- Posted November 27, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Morocco: From surf to Sahara
This is the party town of morocco – the bodrum of morocco, the Ibiza of morocco although they also have chefchaouen. Anyways this coastal town is famous for the gnaoa festival which takes place every year around the 20 of June thereabout for 4-5 days. This is the time when the festival is at its climax. Although I didn’t know all this I think destiny had it in store for me that I came to essaouira on the 21 of June in the evening.
The beach is windy so it’s good for surfing that’s more than it. It doesn’t have the jet skis, the banana boats etc.
the medina is just a 5 minute walk from the main bus station so there is no need to take a taxi or any transportation which a lot of hustlers would want you to take but you just need to be firm though not rude at saying no.
once inside the medina there are lot of riads in close proximity so there is no need to worry about accommodation or if one is really tied with one then one can pitch a tent on the beach. Lolz! Wouldn’t recommend it for those people who have camera’s and other expensive stuff with them especially at the time of the festival.
Most of the activity in essaouira is normally limited in the precincts of the medina and especially at the time of the GNAOA festival. The festival comprises a number of individual concerts and other events. If someone has been to the WSF (world social forum) events where they have numerous activities taking place at different times would normally understand how the thing works. So all these events start from the noon time till late at night. This is also the time when all the small riads and apartments are occupied and small time people when they see tourists start renting out their apartments for a few nights.
This could be a good option but one should be wary as there have been some reports of petty crimes and you can’t count on the police since the place you are staying is not registered.
Furthermore the best events are reserved for the night right at the entrance of the Bab e medina – I guess that was the name! This is place where the best atmosphere can be seen from 11 pm onwards until 2 am. Though I should be putting a word of caution that when one goes at night to this and one should then leave your money and camera’s in the place you are staying since there are lots of fights when the concert takes place and there are trained pick pockets and hustlers who waste no time in ridding you of your valuables when you are busy in looking at what’s happening. These people hunt in packs so it’s very difficult for individual people to do anything so it’s better to maintain a low profile.
The atmosphere in the concerts is amazing although with lots of people on a high! So one should take care that one is not flying and talking to the sky!!!! The Moroccans dance on these tones adroitly and their movements would make any ballerina go to shame. A lot of the performers are gangta rap artists, French ones and the local ones. The one thing common in them is they can grab audiences.
The medina is one big place with a number of alleys and Babs (doors). I think Bab – zerktouni is famous for the two restaurants one is a pizza place and the other serves very good breakfast. So in different bab’s one would find different stuff like there are places which are reserved for restaurants and others where they sell souvenirs and traditional wares etc. one can also find a lot of football t shirts , sunglasses etc for nominal prices although you would need to bargain a lot.
I spent around 3 days in essaouira and would like to come here again. Finally had to bid farewell to this city for Marrakech.