For the past two day we’ve been in Marrakech, but today took a three hour bus ride to the coastal city of Essaouira. On the way, we stopped at an argon tree forest with a small building where women use the argon nuts to make argon oil for cooking and cosmetics. We saw them making both and were explained the process of crushing the nuts and creating pastes. The difference between the cosmetic and cooking oil is that one is made with roasted nuts and the other is not. Then, we were offered mint tea and warm squares of bread to dip in the oil, a nut butter, and a delicious dark honey they make. We had the option to buy different products from their store afterward, and then we moved on to the city of Essaouira. This is quite possibly one of the coolest cities I’ve ever been to. It didn’t beat Heidelberg on my favorites list, but I would most definitely come back here someday. It’s on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea so it’s an ocean town. We met up first with a tour guide who took us through the city on foot because it’s pretty small. First he took us by the docks, and then to parts of the wall that used to protect the city. It still had canons in it that were from other countries, but people just use them now for a boost to see the ocean through the walls. It’s in this area that Game of Thrones filmed several scenes with my queen, Khaleesi. I re-enacted one of the pictures of her in that exact spot and then melted. My brain started involuntarily singing “I’m in love with the moment” from a Khalid song without thinking about it. I think it was just my subconscious spilling out because of how happy I was. After he let us take pictures, our guide lead us through the city’s souks. Once again they held tons of beautiful items. Then, he took us to a wood working shop where he showed us the way they create such beautiful wooden things like tables and secret lock boxes. He showed us the different kinds of wood and some of the techniques, and then once again we were allowed to browse their shops and buy something if we wanted to. There were so many rows of wooden treasures it took a while to go through them all. Finally, we were taken back toward the sea for our lunch at a nice hotel. We had a mixed salad and shared mixed plates of seafood. I had to be taught how to eat most of it but it was very good! My seat at the table faced out to the sea, so I had a perfect view of the waves. We also had a dessert of fruit salad that had a delicious juice. After this, we were given two hours of free time.I chose to walk around with my roommate and one other girl. First we wanted to buy souvenirs and postcards. I really just wanted a bookmark (dad, are you proud?) but I also got some postcards for myself of my favorite things about this country. Then the other girl got a crepe, and the three of us headed back down to the docks. We decided to skip the touristy part and walked through the stores of fishermen selling their fish. It was so worth the sight of all those fish and the smell because when we got past them we saw a wall with a few people standing at the top and we decided to climb up there. It took some maneuvering, but the view was unbeatable. The wind beat so strong against us, and we looked out and saw a small island of ruins with huge waves crashing against it. We walked around on the docks and stared out over those waves for the rest of our free time until we had to get back on the bus for Marrakech. I felt like kids after a long day playing outside. My hair and skin are salty, my face feels flushed, and I got on the bus and immediately passed out with a full, happy heart. I had so much fun watching the waves crash against the rocks and smelling the salty, fishy air. My hair was wild, whipped by strong winds and drops of sea salt. We climbed over rocks and admired all the cats. And we laughed. We laughed and smiled and just felt good. I am always so much happier traveling to see nature than cities or landmarks. I also love just seeing how other people live. I’m not interested in changing landscapes to make them appear better; I want to capture them for what they are. I think I’ve enjoyed Morocco so much because I just like the way people live here. It’s different. There’s a low-key, serene feeling here. I like the sights, sounds, smells, and atmospheres. This country has everything: snowy mountains, endless stretches of orange sand, beautiful green plants, and amazing beaches. Driving back to Marrakech, the sun set and cast a deep blue haze over the mountains which I now think of as the blue of Morocco.

One thought on “Day Eighty One: Essaouira, A Paradise

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