Overflowing with mint tea!
Trip Start Jun 12, 2007
129Trip End Ongoing
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We get dropped at the station and board the bus for Essouria. There’s not much to say about the journey really, one straight road took us there from Marrakech and we actually couldn’t see anything much through the windows – it was quite a bumpy journey though, that much I can say. Three hours later we arrive in Essouria and go and find the riad. The riad is, once again, quite beautiful and the owner was extremely friendly – he didn’t have the rooms we booked though and offered us a 3 person room instead – this was okay with all of us, so we dropped our bags and went to investigate.
Lunch was high on the agenda, so we wander round to find somewhere to eat. We find a fantastic place to eat – everything was perfect in there, the food was delicious again. I absolutely love Moroccan food, I am definitely going to purchase tagine pots and cook tagine at home, I’m addicted to it!!!! This time I have Tagine de Kefta, which Alex tells me is one of the most traditional dishes for the area – and essentially it is meatballs in tomato sauce with a poached egg on top, another firm favourite for me.
Afterwards we walk round the harbour to look at all the boats and then walk round the walls of the city and the fortification and then we make our way over to another of Alex’s friends shop – Alex is greeted warmly, she introduces us as her friends and we too are welcomed warmly – the chairs come out and mint tea is on its way. A couple of Alex’s other friends arrive at the shop and we all sit for a while chatting – these particular friends speak good English, so we are able to join in the conversation and answer questions about England. Yassir invites us to join him at the restaurant he works at this evening and we agree and say we’ll see him later. We wander off to visit another of Alex’s friends who is also extremely welcoming and hospitable – more mint tea flowing – I really am getting addicted to this stuff. Again we chat about life and Alex recounts various funny tales about previous visits and incidents with her friend, which we all have a good laugh about.
It’s actually a lot cooler by the coast – it’s quite windy here, so we go shopping to get something a bit warmer to wear tonight. By the time we’ve done that, we go back to the riad, get changed and go out again.
We go to the restaurant where we are greeted by the head of the family and are told "please come in and sit down, you are very, very welcome". The whole family is in there – they are celebrating a wedding. So we have yet more delicious food, accompanied with the now familiar Moroccan bread, which I adore. After the meal, once the family have gone, we go upstairs onto the terrace with Yassir and his friends and yes, you’ve guessed it – more mint tea!!!!!
The streets are practically empty by the time we leave and Yassir walks us back to the riad.
Essouria is way, way more laid back than Marrakech, its not as hot, not as bustling, and much, much more relaxed. It’s fantastic in its own way, but not the assault you get on the senses from Marrakech. There are not very many 'sights’ to see as such here – but to be honest we don’t need them – the experiences of meeting Alex’s friends and spending time getting to know them and learning a bit about the Moroccan way could never ever be replaced – absolutely priceless.