Its fairy-tale battlements the colour of honey, its miles of sandy beaches and a bustling blue-and-white medina straight out of a picture book have made this laid-back little port on Morocco’s Atlantic coast a magnet for musicians since its hippie heyday in the Sixties.
Jimi Hendrix, Cat Stevens and Frank Zappa all visited Essaouira, and locals stick happily to the story that Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand” was inspired by the ruins of the Borj El-Berod watchtower, a crumbling former fortress on the water’s edge to the south. That the song was recorded two years before Hendrix is known to have visited Essaouira is only a minor inconvenience. “Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it,” says our new friend, Hassan, with a commendably straight face. “He came much earlier. In secret.”
I got lucky with this shot of the ramparts, I only used the Samsung Galaxy Note II.