As with Marrakech and Ouarzazate, we arrive in the
dark in December, this time in the pouring rain. Unfortunately our
hopes of a log fire in a cosy riad are dashed as all the interesting ones
appear to be full and we
end up in the somewhat sterile Hotel des Iles. In retrospect it is a
comfortable if rather anachronistic bit of 1940's design, apparently by the
same architect as La Mamounia in Marrakech.
I had almost been
avoiding Essaouira on the basis that a seaside town boasting pretty
fishing harbour, medina, fortifications and all the key attractions of a
tourist trap would be a huge disappointment. It turns out to be
really pleasant with no hassle at all and, although there are many
tourists, even coach loads, they do not seem to have taken the place over.
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