Sunday, November 30, 2008


The Holiday Diary Part V

I'll do this as quickly and painlessly as possible. I didn't write this on the ship, I'm composing on the fly in my accustomed position within the comforts of Millbrooker Towers.

The next port of call promised a touch of Arabia: Agadir, Morocco. I tried without any success to stop myself repeatedly singing "Aa-ga-dir dir dir, push pineapple shake the tree...". I even annoyed myself with it. Bloody Black Lace (do click the link - trust me it's worth it).

After a slightly fraught taxi ride into town from the docks in which my kindly party pushed me into the front seat on the basis that I've travelled in the developing world before and should be able to cope with any hassles from the driver along the lines of "I will take you to my brother's shop...", we pulled up outside the town's main souk. The disgruntled cabbie accepted the proffered note without a word and sulked off into the traffic as I'd refused every blandishment.

This is just inside the entrance that we used.

The place is simply massive and warren like. I defy any first (or second) timer to find their way around, or to even keep their sense of direction. It's not a hassle free experience, the traders are all anxious to "befriend" a relatively wealthy European and we were accosted repeatedly with offers of all manner of items.
Before long we'd had enough (not to mention one of our party being in dire need of what our American cousins euphemistically call a bathroom). We jumped into another cab and headed for the beach and tourist-resort area in the hope finding somewhere for the increasingly desperate amongst us to do their business.

The beach is nice enough. If you like beaches. None us particularly like beaches. In the absence of anything architecturally or culturally attractive to look at, we repaired to a bar for a slurp of sustenance. NOT this bar, I might add. The very idea!
No, we settled on a French themed place; had a beer and decided to stay for what turned out to be a very yummy lunch of tagine lamb. Or tagine meatballs in Milly's case:
Shortly after lunch we decided to try the "Valley of the Birds" aviary park. The aviaries aren't very exciting, but we did get a sighting of a wild Common Bulbul (a first for all of us, and I got a decent shot of the wee fellow). Honestly, there really isn't anything better to do in Agadir (and I am fairly well travelled as an independent backpacker - I'm used to having to search stuff out), we tried a tourist ride around town in the hope it might show us something worth seeing. It did no such thing. Sadly Agadir was flattened by an earthquake in 1960 and nothing of antiquity or visual merit survives. My Arabic isn't up to much either, so communication with anyone other than someone trying to sell us stuff was all but impossible. This is about as scenic as it gets in town:
Believe it or not, though, we did have a good time. An excellent lunch, a "new" bird (two, including a small group of House Buntings seen in the souk) - can't be that bad a day.

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