The bus from Agadir to Essaouira was scheduled for 8 AM, so we had to get up pretty early. We packed our backpacks, payed the bill for our stay in the very nice Hotel Tiznine and left for the station.
We didn't know how long it would take us to find a petit taxi, so we left a little early. As soon as we got to the main road a little Fiat Uno pulled over. After a short negotiation process, the driver agreed to take us to the station for 12 Dirhams, which was quite OK.
We got to the station about a half an hour too early. Since we had bought our tickets in advance (at the CTM headquarters), we didn't need to get involved in tiresome haggling over the ticket price. Those guys looked really disappointed when we told them we already had our bus tickets. Instead we took a seat at a modest (but quite expensive) café and ordered a mint tea.
The moment we ordered our drinks I realized we didn't ask about the price. Obviously that can happen even after more then two weeks in Morocco. I am pretty sure they charged us a double or even triple price for those two glasses of mint tea. I guess every lesson has a price. We took this lesson more then once, during our stay in Morocco. Since it was usually just drinks, it didn't matter all that much.
We were already getting tired of waiting when our bus finally arrived. Before all the passengers got off, the new ones got on and all the bags were loaded in, the departure was already delayed for 45 minutes. In the end we finally got on our way.
Including a single half way stop, the ride was nothing special. Again there were many fossils and minerals on offer. Of course freshly prepared couscous was also available.
The stop didn't take long, so soon enough we reached our destination.
First we had to find a way from the bus station to the old city center within the city walls of Essaouira. It was quite a task to get rid of all the annoying locals, offering a place to stay. We had a place picked out from the Lonely Planet Guidebook. I think we chose the cheapest one listed in the budget accommodation section - the Hotel Souiri.
When we finally located it, we were unpleasantly surprised to learn that the price jumped for 100 MAD for a double room without a bathroom. Since the place looked really clean, we agreed to take the only free room they had.
The hot sun has drained M. of even that little energy she had left. That meant she decided to test our new bed for a while. I went out to wander the streets alone for a while. After an hour of much needed rest she joined me and we went exploring the walled city together.
Pretty soon we learned that this city is also quite touristy, but with lots of character when compared to Agadir.
It was really fun to wander its narrow streets. If you are looking for a photogenic location in Morocco, you definitely can't go wrong with Essaouira.
Next to the port we found stalls with fresh fish, which are ready to be served in a matter of minutes. Fish were really fresh - some even still alive.
We treated ourselves with two huge fish (a red snapper and a sea bass). Together they weighed just over a kilo. It was a real feast (not very cheap, but definitely worth the money). Afterwards we were quite exhausted and decided to call it a day. We agreed to check out the port and the city walls on the next day.
When we got to the hotel, a quick shower followed and then it was time to get some sleep. I think I fell asleep the second I closed my eyes.