I have learned the hard way that if some place holds a special memory in your heart, it is dangerous to return. Time marches on and things change. And, when you see all the "progress", it usually doesn't mix well with special memories. I love Essouria, a beautiful fishing village on the coast. I'm not sure I can ever return. I read that it is now big on the wind surfing circuit. That might be great for the economy but certainly not the ambiance.
You went to Essouira for sea food and incredible inlaid woodwork. I ate lots of shrimp and bought plenty of the woodwork (as well as a Blue Berber rug that I couldn't pass by). However, a lot of time was just spent at streetside cafés, watching the world go by. There were two choices to drink at most places in Morocco. You ordered either mint tea or café au lait. I never drank coffee before living in Morocco, but there was so much milk that is was kind of like hot chocolate. I still can only drink coffee if it has a lot of milk and hopefully some French vanilla, hazelnut or caramel drizzle in the mix.
Essouira's old city was a fortress with a massive wall surrounding it, dark arching passageways, cobblestone streets where beautiful children like this little girl played and a magnificent rampart along the ocean's edge. Unbelievably, and probably no longer, there were budget hotels overlooking the rampart and ocean. My hotel of choice was built into the wall and overlooked the city on one side and the ocean's pounding waves on the other. I could hear the sound of the ocean all night long. There was no other place I'd rather stay whenever I visited Essouira. Of course, you paid for this kind of ambiance. My hotel was $6.00 a night!
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