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Tag Archives: beaches

Winter has arrived — with a vengeance.

In the space of 24 hours, Winnipeg went from being without snow to completely blanketed with the white junk. And I, for one, am not happy at all… especially when it looks like it’s here to stay.

Times like these, I find myself yearning for the beaches of Barcelona, Alicante or even Essaouira. Heck, I’d even take being poolside at the Doha Marriott. (It is, after all, +27C and sunny in the Gulf Sheikdom at the moment.)

Remind me again why I, and so many like me, continue to live in this frozen wasteland?

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WTF?!

Evidently, there’s something worse than a ferry trip across the Strait of Gibraltar and a ten-hour train journey from Fes to Marrakech: a three-hour bus ride from Marrakech to the coastal town of Essaouira on an un-air-conditioned coach bus, overloaded, old and having a cabin temperature of close to +40C.

I wish I were friggin’ kidding. Hell sounds like a paradise after a trip on that God-forsaken deathtrap-on-wheels.

That said, once we arrived in Essaouira, noted for its famous visitors of yore (Hendrix and the Beatles to name but a few), we were greeted by the refreshing winds off the Atlantic, which, we agreed made our harrowing and altogether horrible journey to the town worth it. Almost.

In fairness, our guest house was positively charming, as were the staff. Tucked away at the end of a narrow corridor off one of the medina’s main drags, it offered us a sanctuary for three marvelous days. Moreover, it proved to be a wonderful way to conclude our grand adventure.

Of course, most everyone comes to Essaouira for the beaches and so, when in Rome, we spent a fair amount of time soaking up the sun.  (We’d been on the go since we arrived in Morocco and deserved the break, frankly.)

As is happens, we were also in town for the World Cup final, between Spain and the Netherlands.

Having caught a number of the games whilst in Spain, we were positively delighted our adopted team were vying for the cup. I don’t need to say what happened next, but I will say this: what a way to finish!

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and, after three days of rest and relaxation, we packed our bags one last time and caught the bus to Casablanca where, nearly three weeks after we began our adventure together, my friend and I would call it quits.

Sigh.

Just when I thought life couldn’t get any better, I find myself lying on a beach in Barcelona — the azure Mediterranean in front of me, the breathtaking city at my back.

We’ve been in the city for three days now. It’s a fantastic place, so full of energy!

When we venture south to Valencia in a few days time, it won’t be without a measure of regret. We’ve only just scratched the city’s surface.

Still, an entire country awaits…