This morning we found out that the festival we thought was friday is next Friday. This threw a bit of a spanner in the works. We thought we would stay here in Agadir until after the festival. Everything will shut down for a few days, and we are not sure if it is better to be in a bigger city or smaller. The bigger cities are less traditional, but we may not get accommodation in a smaller one… We will find out next week.
For now though, we ar off to find the only english bookshop in Agadir. Hoping to pick up a rough guide or lonely planet. After following a few hazy directions we found online, we ended up where we thought it would be. Nothing. Just a post office. There was a market nearby though. We decided to go for a wander through this. As it happens the bookshop is on the second story of the market. It was closed. Typical. As we walked off, someone came running up to see what we were after. Mentioning the bookshop, he informed us that it had closed permanently 3 days ago! Bummer. Still, the market was small and nice. Plenty of Tangine pots (for cooking) decorated plates and knickknacks. The leather goods were of particular quality, but not for us. Although one of the pots would be good if we could ever get it home.
From here, we had to walk across half the city to get to the Souk. This is South East of the main city. It is a fair hike, and we only have a little map. Still through trial and error we got closer. When we were almost there, we found a man who wanted to point us in the right direction. He even walked us all the way to a smaller market. Going along he was saying that he wanted no money, as Moroccans are friendly people and he likes Australians that are here to surf.
Turns out he is a spice merchant. He sat us down and made us a cup of tea. While we were sitting drinking our tea, he explained the differences with Moroccan tea. The tea itself is sweet, then they add citrus leaves and mint. It is a fairly mild tea that is naturally sweet.
In the middle of the room there is a table filled with dishes. These are all different barks, seeds, fungi etc. The walls were filled from seats to ceiling with jars of unidentifiable contents. He started going through the table. Weight loss, vircosus veins, rumertism, arthritis, stomach complaints and the list went on. This is traditional Moroccan medicine at its best. Still for someone that knew we didn’t want to buy anything, he was very pushy. He showed us natural lipstick, and rubbed Amber on one shoulder, Jasmin on the other. Coloured things on the hands. The guilt trip of taking up his time and drinking tea was put on, and we had to walk out with a small (expensive) bag of tea. Coming out we still did not know where the Souk was! We did find it eventually. It looks like a fortified building. Quite large with 20 or 30 gates leading in. Inside it is fairly well organised and the different sections well markedout. We started in the Vegetable section, moved though to fruit, and got found by a young man.
He is working at another spice shop. Saying we were not interested, he still almost dragged us in for a cup of tea. This time using 5 different ingredients. Again we got the spielabout Argon oil, and the different spices and remedies. More lipstick was brought out and smeared on our hands. More cakes of Jasmin and other nice smelling things smeared over our shoulders. After about 10 minutes we managed to extract ourselves. This time without buying anything. One of the comments people make is about the people with their noses in the air. This I think is due to the fact that they have been through it all umpteen times a day for the last however long! We will be like that soon I am sure.
Now we continued through the markets. Another cup of tea, and some salt later… we managed to find a shop selling suitcases. We needed to buy a new one, as somehow EasyJet had managed to break one of ours. It had been stuck against something moving, and melted the plastic, bending the axle and breaking it free of the bag. So we needed a new one. This involved a lot of haggling, but we managed to find a suitable replacement. Reaching our shopping quota, we needed to escape from the Souk. Walking back to the hotel, we decided to go a different way, and ended up in the Industrial quarter of the city. It was surprising to see that Donkeys and carts were still used here to transport lumber and other things around the city.
All in all it was a good day, and as we are typing this, we still don’t know where we are going tomorrow!