Located in the northwest corner of Africa, Morocco has coastline on both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The focus of our visit was the Atlantic coast, a destination for european tourists seeking a beach holiday, with 340 days of sunshine per year.
Agadir is one if the main seaside resort towns. A devastating earthquake in 1960 destroyed the historic town, including the 16th century hilltop Kasbah, and killed one-third of the population. The town was rebuilt on a new site 2 km down the coast, with a nice beach and seaside promenade…
For historic and cultural discoveries, we must travel inland. On the way, we traverse an arid landscape. Argan trees grow only in this area, and the oil pressed from the nut-like fruit is prized for cooking and cosmetics. The leaves are also forage for climbing goats, since there is little grazable pasture here. The sight is striking!
Our destination is Tarourdant, a city with ancient fortress walls that once protected it from Portuguese invaders. Today the walled city center, or medina, is a mixture of new and old. Automobiles and donkey carts share the roads.
The surrounding area is known for its production of oranges, bananas, and tomatoes, grown under irrigation with runoff water from the nearby Atlas mountains. The markets, or souks, in the old town sell everything from household goods and furniture to food. We found the vegetable and fruit vendors to be the most interesting. Very few tourists were around, resulting in a very authentic local experience for us.
With that, we say goodbye to Morroco and are back on our journey. Next stop, the Canary Islands.