Thursday, December 10, 2015

Agadir & Essaouria

In Agadir the wide beach stretches for miles in a gentle crescent. As the Atlantic laps the sand, the damp flat areas are turned into football pitches by the locals. Although footy on the beach isn't the only option, as I passed a city stadium which I wondered into for a brief look. Lots of organised football with 4 or 5 games going on. Well I say organised, but after being under a spell of pressure one team countered attack, only for the move to stop as the attacked threw up his hands in despair. A kid from a different team had nicked the opposition goalposts.

The beachfront has a new promenade for the locals and tourists to stroll down. At one end resorts, the other the marina. Around the marine are dotted some fancy restaraunts. I popped into a fancy one on a whim, somewhat underdressed in a t-shirt. You know it is fancy when your spuds come in a smear on the plate! And you get what I imagine was an amuse bouche (I don't remember ordering this!). Here is le menu.

One of the things which was recommended to try was a Morrocan Hamman, so I booked one. I got picked up from my guesthouse and whisked away. After stripping down to your pants you get put in a steam room ala Turkish bath. Soon a woman comes in and slathers Argon oil on you. Then leaves you to sweat. Later you get rinsed off and out comes the brillo pad. Okay, it wasn't a brillo pad, it just felt like it. This gets rid of the dead skin cells (by removing a layer of skin, I suspect!). Then some buckets of water over the head and shampooed. Then you get a normal massage afterwards. Interesting as a bit of a different experience, but I don't think I'll be in a hurry to repeat the brillo pads!

Next up was Essaouira. I jumped on the Supratour bus, they have assigned seats and I ended up right behind the driver, not sure I like that seat! Traffic is actually quite light, and well behaved. Although it seems like traffic coming on to the roundabout has right of way. Of course they drive on the wrong side of the road here. After finding my guesthouse down a cul de sac, I headed out to the medina for a nosy. Much more managable size compared to Marrakesh. Nearby the medina itself is the fishing port. Around 15:00 the boats return along with their catches and loads of seagulls! Certainly an interesting time to have a stroll, as people bustle around and seagulls are whirring through the air. Also the ramparts nearby have some cannons, as it used to be a military fort with the much cooler name of Mogador! Just off the coast lies Ile Mogador. A small island now a nature preserve with resident falcons. Apparently it was used as a backdrop for Game of Thrones, with the guesthouse owner getting a part as an extra!

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