Within minutes of arriving at the old city walls of Essaouira, we knew we did not make a mistake; this was our sort of place. Well, prior to this, we took a 3-hour coach ride by Supra Tours. We arrived at about 145pm and head over straight to our riad Mumtaz Mahal. You wouldn’t believe how beautiful the interior of the riad – really blew our mind.
After checking in, its time for us to explore! Here, within the blue and white confines of Essaouria’s medina, is a different side of Morocco. A place for men to fish, for lazy afternoon strolls and steaming pots of mint tea enjoyed overlooking the ocean. We decided to check out their fish market which has wizened old men, giant nets, the salty smell of the ocean and icy fish spread out across old wooden tables. And of course we had to pick out seafood for our lunch from the fish market and had it grilled for us! We bought prawns, scampi, squid, king crab, oyster, sea urchin and ‘kukiash’ at about 290 dirham including grilling (100 dirham).
Essaouira is really a place for those who love seafood! We went back again for another round on day 2, and day 3 right before we depart to Tangier! Can you imagine the amount of cholesterol we gained from consuming all these seafood!
To rid of the holiday weight gain, we walked around the medina, exploring one alley to another – getting lost in broad daylight, sipping mint tea at every chance we can get!
Well, after three days amongst the frenetic souks and streets of the country’s biggest tourist draw, the peace and tranquillity that oozes from the pores of this delightful seaside town is as intoxicating as it is soothing. We don’t feel like leaving, but we got to head back to Marrakech to catch a 10-hour night train to – Tangier!
We were served by a wonderful young man behind the ticketing booth, which then explain to us that it is better if we bought the entire couchette (2 adults, 2 children) just to ensure that we get the same cabin else I will be sleeping with random female passengers etc. Well, why not? After all, we did brought more dirhams this time to spent! Throughout the journey, we felt like we were being cradled to sleep, so soundly all the way!