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morocco: essaouira

After the sand dunes of the Sahara and the beehive of Marrakesh, the lazy Atlantic coastal town of Essaouira provides yet another of Morocco's many contrasts. Named Mogador by the Portuguese, the town was long a Barbary pirate haven, and its windswept ramparts and traditional fishing port still remind of its notorious past.

Essaouira - 1

Essaouira - 2

Essaouira - 3

As local legend tells it, the Castle Made of Sand here (the ruins of the Bordj el Berod watchtower) was the inspiration for the Jimi Hendrix song. (Other accounts deny this, but that doesn't discourage the locals.)

Update: For more photos of Essaouira and Morocco, see Jorrit's blog.

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morocco: m'hamid

On the edge of the Sahara, at the end of the asphalt road, lies the sleepy town of M'Hamid (with the h pronounced with excessive aspiration), where the camel caravans used to embark on their 52 day journey to Timbuktu, to return laden wit… Read the full post »

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