The Medina of Essaouira

A three hour bus ride (including a 20 minute refreshment stop that really did only last 20 minutes, unlike the mountain ones) took me to this coastal town formerly known as Mogador, which makes it sound like the Dark Lord’s holiday resort. It’s actually a lovely little town, or at least the old bit, the medina, is. I didn’t really see any of the rest other than a reasonably grim walk from the bus station. It was founded in the 18th century by the sultan who wanted a commercial port. It is fortified in a European style and the buildings also have European architectural elements, including some nice carved stone arched door surrounds. The museum displays informed me that the layout of the streets was intended to break up the sea wind that blows for much of the year, but in the main street at least – a wide thoroughfare again of European influence – they seem to have failed. The alleys have a different style to those in Marrakesh and the place is much smaller and less frenetic.

Alley in Essaouira

Alley in Essaouira

 I’d memorised the directions through the alleys to a hostel I found recommended on-line and took a room in the female dorm in a nice friendly if slightly ramshackle traveller hang out. Generally I’m not bothered by unisex facilities but I do prefer all women dorms – they are quieter and smell nicer…

The port was an important trade portal and was also fortified. It’s now a fishing port. The arch in from the harbour is an interesting structure I thought:

Essaouira port gate

Essaouira port gate

 So this is my Lego model for today:

Lego Essaouira port gate

Lego Essaouira port gate

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