The following day we decided to take a day trip to Essaouira (pronounced ‘es-sweera’ in Arabic) a seaside port town with a long history in trade.

On the way there we spotted some goats in trees, perched at the top like monkeys. I kid you not! (That pun was unintentional) We were driving along an area that produces argan oil, similar to olive oil and unique to this part of the world. Berber women harvest the fruits in spring and feed them to goats, whose digestive juices dissolve the tough elastic coating on the shell. The nuts are then siphoned from the goats’ dung and the kernels are processed into oil. The goats are known to climb the trees in search of the nuts and can be spotted swaying at the top. Due to the high demand for argan oil around the world (I believe it is the same as ‘Moroccan Oil’) the process has been cut short and the goats are used less and less.
 The European influence is apparent it the architecture in Essouira; it looks similar to towns in Brittany, France and the port was designed by the same Frenchman as Saint-Malo.  It has a cool sea breeze which reputedly drives people crazy (there were some weirdos walking around begging) and seagulls scream incessantly overhead.
I fell in love with the harbour, it was so quaint and picturesque! I could have spent the whole day there photographing the cobalt blue fishing boats and the day’s catch but unfortunately Chris isn’t a huge fan of fish, far less the smell of their guts! The medina seemed more Mediterranean than Moroccan, with blue windows and whitewashed walls.
 After a quick lunch of shrimp & calamari pizza washed down with a cold Fanta (my favourite holiday drink) we headed for the beach. We stripped down to our bikinis only to realise we were the only women doing so, everyone else was in burkhas or long sleeved shirts and trousers. I didn’t even spot a 'bhurkini'. Oops. No wonder there were so many clusters of young Moroccan boys liming on the beach fully clothed. Luckily, the beach quickly filled up and we were joined by other naked, obnoxious tourists.


That night we roamed the souqs in Marrakech, scoping out bargains and trying to figure out what we could fit in our hand luggage! Very tricky and we had to be strategic, even though we wanted to buy EVERYTHING there; lamps, rugs, trinkets, bowls and babouches for every member of our family...More on that later :)