Morocco…Essuara, Assila and Tangier…beach cities…

Taking my friend’s advice in Marrakech I left for a few days to go to Essuara (actually it was just supposed to be a day trip but turned into two). What a great idea! Essuara is a beautiful old city on the sea. A wide sandy beach and a beautiful coastline. On one end of the beach were camels and horses to ride and the opposite side had fisherman’s boats and the old city. I was told it was a one hour ride but it turned out to be nearly 3 hours. Totally worth it though because it was a seaside village that exuded charm. Just smelling the sea water upon arrival made me feel calmer. I walked along the tiny corridors through the market and marveled at all the colors bursting forth that seemed to be competing for my attention. I became so enamored with Essuara that I decided to spend the night there…even though I had already paid for the Riad/hotel in Marrakesh. This is the first time I double booked but I really liked this town and remember it took two extra hours to get there:). The ocean was beautiful and like Marrakech there was an old section of the city that had tiny alley ways and tons of colorful shops. The colors in Morocco are a feast for the eyes. I wandered through the town during the day and as evening approached ate at a beautiful restaurant that sat high on a rooftop overlooking the sea. Designed in all shades of blue with white as the contrast, the effect was calming, tasteful and perfect. I wanted to stay there forever:) The next day I mostly sat on the beach and relaxed…then back to Marrakech.

Upon my return to Marrakesh I spoke with my friend, Adnan. Again he suggested that instead of Tangier I might want to stay in the city of Assila. He told me it was similar to Essuara, beautiful, small and less modern. Once again he was right! I stayed in Assila for nearly a week and took a couple of short train rides to Tangier for the day. It was perfect. I loved these old charming beach villages.

Here’s the funny thing…In a little over a week I would be heading to Spain to walk The Camino de Santiago. The Camino for those that don’t know is a 780 km walk. I would begin in St Jean Pied de Port, walk over the Pyrenees and through Spain to end in Santiago. It takes generally around 33 – 40 days to walk. You might think I would be working out, trying to get in shape for such a long walk….uh, NO! I read, relaxed and took short walks on the beach…really it was perfect:) Well almost perfect…it’s Morocco and I did manage to find more than my fair share of trouble there:) I won’t go into a long explanation…after all this is a blog not a confessional:) This will be another opportunity to use your imagination…it will probably be more than what occurred…or not:)

I would also like to close by saying that when I did finally get to Spain (I was delayed for weather and other reasons), I met a young 25 year old woman from China who had just spent 6 weeks in Morocco. We booked our bus and waited and waited…we had missed it because they had changed the lane the bus left from…now it’s 10:00 pm and no bus and they don’t care:( We end up sharing a room for the night. I had know this women for all of 2 hours. Funny things happen on the road:) The reason I’m sharing this particular story is that when we got to sharing our time in Morocco, it was as if we had been to two different worlds. I saw one picture she had and asked where is that and she said it was he night market in Marrakech and was astounded I hadn’t been:) So when reading my blog just be aware that every persons experience is different:) This is just my version of my travels…such that it is.

From Morocco…calming seas and troubled waters:)…Es la vida!

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