Exploring Morocco- Last Stop, Essaouira

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In the summer of 2012, I planned on going on holiday with a group of friends to Malta which is a country that I will love to visit in this lifetime. However, those plans fell through. Still bent on going somewhere on vacation, I and the only other friend who shared my enthusiasm decided to brave travelling to Morocco together. It wasn’t a difficult decision because she had been to the country the previous year to work for a charity and had said so many wonderful things about her experience that I also wanted to see it for myself. See my first post about the start of my trip and my itinerary here.

After returning from the trip to the sahara desert, we embarked on the last leg of our voyage in Morocco. We hopped on a coach headed to the creative and boho-feel(as I perceived) town called Essaouira. The annual Gnaoua festival was starting the very day we arrived and it was no coincidence. We had planned the trip just so, so that we could enjoy the festivities. We were glad to be finally by the coast where we could enjoy a cooler climate and not suffer anymore from the heat wave. As you do, I had packed a bikini but it seemed the weather god wasn’t in our favour, at least not yet. It was too windy and the sea water not warm enough to attempt any swimming.

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We were encouraged by the lovely hostess at Riad Remmy where we stayed to try the fresh sea food that the local market had to offer and so we did.

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Essaouira is a charming coastal town and we were captivated by it’s beauty. From street performers to street vendors and dreadlock haired men walking around(I think all the handsome guys in Morocco live in Essaouira! Or perhaps, the festival drew them all out to the city. Either way, it was a great sight for sore eyes), it was an enrichening experience.

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I got addicted to roasted groundnut and proceeded to have it everyday as a snack throughout my stay there. I kid you not!

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The Gnaoua festival had amazing artistes and I got to watch Nneka perform live. That was an amazing surprise because I hadn’t known that she was to be performing. Her soulful and powerful vocals are always welcomed and being a fellow Nigerian made it all the more special to have been there.

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I was introduced to vervienne tea!(If you watch The Vampire Diaries, you’ll know what I mean) I also believe I ate too much while in Essaouira. Tagine became so addictive. It’s really good. I especially love the ones with carrots, chicken and potatoes.

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We found a cool beachside hangout and took residence there every afternoon and some nights during our stay.

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Finally, the weather improved and a much needed deep in the ocean occurred.

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It was sad to leave Essaouira, but we had to go back to Marrakech to catch our flight the next morning.

When we got back to Marrakech, we had a lovely last supper and went to bed at 9pm. We couldn’t afford to miss our flight.

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The whole experience of exploring Morocco right from Tangier in the north to Essaouira in the south was incredible. Words cannot fully describe the experience. That being said, I encourage you to go explore for yourself! We live in a rich world full of wondrous experiences to be had, why live sitting in one place?

Our flight back to London that morning was bittersweet, but I know I’ll be seeing the country again. I want to visit Marrakech, but especially Essaouira again. I loved camping in the desert, but the journey to get there is not one I want to relive. I’ve done it and that’s that. Once in this lifetime is good enough.

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I went back home with a whole lotta memories and memorabilia. Till I return, it’s adieu.

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