Friday, February 3, 2017 | Morocco – Agadir-Ida ou Tanane, Agadir | Petra
PLEASURE IN MOROCCO
OVERCOME THE CULTURE SHOCK
Every day more we spend in Morocco, we take it more and more to our heart. The people are very friendly and open. We like a lot of what we see and we’re happy to have the possibility of exploring this country step by step.
Medina of Essaouira in the evening
Essaouria we like very much. The port, that enjoys the poetic byname ”Sleeping Beauty”, should have lost a lot of it’s nativeness during the last years. Tourism is the reason. We learn it from visitors who often visited the city and noticed the changes. And still it is enchanting what we see and feel. This city is filled with a very special atmosphere. It feels easy and very relaxed. If it is the spirit of peace-living artists and hippies from the late sixties or Jimi Hendrix, who also spent some days here?
In any case this town is a special something. With the wide sandy beach, many cafès, the old harbor and the beautiful medina (old town), which was nominated UNESCO world cultural heritage in 2001. We drift through the pretty alleys full of colors and smells in the evening and during daylight. So many shops and still more goods cluster around the customers. Argan oil, no doubt, is a must have. It promises health and beauty. Win follows the recommendation well-behaved and buys a small bottle on test. And yes, I mean I can see him gaining beauty every day.
While Win enjoys a treatment in a flavorsome hamam, I stroll through the picturesque medina alone. I resist all the temptation of Morrocan artwork bravely and just watch intently. But not too intently otherwise I would have to enjoy an absolutely ”not binding” sales talk at once.
Am Hafen setze ich mich in die Sonne und beobachte das lebhafte Treiben. Die Lieblingsfarbe kleiner Mädchen ist hier auch Pink. Ein Vater sorgt liebevoll aber bestimmt für Ordnung, als sich vier Kinder darum streiten, wer als nächstes mit dem kleinen Fahrrad fahren darf. Alles also genau wie bei uns.
Meine Beobachtungen werden unterbrochen von Mustafa. Respektvoll nimmt er neben mir auf der Parkbank Platz und beginnt mit mir über dieses und jenes zu plaudern. Ich schätze ihn auf 25 Jahre und kann mir ein Grinsen nicht verkneifen, als er recht zügig zur Sache kommt. Er betont meine Schönheit und fragt, ob er meine Augen sehen dürfe, die ich hinter meiner Sonnenbrille versteckt halte. Pardon nein, weise ich ihn sanft in die Schranken, das sei ausschließlich meinem Ehemann gestattet. Das hilft und Mustafa meint, er hoffe, dass ich glücklich mit meinem Mann bin. Um nicht doch Gefahr zu laufen, mich spontan in einen anderen zu verlieben, verabschiede ich mich bald freundlich von meinem jugendlichen Verehrer und schwebe davon. Ich bin schließlich verabredet mit meinem Mann, der soeben mit seinem wichtigen Termin (im Hamam) fertig ist.
Sich als Marokkaner eine (seiner Vorstellung nach) „reiche“ Europäerin zu angeln, hat sich als mögliches Lebensmodell im Land durchaus etabliert. Wie heißt es so schön in einem Online-Artikel von Nadine Ahr in der ZEIT: „Frauen, die sich von ihren marokkanischen Männern ausnehmen lassen – auch das sind Geschichten, von denen es in Essaouira so viele gibt wie Möwen am Hafen.“ Nur Mustafa, das konnte ich spüren, der hat es wirklich ernst mit mir gemeint – echt jetzt. 😉
Ein bisschen schwer fällt es uns schon, Essaouira wieder zu verlassen. Nicht nur wegen Mustafa. Wir wollen an der Küste weiter fahren in Richtung Agadir.
Marakech verschieben wir, weil uns jetzt der Sinn eher nach friedlicher Natur als vibrierendem Stadtleben steht.
