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Letters to Editor

 Discovering Agadir
by Jerry W. Bird

While the route that winds its way along Morocco's Atlantic Coast, from Essaouira south to Agadir, is relatively short in distance, the scenery we encountered was simply unforgettable. Muguette and I were in good company, traveling by Land Rover with Elena Hall, partner in the "Blue Men of Morocco" tour company. We met her many months ago via the Internet, and in person at the 6th ATA Ecotourism Symposium in Fès a week earlier. The trip was leisurely, and along the way, on Elena's insistence, we made a one hour detour inland, passing through a rugged, hilly area that reminded me of Northern Arizona or Southern Utah. The side trip was to a special area where our host, was searching for "ammonite gonatite" fossils. According to Ms. Hall, an American living in Spain, the country north of Agadir is the only area in Morocco where such fossils are available. The seacoast route provided a completely different vista with miles of pristine, undisturbed beaches, lighthouses and a variety of unique pastoral scenes.

Upon arriving in Agadir and discovering the amazing development taking place all along the beach front and parts of the downtown area, I wished we had arranged more time - - a weekend at least. There were cranes everywhere - the building variety -- and much of the development is so new, it looks like someone magic person just opened a gift package.

Our "Roads to Adventure" series which features Great Drives and Railway Travel, has appeared in newspapers, magazines and on tv across North America since 1990. We have profiled several famous continental highways systems for government and association clients, and are always looking for the next big challenge. This coming year we plan to write and produce a similar series for Africa including caravan routes from the Middle East and across the Sahara.
Looking at the long, wide, crescent-shaped beach, it's not hard to see why Agadir, with its warm sands, blue skies and rolling surf, continues to attract visitors in droves, including special air charters from Europe. We noticed a number of vehicles had been driven here from Europe. The beach area is clean and well maintained. The day we arrived it was much too cool for beach activity, but it wasn't hard to visualize what this Atlantic Coastal resort would be like at peak season. We stopped for a refreshing drink at a charming restaurant (above) on the city's main boulevard, being attracted by the building's design, its signage and its Moorish-Spanish décor (details later).

Later we enjoyed a great meal at- one of the many side-by-side beach front restaurants (part outdoor- part indoor) and not only was the selection varied, the price was reasonable compared to the same menu in the USA. We drove around most of the downtown area, did some business and were impressed with Agadir's modern look, friendliness and wide variety of shops and services. More to come in this series.

Letter from a reader

Dear Muguette,

Since I read your article about
Morocco, we took a group of African American female educators there last year and had a wonderful time. Hope to take a group again next year. Briefly, the experience was wonderful. We spent most of our time in Agadir with a one night excursion to Marrakech. We stayed at Club Valtur and the resort was great, albeit very Italian. I didn't learn much about the people or culture of Morocco, hence the need for a second trip. However, I did make a few friends (smile).

Morocco is a fascinating if you love sensory experiences or sensory overload!! The experience started as soon as we boarded the Royal Air Maroc flight, and continued for the entire trip. I'll never forget the sights, smells and sounds of the souk at Marrakech!!! Shopping was great as well. As I said, I prefer to get a little more into the country itself, but it was a great 'spa experience'. The trip was billed as "Sister Scholars at the Spa"!!! Actually, Morocco was a great value I would go again for that reason alone. I started writing an article several months ago and would be happy to share my thoughts with you further. Pamela

E-mail Africa Travel Magazine with your own travel experiences in Morocco.


USA: Moroccan Tourist Office: 20 East 46th St., Suite 1201, New York, NY 10017, A.S.A.P. Tel.: 212-557-2520. Fax: 212-949-8148. Web Site: http://www.tourism-in-morocco.com/