essaouira

Life’s a Beach!

It’s really hard to remember how to spell and pronounce Essaouira (I settled on saying it like “I swear-a” with a thick Italian accent), but it’s well worth the trip. This old port city on the Atlantic coast was once owned by the Carthaginians, the Portuguese, and the French. The best cities to visit are the ones where different cultures collided. You get to see so much history in one place, and the food is always more interesting.

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Every city in Morocco is know for its signature color. Can you tell what Essaouira’s color is?

I love that people are actually living in the ruins. Their laundry is hanging from fortress walls built in the 16th century.

I love that people are actually living in the ruins. Their laundry is hanging from fortress walls built in the 16th century.

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In the summertime there’s a huge music festival. People sleep on the beach and inside these ruins.

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Half of Essaouira is covered with these bright blue fishing boats…

Hence the delicious seafood. I usually don't eat things with heads still attached, but this was too good to pass up.

Hence the delicious seafood. I usually don’t eat things with heads still attached, but this was too good to pass up. You can’t see the ten cats that were surrounding me, waiting for the bones.

I was torn between wanting to spend time in our gorgeous riad...

I was torn between wanting to spend time in our gorgeous riad…

or on the equally gorgeous beach.

or on the equally gorgeous beach. Just a warning: Don’t expect to go swimming here. It was pretty cold, and very windy.

I would definitely suggest staying at Riad Chbanate. You know I'm a fan of the cooper sinks!

I would definitely suggest staying at Riad Chbanate. You know I’m a fan of the cooper sinks!

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And bath salts. This was a truly elegant hotel, and I can’t recommend it enough. The second you arrive they sit you in front of the fire place and give you a beer. Although I must admit they were obsessed with Nina Simone. I love Ms. Simone, but three days of her on repeat is enough!

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We had an incredible dinner in a secret restaurant. The owners, an Italian and a Moroccan, converted their home into a restaurant. It was one of the best meals of my life. This was a palette cleanser between courses. 

There are also tons of adorable dogs everywhere.

There are also tons of adorable dogs everywhere.

 

Which planning style are you?

Sultan of Morocco, (1845), Musée des Augustins...

Sultan of Morocco, (1845)Photo credit: Wikipedia

As I think about our upcoming honeymoon (we’re going to Morocco for two weeks!) I’m torn between two modes of thinking:

“Only in spontaneity can we be who we truly are.”

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

I’ve heard stories of people who fly to another country with no reservations and end up meeting an awesome couple and living with them for a week and seeing the “real” parts of the city. I’ve also heard stories of people not knowing that they needed to get a visa before entering a certain country and having to fly back home. Fortunately I’ve learned to straddle the two conflicting planning styles, and had some pretty rocking adventures! I think the key is researching a few things that you’re dying to see, and then leaving every other day free to wander and stumble on cool things.

Which quote best describes your planning style?

On a side note, any suggestions on must-see activities in Morocco? We’re starting out in Marrakesh,  spending three days in the desert, driving to Essaouira for some beach time, then Fez, and then Casablanca. Even as I write this it sounds very planned, but believe me this is restrained for me!