The route we’ve chosen quickly leads off tarmac road on to rough gravel roads. First we drive up the hills and later down again on narrow winding roads until we go through a hidden fishing village called Tafedna. It’s placed on a wide natural sandy beach. The only road is filled with people, men only, all more or less busy. At first sight the road ends up here at the boats. But the men at the blue boats friendly wave at us and encourage us to move on. Yes, going through is possible. Obviously our map is right and the dusty gravel road leads through the village and through a small river along the coast.
We both are too much amazed about this extraordinary location und the question „Will we make it?“. There is no chance for me to think about taking any pictures. Later when we leave the village behind and drive uphill we get a wide view over the Atlantic Ocean and countless argan trees. Now the camera is put to use again.
It’s lonesome up here. Nothing’s there far and wide. Nevertheless sometimes a human being, a sheep herd or a dromedary appears anywhere. Also sometimes a couple of houses and many waving and shouting children. ”Bonbon! Bonbon!” – they want to have sweets or something else tourists always have, of course.
Some 70 kilometers we’re on our way and finally stop for today at Imsouane, a surfer’s oasis. We enjoy spicy vegetarian Tajine and mint tea in the warm sun viewing the ocean and the sporty surfers – convincing reasons for staying here. In our guidebook the location is described as boring and spoiled, not worth an excursion. We feel it different. We like the area with beach cafés and surfer shops (we simply fade out the oversized mast). On our search for a good place for the night we get an ultimate perfect tip from a nice guy passing by. Some meters outside the village, a path on the left of the main road leads right to the cliffs. Some other trucks and caravans with suitable wheels are there already and it’s pretty cool there, he says.
He is absolutely right, it’s really cool. Some vehicles are spread in the middle of a landscape of sand, stone and green. We just parked our truck on a suitable plateau when all of a suddena woman appears in a distance. She is dressed in bright colors and her face is beaming with joy. For sure she will ask for shoes or clothing, we think for a second by ourselves. But again we completely deceive ourselves.
A fantastic location for the night
WARM HEARTED MALEGA
In fact she gives a a warm welcome and shakes hands with us. She slaps my back and obviously is happy to meet us as if we were knowing each other for years. She accompanies us some meters on our walk and after a while waves goodbye when she leaves to go for the village.
Not until later we realize that she is living at the cliffs with her children. Presumably we simply took room in her front yard without asking and she friendly welcomes the surprise guests.
The next morning we get to know Malega and her three daughters Fatima, Hannen and Asma. The girls, approximately 18, 15 and 11 years old, are as happy to meet us as her mum Malega. We like it very much and it feels pretty good.
During a talk with Malega and her eldest daughter Fatima fluently using hand and feet, arabic, english and french language, I dare to ask if I’m allowed to take a picture. Both are enthusiastic about it and prepare themselves for the picture.
Photographing is an important event. That’s why within a second the happy smiles disappear from their faces and they now watch at me with a serious expression according to the occasion. I give them a print of their picture which makes them more than happy.
And here the younger girls, Hannen and Asma, come back from their visit to the village. Even from a distance Malega calls them to come quickly for taking pictures. Malega asked me before if I would do her the favor. Together we have a lot of fun during the session. Each girl alone, then all three daughters together, then the daughters with her mother and at least little Asma together with the European woman Petra. Asma softly caress my back and snuggles up to me trusting. Isn’t that sweet?
To get prints of all the pictures is the highlight at all. I am happy with Malega and the girls and I’m at least as excited as they are.
Later on we learn something new. The whole family spent her time at the cliffs only when the weather is nice, because their father is fishing. Their house is 3 kilometers far away from the cliffs. When it starts raining they say goodbye, pack their donkey and walk home. We wave goodbye all the time until they disappear behind the hill. What a wonderful occurrence.
Again we are aware of: It’s the people who turn your travel into a treasure.
Malega and her three pretty daughters who always laugh (if it’s not for a photo)
Au revoir, Imsouane