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honeymoon - day 6 & 7: essaouira

last november about a month after returning home from our honeymoon, i shared 2 posts dedicated to our honeymoon adventure. (i recently went in and tweaked both of these posts too!):

1 // day 1 & 2: spain
2 // day 3, 4 & 5: marrakech

and then ... well i have no excuse. maybe the holidays kicked in. either way - i never shared the end of our adventure.

many of you know that somewhere between morocco - london - atlanta or nashville ... i lost my camera. thankful that we had wade's camera w/ a few random pictures here and there, i was still very heartbroken and incredibly disappointed w/ myself.

last week, our sweet friends ellen and nekos of black & white & loved all over spent their 5th anniversary in barcelona. like our honeymoon, it was a once in a lifetime trip. and unfortunately like our honeymoon, their camera (card) went missing. ellen wrote me knowing that i could relate to the disappointment she is feeling. attempting to comfort her, my advice was to journal everything and as soon as possible.

and so today ... i finally return w/ another honeymoon post (oh hey - 10 days short of our 1 year anniversary): day 6 & 7: essaouira.  i've had to borrow quite a few images and am so thankful for the world wide web & these beautiful sources.

oct 1st:

we woke up again to a yummy breakfast of warm olive muffins, yogurt and fresh fruit. then, we were driven back into marrakech to the airport to pick up our rental car. yes - we were about to DRIVE in morocco! i cannot even begin to explain the madness of driving in marrakech. it is a constant traffic jam of trucks, cars, scooters piled w/ 3 or more passengers, kids on bikes, pedestrians and stubborn donkeys.

{source: gaetan lemaitre via trekearth.com}

unfortunately to rent a car in marrakech we had to put several thousand dollars (quite possibly the price of the car) down as a deposit. something we didn't know in advance. and so we left for a weekend in essaouira w/ little more than the dirhams in our pockets and w/ the encouragement from our driver that if we were pulled over we could call him bc his uncle was rather high up in local government.

once we were outside of marrakech, we saw very few cars on the road and more importantly very few policemen. (there were a few police checkpoints ... but luckily we passed through w/o being stopped.) the drive was 2.5 hours long and stopped in a little village along the way for lunch. however - there weren't very many little villages - just a lot of sand and goats. and the occasional pack of men cooling beneath the shade of a lone tree.

{source: 1 // worldatlaspedia, 2 // topitopis, 3 // samba samba, 4 // horea_cnx, 5 // richard lozin - via panoramio}

finally, we arrived in essaouira! wade had booked us a room at hotel atlas directly on the ocean and about a half a mile from the medina. we were exhausted after a long (nervous) day of driving so we took baths and watched french dating shows and played cards a bit before heading into the medina to find a place to eat.

 {source: hotel atlas}

essaouira is absolutely beautiful. the narrow winding corridors of the medina were built in the late 18th century and so everyone walks. the walled city sits high on the cliffs over looking the atlantic and the original canons are still in place. fortunately, essaouira hasn't been overtaken by tourism. it is for the relaxed independent traveler - and lots and lots of hippies. (i was going to mention how jimi hendrix had once visited and wrote "castles made of sand" ... however - i've just found out that he wrote that 2 years prior to visiting essaouira. random fact for you!)

{source: 1 // roger godett, 2 // andreas leo urban, 3 // catriona knapman , 4 // besnard nicole, 5 // michael levy, 6 // csaba witz - via trekearth}

the food of morocco thus far had been so fresh and delicious - and yet we were craving italian food and indian. ha! luckily, katie and todd from peacock pavilions recommended silvestro cucina italiana - a little italian restaurant in the heart of the medina. yum!

oct 2nd:

after a good night of sleep, we decided to spend our last day in essaouira (and morocco) at the beach and poolside. our friend alex had rented us surf boards and wetsuits as part of his wedding gift. we wandered out to the beach to find our surf shop and when we finally did ... i chickened out. you have to understand. the beach was mostly men (morocco is a muslim nation - even though essaouira felt more european). and morocco is still a developing country. there are laws being passed regarding minimum age for marriage ... needless to say there's little demand to sort your plastics. oh and there were CAMELS on the beach.


wade gave it a good go though! (it was also not really surfing season - unfortunately. we'll make up for it in hawaii in just 2 short months!) and i sat on the beach (fully clothed) and enjoyed my book. once he was finished we went back to the hotel for salads and fruity drinks by the pool. oh - so that's what a "honeymoon" is supposed to be like. hee hee.

in the evening we headed back into the medina. there was little pressure to buy in essaouira in comparison to marrakech ... but we still had a few dirham burning a hole in our pocket. i looked at different paintings by local artists and also at aragan oil (boy if only i had known how much i would fall in love w/ that stuff just a few short months down the road). wade picked out a white linen shirt - ideal for hippie vacation though i can't say i've seen him wear it since. :) (i can't complain - i haven't worn my little pointy toed shoes either.)

as one last hoorah ... we decided to splurge a bit and eat at il mare over looking the ocean. oh my! 

 {source: essaouira.pro}

with very full bellies, we headed back to our hotel room for one final night in essaouira. early the next morning, we would drive back to marrakech. from there we would fly to england and spend 8 hours wandering the streets of london (we were ambitious ... our layover was from 9pm to 7am). then we boarded another plane to atlanta and from there finally back to nasvhille. 

yes we were sleep deprived. which definitely explains how i could walk off w/o our camera. but we were also so thankful for the fantastic memories that we had made during our trip! oh hey - and we were married AT LAST! and who knows - maybe we'll just have to visit (move to) morocco someday soon! ;)

the grand finale: the ONLY shot of us in essaouira. with a photo that magical ... all you can do is laugh!


Ellen Mallernee Barnes said...

I am dying laughing that that is one picture you have from that locale! I love that you posted it. hahaha. looks like a beautiful place to have visited! Glad you wrote it all down. Love, E

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