Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Essaouira - When a Small Village Becomes A Tourist Resort

  About 30 years ago, Essaouira was a quite fishing village, but now it's another place for tourists. The streets of the old town look like endless lines of gift shops and cafes overcrowded with tourists.

The town has an ancient history. The place was first occupied by Phoenician merchants and  the Romans. In the 16th century here came the Portuguese but two ages later a local sultan decided to turn the town into a big merchant port. At the beginning of the 20th century the French renamed the Essaouira into Mogador and reduced the trade. And finally, after the re-establishment of Morocco's  independence, it became a quiet place Essaouira again. In the 60's here came hippies and then came mass tourism as well.

Among the souvenirs there is a lot of colorful pottery...

...paintings of local craftsmen, depicting national subjects...

...and African fetishes typical of the Sub-Saharan part of the continent.

Such cats-leopards are very popular souvenirs in Morocco.

The puppet International!

Non-tourist marketing goes ahead mainly in the central street. It also looks like a long stretched marketplace.

There are small pigeonholes branching off the cental street - specialized markets. Here is, for example, the jewelers' street entrance.

Fish market.

Not all the fish is so tiny...

The majority of tourists live in the walled-off old town built in the 18th century.

A single room in the new town costs 60 Dh (about 5,5 Euro).

Horse taxi is even today popular in many towns and cities of Morocco.

The local industrial area.

A good view of Essaouira opens from the stronghold in the port. Admission costs about 1 Euro.

One more classical view.

It's very hard NOT to catch a flock of seagull in shot.

The reason for such a great amount of gulls here is probably this place, where fish scalers of local restaurants do their work...

... or maybe this small fish market in the port.

Local choice.

Local boats are all painted blue.

In the evening one can enjoy beautiful sunsets from the town-walls...

Joiner's shops in the town.

And some more picturesque views...

via zamkosmopolit

No comments:

Post a Comment