All Moroccan provinces are very different from each other by the landscape, relief, residents and other features. I want to start the story with the most colorful part. Morocco produces very small amount of oil and natural gas from the pool of Essaouira and a small amount of natural gas from the Gharb pool. Essaouira is my favorite city of Morocco, a city of poets and artists.
Essaouira (Mogador in the past) is a real Moroccan town, situated on a strip of the Atlantic coast, where winds blow throughout the year, but the city is known for its mild climate. There is a broad band of the public beach in Essaouira, but you rarely see people bathing, it’s a good place for windsurfing. The sea is dirty and cool, and the city specializes in fishing and it is a seaport. In the 1970s city was filled with hippies, but now it is still very attractive for artists.
Women in Essaouira don’t wear black and usually choose pastel shades of clothing. They knit scarf as Al-Amir, Hijab or Dupatta. Moroccan women do not wear jilbab and burqa, you can see niqab rare. By the way, the selection of scarves is amazing. In general I advise you to dress warmer in Essaouira, because there are very strong winds.
Rich Moroccans and European tourists buy fish in the morning. Local people come to market later, taking what was left, but much cheaper than in the morning. Fish can be immediately cleaned and fry in any restaurant nearby or right at the market in small tents.
But, as in other cities of Morocco, medina is a stratagem of narrow and crooked streets, whileall the streets are wide in the city. So, a huge Souq Jadid is divided into two parts by the city’s main arteries; Merchants sell fish and spices daily, they also sell second-hand clothes and items for collectors, which are called jute.
Arborvitae grows in the surroundings of Agadir and Essaouira, this tree is the source of prosperity for many residents of the country. Solid wood of arborvitae smells good and very much appreciated. Masters of Arborvitae make coffee tables, boxes, statuettes, boxes and chests, toys and decorations. They decorate products by inlaid with wood of Schisandra or other citrus, pearl or ebony, sometimes adding silver and gold threads or plates of camel bone. Looking into any backyard under the fortress walls of Essaouira or walking on the Jewish Quarter, you will see the best in the country cabinetmakers and masters for the production of a mosaic from colorful pieces of Arborvitae at work in their workshops.
Morocco — is the intersection of Africa and the Arab flavor. Landscapes are different. Following the same road, you will see picturesque rocks with lush vegetation and wastelands, roasting under the scorching sun.
The wide beach of Agadir attracted even the princes of Saudi Arabia. And not for nothing is the best place for a beach holiday. A wide selection of restaurants and cafes on the waterfront.
Argan — is amazing tree that grows only in Morocco. The indigenous population of Morocco — the Berbers — with pride and love call it ‘tree of eternal youth and life’. The tree provides material for construction and fuel, food for humans and animals, oil and medicines. The secret of cooking miraculous argan oil is transferred from generation to generation in Berber families. My every visit to Morocco always ends with suitcase full of bottles of oil for myself and my friends.
And now about the sights. Usual goats climb to the top of the argan tree deftly and quickly and eat the fruits fearlessly. Waste, produced by goats, create the basis for the preparation of oil for food and cosmetics.
Marrakech — one of the ancient capitals of Morocco, located at the foot of the Atlas Mountains. Old town, medina, surrounded by multi-kilometer wall. His heart — square Jemaa-El-Fna — is listed in UNESCO World Heritage List. Marrakech — is the center of the eastern exoticism and entertainment. So let’s see: What can you find in Marrakech?
Entartainment. Jemaa-El-Fna is a huge area in which various people walking and working. From the snake charmers to drug dealers and various shady characters, they are trying to make money on anything. If you take a picture of any person, he will ask for money, come back with the police and will be right. Street artists and snakes look interesting, but they quickly make you tired.
There are a lot of dirt, food, etc on the square. It organized tent-table, where boiled sheep’s head and other local delicacies are hanging, right on the medina at the weekend. When I had been at area for the first time, I wanted to leave and not come back here ever. Huge crowd pressure, the noise and stuffiness are here.
If you do not like street musicians there are a lot of other things to do for you: theatrical performances and dances, local clubs and numerous stalls and shops or a coach with horses. The driver will take you to the hotel or just ride around the city, though the smell is not especially good.
Food. You can buy everything: delicious olives, spices (including saffron), freshly squeezed orange juice. There are several good restaurants. If you are not finicky, you can eat right on the square, there is a very tasty cooked food. But be prepared, everything is very spicy.
What exactly you need to try: meat tagine, couscous, Moroccan tea, snails, lamb, camel milk and airy delicious flatbread.
Must-have items. I bring your attention to my shopping list:
1) Spices and saffron
2) Alunite and dry perfume.
Alunite — a mineral that is antiseptic, natural deodorant does not clog pores and is not harmful. There are 4-5 kinds of —, most pleasant for me -‘Amber’, ‘Musk’ and ‘Jasmine’. They seemed to melt in your hands and leave the trace on the skin with subtle sweet scent of the East. Small pieces can be put in a closet with clothes or linens as a flavoring.
3) Beautiful carpet
4) Wooden artefacts
6) Antiquities and rare things, teapot and tagine
7) Lamp or chandelier in oriental style
8) National clothes (caftan), shoes, leather
In Morocco babouche (ba-bush) are national leather shoes with curved backs and pointed toes, this shoes worn by almost everyone in the country. You can buy Moroccan babouche in any shop. Moroccan men prefer to wear white or yellow shoes, and women prefer shoes with different decoration and embroidered with traditional designs in different color. Also shoes are made not only in the classic version, but there are shoes with a platform and a blunt nose.
The leather is incredible, so be sure to buy at least one bag made of buffalo or camel in ethnic style.
Places to visit. Woman Argan cooperative is an extraordinary place. You will see from beginning to the end how to create argan oil. Women are very pleasant and friendly, they will show you everything and give it to try. Cooperatives are typically located between the cities, although you can find women and their work in the market.
Theatre Royal in Marrakech is a miracle of Moroccan architecture. The building, designed by the project of the famous architect Charles Boccara, located at the intersection of broad avenues Mohammed VI and Hassan II. You can get to the interesting performance and various exhibitions.
Koutoubia Mosque (Mosque of booksellers) located near Jemaa-El-Fna Square. It is the largest mosque in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, it is known for its superb 69-meter minaret.
At the end of the 15th century Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur began to equip this place for a luxurious tomb for himself systematically. Ahmed al-Mansur took his eternal resting place in the Tomb of Saadians in 1603. Princes of royal blood were buried with him. More than 170 wives of the Sultan, as well as his first counselors, are buried in the garden around the mausoleum. The tomb of Saadians take a pride place in the top list of tourists.
Bahia Palace in Marrakech was started to build in 1880. The name means «palace of Beauty». The palace was built for one of the twenty-four lawful wives of Sidi Moussa — Grand Vizier of the sultans Moulay Hassan and Moulay Abd al-Aziz. The palace is like a huge labrint. There is a rumor that Gladiator was filmed here.
The last thing you can find in Marrakech — thieves. It is perhaps the most unpleasant part of my story. I was lucky, it passed me. However, be careful, thieves sometimes ride motorcycles and snatching things, and you do not have time to understand.
I hope my article will be useful for people, who interested in other cultures and like to travel. Enjoy it and leave me comments, please. It will be article about the favourite garden of Yves Saint Lauren soon.