Yesterday, I traveled to the quiant city of Essaouria, famous for its decidant seafood, gorgeous beaches and, most importantly, the fact that it was back drop to a few “Game of Thrones” scenes. Remember in season three when Daenery’s got her first army of the unsullied? Yeah, well that scene was filmed right in the heart of Essaouria. The walk of punishment took place here as well. Although, I must admit it was hard to picture the scenes without all of the actors, props, etc. To me, it just looked like a regular old street, but you’re welcome to read more about it here.
Essaouria is located on the west coast of Morocco, about three hours north of Agadir. Our bus left at 8:00 a.m. so that we would have all day to explore the city. However, on the way, we stopped at an Argan Oil factory. For those of you who do not know what Argan Oil is, its what Moroccans call the famous Moroccan Oil that you see in hair salons. The Argan plant is indigenious to Morocco and used to produce oil which can be used in many ways such as in cooking, soap, lotions and, most famously, hair products. Here in Morocco, it is is very cheap to buy at places such as the Souk, but to get the real stuff in in America, it can cost you a pretty penny. The factory that I visted was a women-run cooperative which hires older, widowed women to deshell the argan seed and press it into oils. It was really a cool processes to watch, and the factory smelled heavenly. However, there is also a more natural way to attain this covetted oil which you can read about.
Once in Essaouria, we really did not do much except walk around the city and grab some food. However, there was so much to do in the city, so many little shops, beaches and restuarantes to explore that I decided I had to go back. Tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m., I plan to catch a bus ride back to Essaouria and spend the weekend there. It is a much more touristy area than Agadir which means that there are many more hostels and inexpensive accommodation. For example, I booked a hostel with a 9.1 rating our of 10 for only $3.52 a night. Crazy, right?
Overall, life in Morocco has been good. I am loving the people, the culture and most of all the food, but working in such a large group has been challenging. Walking around in a mob of 38 people who all have their cameras poised and ready can be both comical and embaressing at the same time. I am grateful to have been giving this oppurtunity, but it can be rather difficult at times – espeically with regards to making plans and decsion making. That being said, I have definitely learned a lot of valuable life lessons on how to work well in a group setting. I am very much looking forward to a weekend away from it all and Essaouria seems like the perfect place to unwind.
The weather here has been good, and I have been running in the mornings now. Over a month without proper excerise had me losing my sanity a bit. Today is a “work day” for our This is My Morocco blog, so make sure you check it out later to see the new posts. I also plan on walking over to the Souk one last time and doing some “laundry” (aka rinsing a few things in a bucket) before packing up all my stuff. I am sad to be leaving Agadir, but I also feel that it is time. I have experienced all that I desire to in this city, and I am ready to move on.
Also, on a side note, I hope you guys like the better quality pictures. I felt as though my previous posts have been lakcing so I really made an effort to step up my photography game and post some higher quality, edited, pictures. Enjoy!