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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

West to Essaouira

Tuesday morning we headed to the coast. We decided to skip the hassle of a bus ride and splurge on a private taxi ride from Marrakech to Essaouira. Truth be told, it wasn't that much money when you consider what a cab ride from the airport to our house in Stockholm costs! It was a very comfortable trip, complete with a pit stop for some mint tea. The strangest site we've ever seen was spotted on the highway. Goats in trees! Apparently they are able to climb up into these argan trees and munch on the fruit. It was truly so weird and I would not have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes!
Essaouira is a beautiful, calmer seaside town almost directly west from Marrakech. We were thrilled to find our spa hotel directly on the water front with beautiful furnishings. The pool is just lovely and we were delighted to discover that the hotel provides private beach access for their guests as well. The beds that they provide for lounging are simply luxurious. We quickly changed into swim wear and headed out to soak in the gorgeous sunshine. The beach is beautiful and stretches for miles. The Atlantic Ocean is still freezing cold even on this side. As I gazed out into the water, it was a strange feeling to think that straight west was New York City. Sometimes the world feels very small.
Later in the afternoon we ventured by foot into the Medina. It's so nice to be in a smaller, less chaotic place than Marrakech but still filled with color and culture. Fishing is obviously a big industry here and we ventured near the fish market just as the day was ending for the fishermen. They were busy! Fish were being cleaned and carried off to be sold. Boats were being secured. Seagulls were everywhere hoping to get in on some fish guts. It was pretty neat to see this local industry in action. We stopped for a quick bite and then wound our way through the Medina. Still many beautiful things to look at but not nearly the crush we experienced in Marrakech. It will be much easier to buy things here, I think! 
We realized that the sunsets are going to be spectacular here and the first evening did not disappoint. I could not take my eyes off the changing horizon. It's been a long time since I've seen the sun set over the ocean. Morning proved to be just a lovely as I awoke just as the sun was rising. I'm happy for these beach days in a smaller yet still charming Moroccan city. No matter where in the world I am, I am always happy when I'm near the ocean!