This day turned out to be our most beautiful day in Essaouira. We started with brunch at the Restaurant Lounge Océan Vagabond, one of the few restaurants/hotels directly on the beach (most hotels, including ours, are separated from the strand by the narrow main boulevard that runs through the city). Not only do you get a great view of the sand and water from this place, but you also get to enjoy the goings-on on the beach itself. This restaurant is located right beside the main staging area for many popular Moroccan beach activities: horseback rides, camel rides, four wheeler rental. The vendors work every angle they can imagine on every potential customer they can imagine, and they are aggressive! We walked to the water's edge before we sat down to eat and were harassed by at least ten guys trying to bargain for rides on their animals. They got into a bidding war all by themselves and we didn't ever say a word. We were even stalked by a guy on a camel for a good 50 yards. Another new life experience!
The view from our lunch table...
Then of course we went back to the pool for the afternoon. Hirsh has the pool all to himself! Also, crazy sandal tan FTW.
Dinner was at a great little place called Restaurant Laayoune, which we shockingly found all by ourselves! No guidebook, no TripAdvisor, no word-of-mouth recommendation. Well, now we can recommend it because we loved it. It's an intimate little space with the nicest owner/manager and delicious authentic food. The restaurant is known for its very tasty harira soup.
Sarah's trying her hand at the high altitude mint tea pour. Not sure if the guy next to us is impressed or annoyed.
There's also one cat who's made it his mission to sneak into the restaurant whenever it can, begging for scraps. Essaouira is full of stray cats, but most of them appear reasonably healthy and quite a few are friendly. This particular cat is clearly a real nuisance to this restaurant, sitting on a chair just outside the door and waiting for any opportunity, but the fact that the staff calmly and gently removes the cat every ten minutes or so says a lot about the kind of people they are. In this picture, he's under our table at Hirsh's feet.
His bad habits rubbed off on this teeny little fella, who elicited lots of "awwww"s from the diners.
Sun, sand, sea, pool, yummy food, animals to play with...what else can we say but that it was a great day!?