Kicking Back in Essaouira
Just a few hours to the west, the walled city of Essaouira has a much more relaxed vibe than frenetic Marrakesh. Perhaps, it’s the seaside setting, or quite possibly its the town’s history as a key destination on the hippie trail. Both Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens found their way here in the ’60s, and – more importantly – I happened through in the late ’80s. If those ramparts look a little familiar, that might be because they were used in Orson Welles’ Othello and they pop up in Game of Thrones as part of Astapor.
This town has had a special place in my heart for years, and I really wanted Thomas to see it. There something magical about wandering along the historic walls or through the narrow back streets of the medina. You feel that you are walking in the footsteps of pirates and explorers. Yes, the vision of women floating through the streets in their ghostly white haïks has faded into the past, but you can still feel Essaouira’s authenticity: it’s the stingrays and morays in the market, the traditional fishermen and boat builders, the dilapidated back alleys full fruit and olive vendors. The city is something special. Perhaps in another 27 years, we’ll come back and experience it again.