Day 2 – Our coastal adventure south from Casablanca to Essaouira
After a delightful breakfast of strong Moroccan coffee, coconut yogurt, croissants, hard boiled eggs, homemade bread and apricot jam and a sort of pancake called a beghrir that was served with honey, we were fueled and ready for the day. We left Casablanca and headed south along an excellent road system to El-Jadida where the Portugese settled in the early 1500′s. We spent the morning exploring an old Portugese stronghold called Mazagan. We strolled with our guide Mohammed (or Mo-Mo for short) among the fortified walls facing the ocean.
Our very friendly and funny guide Mo-Mo (he really did want us to call him that) then took us through the market. We stayed a while in one particular store. Here, our Arabian nights fantasy became reality…
After seeing Amanda this way, Mo-Mo quickly offered us 1000 camels to marry her…we did decide however to decline this VERY generous offer…
After a yummy lunch of fresh fish, pizza?!!?, and the best calamari I’ve ever had, we got back into our van to continue our journey south along the coastal road to Essaouira. The journey south was breathtakingly beautiful with fertile farmland atop cliffs overlooking the sea. Here, in the countryside, it was clear that life has not changed in generations…except for the ubiquitous satellite dishes. During the long drive we stopped several times along the way to get out of the van stretch our legs and breath the perfume of the sea air.
Not so perfume-y were the public Turkish toilets….
Jamal also stopped to show us the strange twisted Argan tree which is important ecologically and economically. Vitamin-rich oil is extracted from the seed of the fruit and has a wide range of applications (ie: cosmetics and cooking).
We finally reached Essaouira around 6pm and found our way through the medina to our hotel, a 19th Century House where story goes artists like Jimi Hendrix stayed. We like Essaouria already and can’t wait to explore it more tomorrow.