Monday, February 28, 2000

Essaouira, Morocco

My Lonely Planet guide described the Atlantic Coast town of Essaouira as an undiscovered jewel, which is surely the travel equivalent of the kiss of death. The city ramparts looked unchanged since Orson Welles shot "Othello" here on a shoestring in the fifties, but an invading army of pudgy pink tourists in bad clothes had settled in for the long haul. I got up early to avoid the tour buses, and also to get a better seat in the Cafe Paris for my morning croissant and cafe au lait.

Before breakfast though, I watched the shadows cast by a line of palm trees on the old city's walls, and stood in one place, waiting for one more element to enter my frame. Then I went and had breakfast

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