A Portrait Of Essaouira
A Mouthful Of Vowels
The essence of Essaouira is largely captured by its smell, Barbecued Seabass, sardines and snapper billowing from the fishermen’s shacks stacked with a red onion and over ripe tomato salad drenched in green lemon juice and verdant olive oil. Warm sesame bread joins the party, a total lunchtime treat.
Inviting doorways sweeten the air with a stew of dates, figs and cinnamon gently simmering lamb into tender obedience. Fetid whiffs of rotting rubbish, poor drainage and fish carcasses are partly masked by freshly popped corn and street vendors conjuring candy floss. Lights above the labyrinth of narrow crooked passages fade in and out to the tune of power surges. Old men sit and watch children chase each other at warp speed, adults enjoy an evening passeggiata and satisfy their sweet fix with nutella crepes.
Known as the Windy City, a trip to Essaouira is a mecca for kitesurfers (our primary motivation) and windsurfers (Planet Kitesurf Holidays). A shared space for all including camels and horses, a wide sandy bay stretched out like a lazy dog with orange blush sunsets silhouetting late afternoon surfers. Oversized studded wooden doors fill arches on antiquity, concealing intricately tiled courtyards with triple heighted spaces, proud palm trees and elegant Islamic architecture charmed by colonial furnishings such as Villa de L’O and Heure Bleue.
Pulling focus, Essaouira’s sophistication lies in its imperfect beauty, a desire not to try and impress but simply be. Holidyaing in Essaouira is a Moroccan oasis of calm and a mouthful of vowels.