artists gallerys and hippies
Exploring Essaouira today. This time with David & Sophia (check the Jordan blogs for details).
Relaxing in the Riad, as you have to enjoy such beauty sometimes, we made up a pot of the coffee given to us by Madani, and caught up.
From here we went to our new favourite restaurant and had nice fresh bread & honey for breakfast. Now to explore the city properly. Through the winding streets, and past the woodworkers. Essaouira is famous for more than its doors. They also do the intricately carved wood and inlays. This is evident walking around and seeing all the magnificent pieces on display. There are tables that separate into stools, but form a circle when together. The patterns aligning perfectly. Small boxes with fantastic detail, and people working the wood everywhere. There was one woodworker that we had to stop at. His door was fantastic. On asking, we found out that he had made it, and it is a form of advertising, as it is also a display piece. This was definitely a work of art.
Essaouira used to be frequented by hippies in the past, and while it has now moved a bit upmarket, there is still a vibrant feel to the place. There are artists everywhere, all with their own little stalls proudly hanging out their pictures. Some of these are quite simple, but others are true works of art. It caters for nearly every taste. From land and city scapes to portraits. There was nothing cubist or surrealist though. At least what we could find.
Still it was good to wander along looking at the art. We are not hassled here as much as Marrakesh, and it feels like you can stop and look at things without being pressured into buying anything. Just being able to appreciate someone’s work, and the smile in return when you compliment them on it.
Having explored most of the walled Medina, we went to the docks. Here it is very active. People untangling and repairing their nets, seagulls feasting on fish gizzards, and fending off the cats. Boats everywhere. All in blue. A smaller section of the dock was filled with small blue row-boats, while outside there are the larger fishing trawlers. A dry dock was off to one side, where boats are being built and repaired. Walking through the piers, watching the latest catch being unloaded, only to be sold on the spot, or packed neatly into small delivery vans, destined for the markets.
People with little trays out with their catches from the row-boats. Everything from Moray Eels, rays and barracuda’s for sale. It was a lot quieter than we had expected. We sat up on the sea wall for a while, dividing our attention form the boats and action to the ocean itself.
Going for a quick walk along the beach, we were approached for camel rides along the beach, or horses, even quad bikes. Not wanting one, we walked on. As the clouds were setting in, we settled down for coffee. Just in time. The clouds opened up. Moving seats, we had to move again as the rain was coming in hard and fast now. It took a while to clear up, and we headed back to town. Walking through the back streets that were more for locals we got to see real Essaouira. It still has a very European feel about the place, and you could easily mistake yourself for being somewhere in Spain. Soup for dinner again. If you find the best place, why would you change?