Friday, October 25, 2013

Hello There!

After a big move across the country, I have decided it's time to move the old blog as well... Find me at from now on. You can also visit my website at

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Fishing Village

Life in Essaouira, much like the rest of Morocco, depends on the many tourists who visit. Along the coast though, especially in this town, it revolves around the abundance of fish in the Atlantic Ocean. Having spent a whole week here, as opposed to the usual day trip from bigger cities nearby, I really got a sense of just how important fishing is to the habitants of Essaouira. It is a major financial source as well as the heart and soul of the town. The fish port is open to anyone brave enough to handle the sights and smells and it is a thrill to watch the negotiations happen between the fishermen and local men. 

Needless to say, I enjoyed my fair share of langoustines, calamari, and fish, from home cooked tagines made by Amina, the fabulous housekeeper at our apartment, to upscale dishes in the town's nicest restaurants and grilled sardines on the street, all spectacular. To me, it is always a treat to be able to observe how ingredients get turned into a meal. In North America, there is such a huge disconnect between the food we purchase and the environment it was produced in. For the most part, we have to seek out opportunities to see how our food is grown, fished or raised, it doesn't come from the next block over. In Essaouira, your dinner just a stone's throw away and was fished that morning by the men you see at the port. It is that easy and, might I add, refreshing.

Next up on the itinerary is Marrakech, where the claustrophobia may kick in as the city is unanimously described as an overwhelming assault on all the senses. We are getting mentally prepared for craziness and are looking forward to the excitement.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Mellow Medina of Essaouira

In the medina, that densely populated walled section of a Moroccan city comprised of narrow streets and thousands of shops, you can find everything you need. Approach the small, low doors or the even tinier windows and the shopkeeper, plumber, electrician or pharmacist will find it, buried within the one square meter where he holds all of his goods and spends most of his time. Essentially, everything is kept in a space half the size of your average North American closet and it is very efficient.

I have never been a fan of giving my money to large chains, always preferring to encourage small, local shops. For me, it's a choice though. It is always an eye-opening experience to visit countries where big box stores and the idea of overindulgence in general is so foreign. As expected, there are no supermarkets or there is no such thing as "one-stop shopping" in Morocco. Instead, you get to know  the individual who sells you what you need and inevitably, you form relationships with these people. It is an incredibly social experience to "run errands" in Morocco and you can see the effect it has on the people in the medina; no one is ever too rushed not to stop and say hello to their neighbour on the street. Though I imagine I would miss not having a variety of flavours, sizes and options available at all times, there is something to be said about the kind of lifestyle that revolves around the medina. Where I come from, we could learn a thing or two from this.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sunset in Essaouira

Sunset is the loveliest time of day if you ask me. Having worked evenings for most of my life, I have  not had many opportunities to enjoy the beauty of it (the lack of sun in general in Vancouver doesn't allow for much of that golden hour  either.)  I guess my brain must associate sunsets with days off and vacations. Regardless of where I am in the world, I find it to be the most relaxing and mellow time and absolutely love strolling around town while the sun is setting, especially with my camera. Bliss.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting to Know Essaouira

Essaouira is a small, somewhat windy beach town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco famous for its whitewashed houses.  The Moroccan culture and daily life can be a touch overwhelming on the first day but I was told that Essaouira has amongst the most relaxed vibe in the country and I thought that it would be the perfect first stop for our trip across the country. I quickly found that it was this was true and, as things are getting more familiar here, I have definitely fallen under its spell.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Arrival at Dar Beida in Essaouira

Hello. Much has happened since I last stopped by here. My man and I left Vancouver, B.C and we have now begun to settle into our new home in Montreal, Quebec. After a crazy summer of preparing to relocate, we decided that, on top of a whole new life on the other side of the country, we needed a vacation and an adventure abroad. So here we are in Essaouira, Morocco. I have so much more to tell you but for now, a few photos of our home for the next week...

Friday, July 26, 2013

Jasmine at Sunset