Chefchaouen Morocco is beautifully blue
We leave Fez early to head to the bus station in a petite taxi. Here we try to negotiate the price of a Grande Taxi, but being tourists everyone is unfortunately out to rip us off. So we head in to get bus tickets, and meet two lovely French Canadian guys. The bus is full they tell us, so with their French we sort out an overpriced taxi. It is the usual old Mercedes Benz, and I am laughing when air-conditioning is mentioned – the window of course!
Our driver is a rather snide fellow, with a mealy mouth, and so Explorason and I share the front, with the 3 others in the back. He starts to mellow about half way through the trip, and ends up talking to the French Canadians.
At the end he offers to return tomorrow, but as we don’t have a clue what the town is like, we don’t know when we want to leave, so we decline. In hindsight his price was a good one, but we are not born with a crystal ball, so tomorrow is another day.
It is unfortunately on the main laneway in the old Medina and this proves to be noisy. Ramadan has ended and everyone, including locals seem to be on holidays here, so rooms are scare. Note to self – book ahead if visiting Morocco again.
First stop is lunch – well mid-afternoon meal time. The service is super slow, and very unfriendly. We repeatedly ask for drinks. Explorafriend’s meal takes forever to come. Explorason gets pizza and it doesn’t taste nice, so we tell the man and he ignores us and says it is “good”. So I try to get Explorason to eat it, and he manages half. Big mistake as later he has food poisoning from it!
This, however, is a painted scene.
I love the alleyways and these mirrors. If I had more spare money, I would have bought one. This area is known for its ornate painting, and it is inside all the hotels and buildings, and is remarkably beautiful.
This town is also known for marijuana, so many come here to smoke some ‘whoopee weed’. I have no idea on where you buy it nor do we partake.
The town has a large mix of Arab and ‘Riffians’ – people from the Rif Mountains.
Here we sit with some lovely tourists, and one is the bride.
And here is my favourite tree. Doesn’t it look fabulous set amongst the blue and white?
We come across a weaver. I regret not buying the softest rug I have ever felt from this town. Softer and spongier than mohair. It was cream, and adorable. It was also lightweight. Darn. I do hate traveling on a budget at times.
This next photo shows a little kitty that was pawing Explorason’s hand. He so loves kittens, and it had a white sock paw. Morocco is full of cats, and we often went and fed them, but this little kitty and the scene it set up was like nothing I have been in before. It was picture postcard perfect! It would have made a great poster shot. But I missed it as someone else wanted a photo. Sometime impatience from others can ruin a special moment. Even without a camera I just wanted to let him stop and play. There are times where I look and all I see is cameras, and I think it would be great if the world put them away for an hour, and instead decided to be in the moment. Still, it is just a moment, and that has passed by now.
Doorways were blue too. In fact, if you are feeling blue, don’t come here. Because you shouldn’t feel blue in this but town!
At the top of the town is a small waterfall and pond. Moroccans jump into the small pool from a great height. Some dive. I see broken necks and bones in my mind, and find it hard to watch.
Loads of carpets, blankets, rugs and washing are set to dry on the walls around this area.
So much you might think it was a market, except some are on the roof, and house walls.
Even the town photo near sunset seems to radiate colour, and it has a festive feel to it with the end of Ramadan.
This ‘non-blue’ medina entrance is a stark difference at the top of the town. I am sure it will be painted blue soon!
Here are some wonderful pastries and desserts being sold. We went to buy some, but the ‘tourist price’ kicked in. It was nothing like what the locals were paying – in fact five times as much, so we declined, and my waistband thanks me now.
These are the local Riffian hats. There are various styles, and a traditional one can be seen worn by those walking along the sides of the mountain road.
Local boys are kicking a ball. Soon explorason joins in. I love these moments. He doesn’t get enough time to play with kids, and so I sit on the step for a good hour and watch as he just has a good muck around time with them.
By now Explorafriend has taken the keys and has wandered off for some time herself for photographs, and to go back for a lie down in the hotel room. So we can take our time so he can have some fun.
The boys laugh and he is the bold one who goes to get the ball when a grumpy old lady comes out of her house to yell at them. They play until the boys are called in for dinner.
This is a great painting on a wall, so I borrow some keys and look like we are heading in one of the doors. The other tourists are so much fun, and we have a great time.
It is Saturday night and I want to go out. We head back to try to entice Explorafriend to come and join us, but she is sleeping. So we wander back again as we have learnt there is a nice hotel.
We stop on the way and get the airline boarding passes printed, and the man is lovely. I really appreciate his service as it is Saturday night and he wants to go home. In fact he really was so kind, and great with Explorason too. People can be so nice and kind. It feels good.
So we sit out on the terrace. It overlooks the valley and the new medina. It is a beautiful sight. Strobe lights go from the hotel top.
Unfortunately the last hour or two Explorason has been feeling really off, and later I learn it is the food poisoning kicking in. By the time we are back to the hotel he has gastro, and he has it all night really badly. I am so glad I am a prepared traveller and carry a load of toilet paper, as the hotel bathroom has none. The poor kid really is unwell.
Next day we get a taxi driver back. He charges more than the day before. We end up stopping I think at least five times for Explorason to use a bush. There are a couple of accidents. He is not well.
We return to Fez and the driver won’t drop us to the Medina. We then have to pay for a petite taxi, and thankfully Explorafriend decides to pay the greater price as they are not coming to the party with the bartering. We need to get Explorason to lie down and have a rest, and we need to post some parcels.
I’ll blog on that later.