Tuesday 15 September 2009

Mogador - The City of Wind (Day 20)

"The city of Mogador" - it sounds like a fairytale place from Tolkien's Lord of the rings, doesn't it?

Although it really looks like a city straight from a fantasy book, Essaouira is an easily reachable destination. It is one of top 5 Moroccan destinations and a go-to place for wind and kite surfers. Mogador is an old name given by the Portuguese who occupied the city in the 16th century. Some remains of their influence are still visible today.

Even if one could not feel the winds that are blowing literary all the time (hence the name "City of wind"), it would be easy to figure it out from countless seagulls effortlessly gliding over the city. Every time I passed by the fishing port area, I was just waiting to get crapped on.
Surprisingly even after countless photo sessions in the danger zone, I escaped unharmed.

Essaouira is easily one of the top five most photogenic cities in Morocco. Despite being quite small, it has loads of interesting streets and corners.

Skala de la Kasbah - a section of city's 18th-century walls, surrounding UNESCO World Heritage medina, is just one such example. Musée Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah, the beach, city souks and port are also places worth visiting.

Among everything else, Essaouira is also a city of music. Once a year Essaouira gnaoua music festival is held here. It usually takes place in June and attracts people from all over the world. There are also many gnaoua (also spelled gnawa) bands performing in Essaouira every day. Locals say gnaoua music is a genuine African mix of music influences and a link to the past.

Although we didn't catch the festival, we were lucky enough to participate in a relaxed music session with a local band. A local guy invited us to participate in an evening session of their gnaoua band. It was quite interesting to see them in action, playing traditional Moroccan instruments.
Locals were quite amused when I asked a member of the band if there are many music schools in Morocco. He just couldn't understand the concept of learning music in school. He said music is something you learn as you go - pick up an instrument and try to play. You simply feel it or you don't.

The atmosphere was really relaxed, with a strong scent of green in the air. Something tells me that smoking hashish is an important part of Moroccan music. That evening it felt almost like the fifth member of the band.


internet marketing services 22 September 2009 at 11:38  

now thats framing. a circular frame :P love your pictures. looks really nice.

Travel-PB 30 September 2009 at 08:18  

Thanks guys! You are welcome back anytime... there are more amazing photos still waiting to be published. ;)
I think this hole-in-the-wall is one of the most photographed spots in Essaouira.

whichwitch666 27 May 2011 at 14:53  

Dear Sir,

My name is Devlin Glasman and I work for a French world-music company called Mondomix, whose website is www.mondomix.com

We write an article in French every week called 'Postcard', in which we find an interesting place documented in a travel blog on the internet each week, and write an article about the place using some of the photos from the blog. We were wondering if you might be interested in sharing some of the pictures from your Essaouira gallery. We would only take the pictures without people in, and you would get full accreditation of course. We would also link to your blog at the end of the article for interested readers.

Please get back to me and let me know what you think,

Thanks for your time,

Devlin Glasman

Travel-PB 27 May 2011 at 17:20  

@Devlin Glasman:
I would be glad to share my photos, as long as you credit my blog properly.
As long as you do it in the way suggested, everything should be fine. I also don't have anything against you using photos with people in them, but of course I don't know what they think about such an idea. ;)

If you could send me a link to your published article, I would be most grateful.

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