Searching for Jimi’s Castles Made of Sand

Mud in Essaouira Morocco
An expanse of deep mud separated us from our quixotic destination, having been abandoned by the tide hours before.

My husband shook his weary head at me. Surely I didn’t want to drag our boys through the mud on the off-chance that we’d find ruins that may have inspired an old Jimi Hendrix

Jimi quotationOf course I did.

We had arrived in Essaouira, Morocco the day before. I had been terribly ill, and I was depleted and cranky. We all were. I don’t regret our family trip to Morocco, but it was our most stressful, least favorite trip.

A blurb in our guidebook said that some ruins in Essaouira were the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix’s song, “Castles Made of Sand.”

I needed a little magic to get me over the despair of the last 24 hours. I needed a little Jimi.

“And so castles made of sand
fall in the sea, eventually.”

I egged my family on–“It will be an adventure!”–and we set out.

Camels on beach Essaouira Morocco collage

As we walked down the beach, we picked our way though a gauntlet of touts selling horseback or camel rides before we reached a deserted area.

Camels on beach Essaouira Morocco 2

Our only clue was the tiny blurb in our guidebook, so we tried to ask for directions from a passerby. He didn’t speak any English, and I briefly considered whether some air guitar of “Purple Haze” would help. Not my air guitar.

We continued on.

Searching for Jimi in Essaouira Morocco

A sickly dog followed us the whole way, wagging its sad, scruffy tail, and I wished I had a snack to share, but I had nothing.

Dog and mud collage Essaouira Morocco

We muddled and slipped our way through the mud. We were low on clean laundry as it was, and if one of the boys fell in the mud, I would never hear the end of it. Although I was the one most likely to fall, I kept reminding the boys to be careful.

(Video link)
You can see us muddling through the mud at 5:46.

As we got into a remote area, I heard people up ahead. I worried for our safety and thought the dog might protect us, but it was just a few people riding horses in the muck.

We blundered on.

And then we found the fragments of a ramp, and, a little further on, the remains of a wall, and then sections of buildings, broken down and covered in sand.

Boy and Man at ruins in Essaouira Morocco collage

I imagined Jimi Hendrix seeing these same stones, collapsed in the sea, like castles made of sand. My mood soared–victory!

Ruins in Essaouira collage

Boys at ruins Essaouira Morocco

Although, it wasn’t.

After I got home, I researched the song a little further. Jimi recorded “Castles Made of Sand” in 1967, but he took his one and only trip to Morocco in 1969. Not only had we probably not been at the right ruins, but the site wasn’t the inspiration for the song anyway.

It seemed a fitting end to my story about Jimi’s song of irony and disappointment.

“And so castles made of sand
fall in the sea, eventually.”

No worries, though. I’d sought an afternoon filled with adventure and family fun. I had found it all right.

sandals covered in mud in Essaouira Morocco

The mud was just a bonus.

Ruins in Essaouira Morocco

Ruins Slideshow

“Shame on those who remain unmoved, whose pace fails to quicken, on entering one of these old habitations, a manor-house falling to wrack and ruin or a desecrated church!”
Petrus Borel

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Some of my favorite ruins from my travels.

camels on beach strip

MultiMEDIA Splice #3: Ruins

Bloggers: Welcome to the third week of MultiMEDIA Splice. Please join me by linking up a multimedia post on this week’s theme: Ruins.

{Next week’s theme: Superstition}

  • Thanks to Jon for linking up last week with his exploration of life underground in a Chinese city: Tunnels.

How to link up:

MultiMEDIA Splice
  • Copy the above code and paste it into the text view of your post.
  • Then link up your post by clicking “Add your link” below. (Link up every Sunday.)
  • One more thing: Please don’t link and run! Try to visit and comment on a few blogs that link up.

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
This entry was posted in MultiMEDIA Splice, Scene from a Memoir, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Searching for Jimi’s Castles Made of Sand

  1. Vanessa D. says:

    I am always amazed by how widely traveled you are! I’ve never been outside of Ontario, let alone to another country.
    Vanessa D. recently posted..If The Liberals Controlled Christmas Tree Sales In OntarioMy Profile

  2. Robin says:

    Wow! My best friend travels like you and she has lots of photos of ruins. I think she liked Morocco. I don’t really travel, but if I can find photos of ruins , I will link up. I have photos of things that are ruined or buildings that are old, but ancient ruins? I really enjoyed looking at your photos, and I love the story. I’m sorry it turned out not to be Jimi’s sand castle, but what a triumph anyway 🙂
    Robin recently posted..TraditionsMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks for your interest in linking up. I would like to see your photos or your friend’s photos from Morocco. The ruins link up is closing soon, but there is a new one up with the theme of “superstition.”

  3. Ken says:

    Your kids are going to have the very best of stories to tell someday. Even if you have to drag them reluctantly through the mud from time to time. 🙂

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks, Ken. One of the things I like about blogging about these stories is that I’m getting them down for my kids to re-explore someday. I’m sure they’ll forget a lot of it. (They’re sure to remember the mud, though 😉 )

  4. Buckeroomama says:

    Kudos to your family for being game to go on the hunt with you… it was an adventure! 🙂
    Buckeroomama recently posted..Christmas DelightsMy Profile

  5. Cyn K says:

    You are more tenacious than me. This tale reminded me of the time I wanted to visit Hadrian’s Wall in northern England, but I lost the trail and gave up. I had to be within a couple of miles, but I was too cheap to buy a proper map. I got as far a nearby Roman museum before I chickened out and headed back to town to catch my bus back to the hostel.
    Cyn K recently posted..a false accusationMy Profile

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