My first day in Marrakesh was not so great, mostly because I did not like the feel of the city. Shifting to Essaouira today was thus an excellent move. The place is packed on account of the Gnawa and World Music Festival. Thankfully, I have joined a kind of caravan of backpackers. Seven us us defied the touts and the crowds and found a decent apartment for rent at the centre of town. Since then, we have been exploring and enjoying the music.
Aside from me, our caravan includes an English couple, three women from Norway – one of whom looks startlingly similar to Edwina – and a Frenchman. The combination generates odd language dynamics, based on differing overlaps. Essaouira itself is very attractive. In particular, the canons and fortification give a sense of the power this place once projected. The festival atmosphere here now also has me feeling much more at ease. I may well stick around for the weekend.
I expect that things will still be hopping with activity here very late into the night. I just hope I can find our obscure nameless alley and numberless apartment.