Thursday, July 25, 2013

Moroccan Travels: Agadir

Before climbing Mount Toubkal, Justin and I spent a few nights in Agadir. Based on what we had heard and read about the city, we initially were not too interested in visiting, but as our time in Morocco wore on, and always interested in experiencing another of Morocco’s many facets, Justin became increasingly curious about the city. Since we would be nearby for our Toubkal trek, Justin wanted to check it out, and I humored him :)

With one exception, Agadir lacks any structures of historical significance, because on February 29, 1960, the city was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake (5.7 magnitude - I've been told it's the worst in Morocco's history). Down the beach from the old city, Agadir was rebuilt, supposedly in the style of a European beach resort, and it has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco. It is also popular among Peace Corps Volunteers seeking a getaway that is more accessible and less costly than Europe. 

Agadir’s main draw is its large, beautiful, and clean beach; we spent a lot of our time walking along it and enjoying the area on and near the beach that are lined with restaurants and shops. We also visited Agadir's kasbah (the above exception, one wall of the kasbah remained after the earthquake and it has a beautiful view of the city), an Amazigh Heritage museum (the jewelry on display in the basement is the highlight) and, set in a lovely garden, an “Exposition Mémoire d'Agadir” displaying photographs of Agadir from before and after the earthquake. Our time in Agadir also happened to coincide with its annual Timitar Festival which began as an Amazigh music festival, but now includes musicians from around the world (including this year Kenny Rogers, though we went to bed before he came on stage!).

Agadir certainly wasn't our favorite city that we visited in Morocco and I'm glad that we didn't go out of the way for the visit but it's always interesting to see new parts of the country, and the relaxing beach time was good before our massive mountain climb. Enjoy some photos from our visit below:

View of Agadir from the kasbah (it was a foggy morning).
Left of the large street in the center is where the city was before the earthquake.
Justin and the remaining wall of the kasbah.
Another view of the kasbah wall.
Camel rides by the kasbah! We were amused.
View of the beach front; the mountain with the kasbah can be seen in the back.
The Agadir beach.
A beautiful entrance to the "Exposition Mémoire d'Agadir" photography exhibit.
The Timitar festival by night (on the side of the mountain is Arabic writing
which means "God, Country, King").

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post which I read before deciding to travel as a solo fem in Sahara Morocco . It was wonderful! I felt safe, appreciated and respected everywhere I went.

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