I got up early one Saturday morning to travel to Essouira, Morocco’s coastal resort and spend the day there. Smaller, a little bohemian and more relaxed than Marrakech, at the old medina walls there are wooden carts filled to the brim with enormous ripe dark red strawberries whose delicious scent fills the air. Stalls selling the usual rugs, ceramics and leather goods in narrow streets that wind down to the harbour where the daily catch is brought in. Great flocks of seagulls swoop when the boats come back and the crescent of little blue & white striped wooden shack restaurants beside the fishing boats display the fresh fish & seafood for diners to choose. The restaurant owners and fishermen all have such pride in their work and I love that the fish gets landed and travels no more than 100ft to a restaurant.
I had a fantastic lunch of linguine and clams overlooking the sea on the rooftop terrace at the well-known Taros, then wandered around to do a little shopping. It was phenomenally hot that day, around 32 degrees, so I stopped for a cold drink at a café, which turned into a much longer visit when a stray kitten decided to climb on to my lap for a snooze (there are lots of cats in Morocco, so I was in crazy cat lady heaven the whole time).
Returning to the waterside I photographed one seasoned restauranteur – or he could have been a fisherman, as he certainly looked the part. When he looked puzzled at my camera I explained I shot on film. “C’est le meilleur” he growled at me and in that moment we both understood and respected each other’s love for our crafts, tradition, patience and savouring the moment. How I wish I’d been able to stay and eat a fish dinner there as the sun went down!