Showing posts with label morocco. Show all posts
Showing posts with label morocco. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Last Day in Essouira


On my last day in Essouira we got up before the sun and took a cab a few miles south to a small village and walked back along the beach.


Jimi hendrix stayed in this village and legend has it that the island, rock outcroppings, and ruins were the inspiration for his song "Castles made of sand", but that was actually written a few years before he was here.


The Carthaginians were here in ancient times and on the little island was a roman villa about 2,300 years ago.


It was only a few miles back to the town but it took a few hours.....


It had been my first time in essouira and I hope to go back at some point. I would highly recommend it as a vacation destination....


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Doors of Essouira


Here it is, almost 2013, and I'm still posting photos from my vacation to Morocco in 2011...


Day 21, the penultimate day of my vacation I was still in Essouira, still spending the time wandering around taking photos...... its such a damn photogenic country....


Just like Marrakesh, the berber villages of the jebel sahro, in fact anywhere Ive been in Morocco, Essouira had a lot of fascinating doors.....


I believe you can buy books just filled with photos of Morrocan doors.....


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 20 Essouira


And so.... the daily grind of vacation rolls on..... up before the sun, but before the moon is down..... the gulls all sit and look to the east....


And yet another glorious sunrise.....


And then to breakfast.... and after breakfast its time to lounge around in the hotel and drink coffee. By my usual standards it was a luxury hotel.... two riads joined together... light streaming down from the central courtyard...


And then off to wander the alleys in search of doors to photograph.....


I wandered into the old Jewish Quarter.... looked like a postwar bombsite with many shells of derelict buildings, but a few inhabitants still...


And then time to relax on the seawall and watch the sun goes down....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 19 Essouira


By now I was getting into the "relaxing" part of the vacation..... sleeping a little longer each night, but still I woke before 5 and the almost-full moon was still quite high....


There is a maze quality to all medinas, though Essouira was much smaller than Marrakesh and so was easier to figure out where you are...


Like everywhere else in Morocco where tourists go the streets are lined with colorful products, though Essouira is unusual in that it has gotten a reputation for paintings, so there are numerous art galleries....


The doors of Essouira, like everywhere else in Morocco are fantastically diverse. weathered and "distressed", with layer upon layer of paint showing through.... I will do some posts later just on Moroccan doors.....


Early evening I headed to the plaza where the sea wall is low and sat and watched the sun descend. Inland the clouds threatened rain.


As the sun approached the horizon it appeared between the clouds and put on a show for the large number of people, visitor and locals, who had gathered to sit quietly and enjoy the show....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 17 to Essouira


We left Marrakesh in the early afternoon and headed 200k almost directly west until we hit the Atlantic and Essouira. It was my first time here and I was very impressed. Instead of the red of marrakesh, here everything was white.


Like in Marrakesh, fresh squeezed orange juice was abundant and cheap.


Essouira is one of the best anchorages on the Moroccan Atlantic coast.... Phoenician, Carthaginians and Romans all had settlements here in ancient times. The harbor is filled with funky wooden fishing boats of all sizes.


Essouira is now a very popular tourist resort so the narrow, traffic-free alleys were filled with art and craft shops.


The huge stone wall of the Portugese fort still surrounds the old town


The old town has a main plaza but mostly consists of a maze of narrow alleys and lanes...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 17 last morning in Marrakesh


Sunrise from the roof of Hotel Ali on our last morning in Marrakesh.


We had a few hours to wait for the van that was going to take us to Essouira on the coast so I tagged along with friends who went shopping.


We didnt go to the souks, rather to the upmarket tourist shops that offered a shopping experience more comfortable to those who didnt like haggling. The prices were corespondingly higher.


I personally take no pleasure in shopping so I just wandered around snapping photos....


The red color of Marrakesh dominates everywhere..... and the bright sun created strong shadows..... kind of hard not to take good pictures.....


Friday, June 15, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 16 Over the Atlas to Marrakesh


Heading back to Marrakesh by car after 10 days trekking, we retraced our route down the "Valley of the Roses". Some of the country reminded me very much of the Colorado Plateau in the SW U.S.


We then followed the Dades Valley known as "the valley of a Thousand Kasbahs" for obvious reasons.


After Ouarzazate we headed north into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The day we drove here the weather was overcast and rainy, but on this return journey we had good weather to the colors and shadows made it far more photogenic.


It was a long, slow , climb up the winding road that switchbacks its way to the pass. I recently watched an old B&W French movie about truckers in this part of Morroco and much of it was filmed on this road. Other than a bit more traffic and the fact that now it is tarmaced, nothing else has changed since it was filmed.


After lunch at the pass we started down to the plain below. This side of the Atlas is greener with more settlements. Parts of it looked just like the red-rock country around Sedona (without mosques :))


Late afternoon saw us arriving back in Marrakesh and Hotel Ali. After 10 days in the desert the noise and crowds of Marrakesh were too much for me so I spent the evening in the refuge of my room....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 14 In the Valley of the Roses


After leaving the gite we wandered through the alleys of the village before emerging on the banks of the river in the Valley of the Roses.


We followed the river upstream all day, sometimes needing to ford it. The water was cold and fast, being melted snow coming down from the Atlas Mountains.


Unfortunately we were too early to find any roses, however poppies were very much in abundance in the gardens of the villages we passed through.


One house had an unusual ornament on the roof......


Further up the valley the geology changed and we could have easily been in Arizona....


Camp was on the riverbank where the mules had plenty to drink and the chorus of frogs kept up all night....

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vacation 2011 Day 13 through Kelaa M'Goun

As we approached the town of Kelaa M'Gouna it became more and more built-up.


The floodplain of the river was green with trees and irrigated fields and tons of birds made more noticeable by the birdwatchers among the group. Lots of palms, barley, lima beans etc and a lot of red poppies scattered among the barley...

The town itself was incredibly busy and noisy, quite startling after a week in the wide-open spaces of the high country we had spent the last week in. We visited a hammam, a public bath and later sat in a sidewalk eatery for lunch before heading out of town into the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and the Valley of the Roses.


The Draa Valley is home to thousands of kasbah ruins, some of them quite large.

That evening we stayed in a gite in a village. The next few days through the Valley of the Roses will be greener, wetter, and more inhabited than the Jebel Sahro....