17 October 2012

Agadir

Our first day in Morocco.
We went off to find some better digs.  Where we were last night wasn’t that bad, but for a few extra dollars we found a much better place.  Nicer room, better atmosphere.  The room we were staying was two single beds, with only just enough room for the bags between them.  Tiles falling off the stairs, and cold water.  Now we have a double with a single bed in the room that we can throw our bags on.  More space to move around in.
Our second task is to find tourist information.  This is usually a simple measure.  However in Agadir it is all the way out of town.  There is supposed to be one in the city, but we couldn’t find it.  It was a long walk, through the streets and down towards the beach.  Agadir is a coastal city that has about 10km of beautiful beach line.  However you cannot see this in the city, as there are many 3 and four story buildings.  Walking north we saw the hill that the Kasbah is built on.  About half way to the hill we found Tourist info.  At first we thought it was an office for business or to support smaller centres.  However this was the place.  We got a bit of info about Agadir, and around.  Maps of Morocco and the town.  The people there were very helpful.

Fishies.. Scary Fishies..

As we were so close to the Kasbah, we decided we may as well walk up to it.  At the base of the hill is the old port.  This is used as a small fishing port now.  There is a small fish market just outside here.  The main gates to the newer bigger fishmarkets just down the road.  We met Ali, who showed us around the small market.  All the different types of fish from Long thin Barracudasto flatfish and small shrimp.  From there he took us through to where all the small stalls are set up to cook and sell the fish.

Fresh from the ocean

There are rows upon rows of benches.  Ali says that at lunch they are full, with people waiting for a seat.  As it was quiet now, we could sit there and drink tea.  Chatting about the old king, the new one and how he was modernizing the country.  It was pleasant, so we decided to have lunch at his family’s stall.  On finding out the fish was only 70DH we went for that.  Skipping the squid and small fish etc.  On arrival it was a massive pile of Prawns, calamari, small battered flatfish and pilchards.  On the other side of the plate was a BBQ’d fish.  It was delfishous.
The sting came at the end when we were charged over 300DH for the meal.  To add insult to empty wallet they took the big bottle of water we had bought as well.  Still it was a very good meal.  As we left to go up to the Kasbah, Ali stuck his hand out for more money!

View from the hill

We wandered up to the base of the hill and started following the pathway.  There were rocks, and plants and goats and things.  The air was full of sounds.  Mainly of a big dog barking aggressively at us.  There was a young man nearby who yelled out not to worry.  He jumped down to join us.  He started walking with us, explaining that the dog was there to protect the goats.  However the goats looked after themselves.  Around sunset they would take themselves back to their home.  Our new friend explained he was a tour guide, but before he could get any further we told him we had no money.  This was no problem for him and he continued walking with us.  Telling us about Agadir.  How it was only 50 years old, and in the 1960’s there had been a massive earthquake (29th Feb 1960).  This leveled the old city and most of the Kasbar.  It also killed thousands of people.  Due to the infrastructure breakdown a lot of people died afterwards of disease and other issues.  There was no way to deal with all the dead, so they left them where they were and covered them with the remains of the city and dirt.  They are still there to this day.

Original bit of wall

On reaching the walls of the Kasbah, we were surprised to see so many camels.  It would have been nice if there were a few at the bottom of the hill, so we didnt have to walk all that way!  There were also jewlery stalls and people selling agates.  They were beautiful.  Specked and different colours.  When we were explaining we had no money as we had been ripped off at lunch, they were shocked.  We were told to go to the police and complain as it was at least 200DH more than it should have been.  We didn’t bother, as word will get around.  We told the guys the stall number and a few other people as well.

Entering the Kasbah we found nothing.  Rocks, dust, a few plants.  The evidence of goats and a few people.  Ther was nothing left.  Just some of the walls.  However the view was amazing.  You could see down into the docks.  All the big fishing boats that go out for months at a time, down to the small ones that just go for the night.  Further around you can see the new city of Agadir stretching back from the coast into the Anti-Atlas mountains.

Agadir beach

The walk back down was simple and nice.  We went back down to the beach and walked along the boulevard.  They have done a good job here, as there is a breakwater wall then a good wide path then all the cafe’s restaurants and bars.  Even a few casinos.  One thing that has surprised us here is the alcohol.  It is a Muslim country, but there are bars everywhere.  Hotels, some cafes and even supermarkets sell it.
One drawback to this is all the Heineken caps everywhere and green broken glass in big piles or just on the roads.  This can’t all be from tourists.  We were not expecting the cleanest country, having seen Jordan, but this was surprising.  Other than that, what we have seen hasn’t been that dirty.  Dusty yes, garbage in places, but no worse than the back streets of Sydney or Melbourne.

AA

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