Posts tagged ‘Essaouira’

Morocco: Re-capped

It’s becoming a bit of a tradition now for me to re-post all the photos I’ve published from our latest trip in one gallery of images. I quite like doing it because it acts as a useful photo-blogging “full-stop” to indicate that I’ve finished with one set of images (published over a number of posts in the last few weeks and months) and that I’m now moving on to something else. It also of course gives visitors to my blog an easy way to catch-up and review all the images I’ve posted of the trip in one convenient post.

As I see no reason to break with tradition now, here is my final post from our recent-ish mini tour of Morocco, a gallery of all the images that I’ve posted on this subject over the past few weeks.

One final thing, because I don’t have any festive seasonal shots to share with you this year, I’m going to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The support, encouragement and inspiration I glean from the photo community on WordPress never ceases to amaze me, so here is a big heartfelt thanks to everyone who has visited or followed my blog throughout 2015……it really is much appreciated.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Essaouira Sunset

Before I took any of these shots…..I slipped over on the wet rocks!!

My hat and sunglasses went flying (the latter not to be found again) and I banged up my left arm pretty badly and I suspect cracked a rib or two. I say suspect, because I didn’t go and get it checked out mainly because spending a few hours in a Moroccan A&E wasn’t exactly high on my list of things to do and also because unless you break a rib to the point where it punctures a lung, then there isn’t really anything they can do……you just have to rest up and take pain killers.

Thankfully the camera remained undamaged and I was determined to take a few shots of the sunset before I hobbled back to the Riad:

Unfortunately I was in quite a lot of pain and discomfort for the remainder of the trip (and for three or four weeks when we got home) and although my darling wife did a great job of patching me up it did somewhat curtail what we had planned to do in the Atlas Mountains….our final stop on our mini tour of Morocco.

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Essaouira: Moroccan Music

Whilst wandering atop the ramparts in Essaouria, I came across these guys playing some traditional Moroccan music. In Morocco it has become the custom for the locals to expect a few dirhams in exchange for tourists taking photos of them. However, in this case, the musicians weren’t really in a position to demand payment from the gathering throng of onlookers, because they were being filmed for some music video or documentary by an American film crew.

Iwould have been pretty silly of me not to take advantage of the situation and grab a few shots for myself……

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Introduction to Essaouira

By way of introduction to the fortified harbour town of Essaouira on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, here are a couple of shots of the late 18th century walled medina which, in 2001, was added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage Sites. In stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, Essaouira has a charming and relaxed atmosphere that make it a joy to explore. 

Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Goats in Trees

I’m posting these four shots as a warning to future travellers to Morocco.

Although it is natural for the goats to climb into the branches of the Argan trees (after the Argan nuts that are used to produce the very expensive Argan oil) the wily old goat-herds have caught on to the fact that this unusual sight is very popular with the tourists making the 2 to 3 hour road trip from Marrakesh to Essaouira. Consequently the goats are often “encouraged” into the trees closest to the roadside (and sometimes even tethered to make sure that they stay in place) to entice the unsuspecting traveller to stop and take photographs. The goat-herds (who initially remain hidden) then suddenly appear “demanding” money for the privilege of taking a few snaps.

Now don’t get me wrong, Morocco is a poor country and life for many is pretty tough. Therefore I don’t generally have an issue with enterprising locals trying to make a few extra dirhams from comparatively wealthy Western tourists, especially as the whole business is conducted in a fairly good-natured manner…..or at least it was in our case. However there is something about the exploitation of animals in this way for the amusement of tourists that does make me feel a bit uncomfortable….

Goats in Trees, Road to Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

Goats in Trees, Road to Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

Goats in Trees, Road to Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

Goats in Trees, Road to Essaouira, Morocco, North Africa

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

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