Essaouira, my new favorite city in Morocco

May 10th – Essaouira, Morocco

Main street through the medina of Ess after a rainstorm

Main street through the medina of Essaouira after a rainstorm

A full day of free time in Essaouira to explore to our hearts content – and it rained. No, wait, it poured…

But, there were some breaks in-between the cloud bursts and we headed out twice to walk the streets and narrow back alleyways. I have become enchanted by this seaside artist enclave and both Tim and I could see us returning to spend a week or two here. Perhaps renting an Airbnb in or near the medina. 

As much as we loved Marrakesh and the desert, this may be our favorite place in Morocco. For those who are considering a trip here, please make sure Essaouira is on the itinerary as many of the tours do not include it. If you did not read yesterdays post, we shared a lot more pictures and impressions. Check it out here.

Tim wondering what is behind the blue wooden window covers

Tim wondering what is behind the blue wooden window covers

I was looking for a small wooden box that I could put on a night table beside my bed. I wanted something large enough to hold the argan oil and lotion I had purchased the day before, but would be out of sight and out of the light during the day.

We had so many amazing boxes to choose from, but like Goldilocks, it had to be “just right”. I wanted some black in it, an inlay pattern with burl on all sides, not just the top, deep enough to hold the products, but not too large that it would take up too much room on the night stand. And of course, the price needed to be reasonable!

I am very pleased with my find. It even has some mother of pearl in the design, with a tray which I will remove and a lock with key. The pleasant young man who helped us explained that it took three full days to make. The grand total???? All of $30! Such a bargain and I was able to make room for it in my luggage.

The wooden box I bought in Ess

The wooden box I bought in Essaouira

I have done more shopping on this trip than on the last 10 combined, but I am delighted with my purchases; fossil plate, fossil pendant, silver and blue stone necklace, argan oil products and now this box.

I have not really mentioned the cats much on my posts, but suffice it to say that there are cats EVERYWHERE in Morocco. Almost every shop has at least one, and about one in three doorways you will find a cat crouched down waiting for his or her owner roommate to return.

What I have loved seeing is that the cats are friendly and not shy with strangers. They are right at home here and part of the family, landscape, and city. They are treated with kindness by everyone. Fed by many and mostly sleek and healthy looking.

They belong.

I took dozens of cat pictures through out our time here, but of course it was the kittens who always captured my attention.

Three kittens at play

Three kittens at play

Our friend John loves different doors, and I know he would be ecstatic here. Everywhere you look, there is a different size, color, texture, pattern and design. Here are just a few we snapped today.

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But in this artist village, you can expect to find freedom of expression everywhere, whether through painting or graffiti.

This made me want to climb the steps to see what was up there...

This made me want to climb the steps to see what was up there…

Street art

Street art

Back at our hotel, we climbed to the roof terrace for a quick look at the view. We are only a couple of blocks from the ocean and inside the medina. Perfect location! In warmer (and drier) weather I could certainly envision having a glass of wine up here and enjoying the setting.

Close to the beach, in the heart of the medina.

Rooftop of our hotel which is close to the beach and in the heart of the medina.

This evening, we shared a glass of wine and a light dinner while viewing a Gnawa music performance and dance.

Ghana dance and music performers

Gnawa dance and music performers

Overnight: Hotel Dar L’Oussia, Essaouira

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for freedom of expression. How often I am entertained, enamored, shocked, uplifted, soothed, or have my day brightened by the talented and imaginative people who share their artistic creations with us.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our "next chapter". At a stage in life where traveling the world, taking pictures, and sharing our adventures with friends and family will be our dream come true.
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20 Responses to Essaouira, my new favorite city in Morocco

  1. Paul Finnell says:

    Hi Tim and JoAnne, We didn’t want you to think we had forgotten about you, and are following you daily. Had never really seriously considered Morocco is a travel destination, but I have to admit you have seriously whetted my appetite. Your pictures are (as always) exquisite. We feel like we are there! The box you bought is absolutely beautiful! I love the small wooden boxes, and this one would have been hard for me to resist. Tim, I hope you are doing well in terms of diet and intestinal matters, and we are so happy that you guys are having a wonderful time. “Keep on truckin'”!!
    P&L

    Like

    • Paul and Linda, I most definitely recommend a trip to Morocco. We loved the Discovery program. A little higher priced than the normal Gate 1 tours, but still wonderful value. The lodgings are authentic, traditional and centrally located, either in or right next to the medinas. Many of the meals are included. Smaller group size maxing out at 22. I also had to have a night in the desert staying in a tent camp, and Essaouira is not to be missed. Many itineraries do not include either. We will be looking at the Discovery trips again in the future, or at least comparing them. If you like wooden boxes than Essaouira is the place to shop! We saw many, many that had exquisite workmanship at ridiculously low prices. Tim did MUCH better eating in Morocco. Thanks for asking 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the doors, and the staircase. And your box is absolutely beautiful. You’ve convinced me now – Ess-and a lot of vowels is on the list!
    Alison

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  3. GeorgieMoon says:

    That sounds like a lovely place to visit. The doors are wonderful, you should enter them in the WordPress Thursday Doors Prompt! https://miscellaneousmusingsofamiddleagedmind.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/thursday-doors-may-12-2016/
    And what an exquisite box you bought. You will look at that in years to come and remember where you were when you acquired it.

    Like

  4. Beautiful. Love the doors and windows for sure.

    Like

  5. Barry says:

    Lovely post Tim and Joanne, brings back memories of what was one of my favourite new travel destinations of the last few years, a few other aspects here and some links to sites with LOTS of info if you do get back there for a longer visit https://differentlines.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/shining-light-on-essaouira/

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  6. tresbazar says:

    Great post! Greetings from a Moroccan reader!

    Like

  7. ardysez says:

    I’m taking in all your advice and will especially try and include some extra space in my suitcase when we go to Morocco! 🙂 Is it the rainy season there or is the current wet weather out of character for May? Looking forward to the next stage of your trip. Safe travels.

    Like

  8. Alice Gratias says:

    Just love all the travels. Oh, what a find of the BOX Glad you are having a wonderful experience..
    Love al your stories.
    Alice & Rod

    Liked by 1 person

  9. janet oates says:

    Oh the colors leave me with a smile on my face. It is nice to see how well kept up everything is, yet still has a extoic feel to it for an American like me. Through your eyes we have seen a different Morocco then Frank and I saw in the 90’s, and i is so nice to see. Happy travels Jan

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    • Jan, sorry, somehow I missed seeing your comment until this evening. I’m sure Morocco has changed since the 1990’s. We were so pleasantly surprised by how much we loved the people, sites, color and varied experiences this itinerary provided. Hi to Frankie!

      Like

  10. Trish says:

    rereading these posts as I work on my photo books. I bought the same exact box! what good taste we have!

    Like

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