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Essaouira:”The rhythms of Essaouira”



The world in Morocco flows according to natural and cultural rhythms.

Experiencing the sun setting into the Atlantic Ocean on our first night has been complemented with the sun setting from the ramparts of the medina on our second night before heading to a local restaurant, Talos, for dinner.


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As the sun finally disappeared below the horizon, which, in the last few moments, happens quickly, the flocks of tourists stood near the ramparts of the Medina under the flocks of seagulls zooming above, applauded and one woman even said "Well done" to the sun as if the sun had an option about setting.

We then proceeded to answer the call of our hunger with a seafood feast.



We started with an entree--and by entree I mean a mountain of local seafood delicacies caught by fisherman at Essaouira's port. The catch was meagre because the boats hadn't gone to sea that day due to the windy conditions. We still had plenty of seafood. You know the old saying, "I love seafood. I see food and I eat food." Then a crab mornay, lamb, pineapple with caramel and mint sauce (I know, unusual) and crème brûlée.



Gnawa Rhythm & Soul Music

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We swayed and moved to the entrancing rhythms of a musical ensemble playing Gnawa music. The Gnawa are an ethnic group who were brought to Morocco as slaves, and their ancestry is traced to sub-Saharan West Africa. After the abolition of slavery, they became a part of the Sufi order in the Maghreb.


The head musician plays a traditional sintir, also known as the guembri, gimbri or hejhouj, a three stringed skin-covered bass plucked lute used by the Gnawa people. It is approximately the size of a guitar, with a body carved from a log and covered on the playing side with camel skin. He leads the backing singers, who accompany the sintir player using hand-held metal clappers that add a driving rhythmic power to the vocals and instrumation. These clappers are plain metal with elastic loop fasteners for thumb and finger.


The music entrances and mesmerises with its rhythmic patterns.


And equally importantly, our travel buddies shared stories, laughter and reflections of our journey so far. It concluded a day of fascinating sights, sound and smells and highlighted the pleasures of once again visiting destinations across the world. At the moment, that means Morocco.


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