Also beyond Marrakech but to the west at the Atlantic coast is Essaouira. It is definitely Morocco's most dreamy town with a very distinctive sleepy feel in the air. The town is a melting pot of Portuguese, French, Arabic and Berber architecture and traditions. Essaouira invites you to forget about the world and you may even lose your daily troubles and cares while the town absorbs you into its laid-back lifestyle.
There is something magical about Essaouira as it lures you into a twilight zone somewhere between reality and fantasy. During the day as the sun shines high above the tall white houses in the medina with their indigo blue doors and shutters the town appears peaceful and fully engaged with its famous handcraft production of marquetry boxes and furniture carved from the thuya tree. At nightfall when everyone hurries home, the narrow dark alleys seem to whisper tales about the pirates who once found their refuge in the town.
We are currently in Essaouira to discuss the woodwork of our guesthouse with an old friend who is a carpenter. We have rented a charming little house in the medina just a few paces away from the main square and a short walk to the beach. There are many beautiful hotels and guesthouses in the medina but to rent a house or apartment in the old town is easy, often much cheaper and a great experience.
This evening we shopped around the fish and vegetable market, bought our favourite spices and dropped everything off at a small locality where they cook the tagine of your desire to take home. In Morocco this cooking service is commonly used as it is by far cheaper than eating in a restaurant and often much better as the ingredients of your choice are cooked in the traditional ceramic tagines.