2 days in Essaouira
Trip Start Apr 04, 2006
80Trip End Oct 23, 2006
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Summer introduces us to the members of a local band, who were so good that I had to buy their CD. We were also privileged to hear the drumming of Rhani Krija. He is quite a celebrity here - he has toured with Sting on his Sacred Love tour. Check him out at www.rhanikrija.com - the man is gifted! I was completely captivated by the rhythms.
On the 2nd night, I had the honour of meeting this man & conversing with him for a couple of hours. He was gracious to extend an invitation of hospitality if I had difficulty finding a place to stay in Marrakech
This is also the place to buy Thuya wood products. The roots of the Thuya tree is used for carved objects that produce a beautiful burled effect whilst the trunk of the same tree is used in the inlay work (along with other native wood and mother of pearl). The intricacy of the inlay work would take your breath away. True to form, the 2 pieces that I fell in love with, were the most expensive! Surprise, surprise :-) A large jewellry box (constructed to hold my gems - yeah right!) was 7500 Dirhams or $850 USD and a large floor vase was 8000 Dirhams or $900 USD. While I was commiserating the expense, the storekeeper smiles and tells me that it's just that I admire true art not that I just pick expensive things. Kind words, but they did not produce the cash that I needed to buy ... heehee. Oh well ... another time ... after winning the lottery.
One rich experience that I was able to afford was an upscale hammam. At a whopping 180 Dirhams or $20 USD, I had personalized service. Each of us was assigned our own washbed and a woman to scrub, shampoo, & massage us. Quite a step up from the 8 Dirham, floor experience ... lol. At the end of that session, I just wanted to run around telling everybody to touch me. My skin felt like that of a baby's.
Last unforgettable experience is the abundance of fresh seafood. A series of seafood stalls with attached dining facilities allow you to choose your fresh catch; which is then grilled and served with salad, fries, bread, and a drink. Seafood prices are set by the gov't and posted on a board outside the square. You just have to keep an eye on the weight.
I really did not take the time to browse the art shops as I should. There were some great examples of small paintings on skin that would have made great gifts. Oh well ... sigh ... I'll just have to return with my lottery winnings!