Chefchaouen Morocco is beautifully blue

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!


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – Grande Taxi

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 halfway through the trip and ends up talking to the French Canadians.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – Mercedes Grande Taxi

In 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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – Yasmina Hotel room

We wander around and find a hotel. No breakfast included, but 3 single beds. 

It is unfortunately on the main laneway in the old Medina and this proves to be noisy. Ramadan has ended and everyone including the locals seems 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!


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – picturesque

This town is known as the blue town, and many people say it reminds them of a Moroccan version of Greece.
This is a real backdrop – it looks painted in, doesn’t it!?

This, however, is a painted scene.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – wall art

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – mirrors

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.

It is a town mixed with culture.

The town has a large mix of Arab and ‘Riffians’ – people from the Rif Mountains.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – with some tourists

Here we sit with some lovely tourists, and one is the bride.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – lovely powdered paints for sale

I love the sacks of powdered dye for sale. Some say it is powdered paint – I’m not sure but think they are right.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – olive tree

And here is my favorite tree. Doesn’t it look fabulous set amongst the blue and white?


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – decorated alleys with items for sale

This is a happy place. A place to lose yourself safely in the alleyways, and that is exactly what I want to do.  My favorite past-time is to wander and to see local life.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – resting on blue steps

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – weaver

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.  Sometimes, 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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – kitty time

Doorways were blue too. In fact, if you are feeling blue, don’t come here. Because you shouldn’t feel blue in this but the town!


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – blue doorways

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – holiday swimmers

Loads of carpets, blankets, rugs, and washing are set to dry on the walls around this area.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – from the hilltop walk

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 color, 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!

Explorason has a good eye and likes to seek out how the locals live.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – local life

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – dulce

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – local hats

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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – playing with the local kids

This is a great painting on a wall, so I borrow some keys and look like we are heading to 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 learned 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.


Exploramum and Explorason – Chefchaouen – enjoying a drink and a beautiful view

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 traveler and carry a load of toilet paper, as the hotel bathroom has none.  The poor kid really is unwell.


Exploramum and Explorason – good-bye Chefchaouen

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.

Questions and Comments

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