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Essaouira, Morocco
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I was charmed, and you will be too Essaouira  Morocco

I was charmed, and you will be too

I’d like to express heartfelt thanks to my Portuguese fisherman ancestors for handing down in my DNA an innate passion for “all things ocean”. This would include boats, ships, ferries, fishing vessels, seaside towns, the smell of salt water, the rhythm of the tides, crashing waves, dolphins, whales and even mermaids. Sorry, too much information not relevant to this highlight, except -- all the above could explain why I fell so passionately in love with Essaouira. But as I write this, I begin to realize the absolute truth: the unending charms of this historic coastal city would win over anyone, regardless of their DNA.

If you’re visiting Marrakech and have a free day, you can and should spend it here. Take a bus with Supratours (a nice bus and inexpensive) and get here in about 2.5 hours. Or come by taxi if you like, and arrive in about the same time, for a cost of about 60 Euros. With a taxi, you’ll have the freedom to make stops to take pictures along the way. Either way, just add this place to your list; you won't regret it! If you need more convincing, here's a list: stunning scenery, small and quaint medina, wonderful shops and art galleries, the best seafood restaurants…

And finally, some name trivia: the Portuguese name (still used) for Essaouira is Mogador. The city was originally called Souira (the small fortress), after which the name became Essaouira (the beautifully designed). I couldn’t agree more !