Agadir and surroundings. Taroudant.
Eighty kilometers from Agadir is the old Berber city of Taroudant, which is more than a thousand years old. In the time of the Almoravids, in 1056, Taroudant was the capital. During the time of the Saadis, in 1520, it was also the capital; at that time, the town was at the crossroads of caravan routes and was thriving, selling sugar cane, rice, and cotton; walls were built to strengthen the city, which did not save it in the 17th century from Sultan Moulay Ismail, who massacred half of it. During the French colonization Taroudant did not attract the attention of the French and for many years remained a provincial town of Morocco, which has preserved its original architecture and ancient color, for centuries, nothing has changed here. The city is called the “little Marakech”.
We took the STM bus from the Agadir bus station and bought round trip tickets the day before departure for 70 dirhams per person. The buses run conveniently: at 9 a.m. there and at 5 p.m. back.
The city is divided into Berber and Arab parts. The whole city is inside the fortress walls. The bus is comfortable and air-conditioned, and it drives to the gate on the Berber side.
We wandered through the streets, went to the bazaar, bought nothing,
We decided to take a cab to go 36 kilometers away to the ruins of the Tout Fortress, where they filmed the familiar to many Brynner’s “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
Cabs stand where the buses do – in front of the city gates. Here began our adventures. The Moroccans have to have a “scam”. We are two couples, the cab driver doesn’t talk to us, he talks to us and takes all who want a ride in the cab. We ask him for a price. Knowing these deceivers, we took out a piece of paper and a pen and asked him three times if he was telling us the exact price for the return trip. All right, let’s go. We arrive at some small village, the cab driver asks for money and is about to leave.
– Hi, we had a round trip deal, and he says, “I didn’t make a deal. – But we asked you, too. – And I didn’t get it. And this old geezer comes running up: Are you going to the ruins? Let me take you. – We’ll go by ourselves. – You can’t go by yourself, they won’t let you in, you have to go with a guide, I’m your guide. – How long is the walk? – Three kilometers, not long. – Is it in this heat, in the open countryside? No way, no way.
Let’s go back before our cab driver leaves. We arrived back at the gate on the Arab side of the city, paid him what we had agreed, and he got very offended. We threatened each other with the police and that was the end of it, but it turned out we were only staying for a while.
And we went to see this Arab side of town, which was much more decent than the Berber area.
We emerged from the gate to the square, where a cab wagon with passengers stood lonely.
On a nearby street, we took the same wagon for an hour and drove all over town.
The driver actively told us in French about Taroudant, showed us all the sights, and was very friendly. It’s a pity we don’t know French. But we listened carefully, and we understood all the names and sights, which sound the same in all languages.) He brought us closer to the bus stop on the Berber side, we paid “on the meter” – as expected, he whined a little that he had a large family, we should add some money, but we cheerfully told him that he had a happy day – not a single tourist in town, he was lucky to meet us, he agreed, and parted on that.
We took a tour of Tarudant, sat down at the bus stop and after a while, our cab driver and a policeman approached us. As it turned out, the bus is late and the long argument with the police begins. The police want to make money too, of course, as the town is not a big tourist destination and their people are more important than the tourists from other towns. We got tired of talking and arguing so we paid the missing dirhams, the sum was not terrible and we parted with the police smiling.
Finally our bus pulls up and we leave for Agadir, satiated with Moroccan exoticism. It’s so nice to be in a cool bus with clean windows! You should travel by bus, no worries, you go, you look around from top to bottom and there are no “divorces”. On the way we saw a lot of interesting and also uninteresting – the garbage near towns is full, especially the Berber areas, they do not have visible dumps and garbage processing plants, wind drives wrappers from bump to bump. And goats and sheep wander among them.
But here we pass the town of Inezgan, which is next to Agadir, almost merging with it. There are many new buildings here, but there is also an old market.
Standing in front of the traffic lights it was interesting to observe the life of the natives.
And in Agadir itself, in the evenings, local people come to the beach, and along the promenade “lazy herds of people and wives and children wander,” as well as vendors, well, and, of course, tourists, all walking or sitting, looking at passersby.
“The wind walks naughtily, the surf rustles in the waves,” with everyone else. Young people play soccer close to the water, and a large beach is nearby.
In addition, “the peaks of the mountains adorn the heavenly expanse; they converse with the waves” in the distance.
Moroccans are not evil in themselves, with an eastern mentality – benevolent, but they have it in their blood – to extort money from everyone around, even if you have done a penny, and even not done, then still pay and more. It is not fair, they do not work hard and demand money. So they will live like thousands of years ago, without changing morals, fashion, lifestyle, not knowing progress.
The trip is not boring, the Moroccans will not let you get bored, the experience is unforgettable, the local color is unique (and thank God it’s unique). It was interesting to dive into the past of this dusty world.