjords misses the point of travel for me. A bucket-list and the hurried end of the world mind-set seem somehow to diminish the intrinsic value of the very places that are lauded as worthy. Rush through these destinations, tick them off and move onto the next one. Africa…done, Asia…done.
Humans are by nature curious and adventurous, on the whole we strive to learn about our world revelling in the fascinating variety of flora, fauna and its dramatic natural wonders. Throughout the ages courageous explorers have been the pathfinders for generations of following tourists and travellers, opening up new destinations and crafting bonds with the indigenous local populations.
Continue reading A million things to do before you die