Searing heat rising from the Sahara desert clearing the mid-day mist causes the many vibrant Moroccan colours of this West African port to glow.
This Port, key to the local economy, trade and fishing is shadowed by the Atlas Mountains to the North and the Sahara desert to the South.
A place that reeks of rotten fish and lamb carcases drowning in the sweat of tourists and Moroccans alike, it is a place that may be of offence to some, yet of beauty and historic tradition to others.
With the crowded local markets, fish, spices, antiques and those there for tourists, the sights of locals picking their live chicken to be slaughtered, the severed lambs heads sat with a smile on the curb of the road, or the many rotten fish (some sharks) piled in their hundreds on the floor whilst being attacked by seagulls and locals alike, may be unpleasant for some.
But these traditions, the ancient walls surrounding you, the lives the locals are living, these markets date back thousands of years. That is exactly what visiting places like this is all about. It’s about absorbing that historic culture. The people are some of the most hospitable people you could ever wish to meet. Kind hearted, always willing to welcome you to their home with a smile and a hand on their heart (a traditional Islamic greeting) it’s enough to encourage you that you are safe here, contrary to how the Western World may paint Islamic states.
The attack on the senses is an attack on the senses from two thousand years ago. It’s the smell and the look of unchanged culture that hasn’t been warped by the modern world and modern cities.
One thing I hope that I can bring into my own life is the pace of life here. Take a walk along the beach front with the thousands of locals that do this everyday. Walk with them at their pace. It’s slow, it’s relaxed, it’s as though time doesn’t exist. The Moroccans of this Port don’t seem ruled by time. It’s pleasant and gentle on the soul, as though life has no worries.
Don’t get me wrong: Agadir is still developing as a Port with many luxurious hotels and high- rise popping up.
But at its heart, it has a warm, cultural historic heart, of which lies an unchanged culture, which I hope will remain for years to come.