Monday, January 31, 2011

Morocco Part II: Chefchaouen

The blue doors of Chefchaouen.

After Marrakech, we bought train tickets to head north to into the mountains. I have to say, as far as overnight trains go, this one was very comfy.

Alex reading in his bunk.

The train was about 9.5 hours or so to Tangier, and then we got a taxi on to Chefchaouen. We tried to bargain for the taxi, but, as we really had no idea how else to get there, our bargaining power was rather limited. The odd thing about Morocco being that we paid more for a 2 hour taxi ride then staying over night in a hostel.

Once we got in the cab, our driver was super friendly, and the ride, although a little too curvy for my liking, was beautiful, through amazingly green rolling countryside.

Once we arrived in town, we wandered around to find a hotel, which is a little challening in Chef, as it's SUPER hilly. We ended up at a really nice place called Hotel Ouarzazate, which, just like Chefchaouen, was painted entirely in blue.

Alex and I both really loved Chefchaouen, it was just a nice change of pace from the craziness of Marrakech. The city has some tourism, but for the most part, is a pretty sleepy village. The streets are narrow and winding, and generally going uphill as the city is basically built into the mountainside. The most striking feature is the vibrant colors. Everything is awash in blue, from bright royal shades to the most delicate periwinkle. I felt for some reason like I was wandering on a Greek island, but then would look out and see mountain countryside instead of the ocean.

Streets in the village.

Lovely little doors.





Peppers at a street stall.

Tourist shop off the main square.

We spent most of the time just wandering about the city, enjoying good meals, exploring the kasbah in the center of town, and reading on the rooftop of our hotel.

Inside the Kasbah.




View from the tower.

Inside the tower. I love how this image turned out!

We also went for a great hike on our last day, up to a little mosque way above the city. Of course, there was a path leading to it, but Alex and I managed to find the more perilous route of scrambling up the hillside with mountain goats and an abandoned cemetery. I'll let you guess whose idea that was... The view from the top made it worth it though, and it did make for a good adventure.

Alex deciding the best way to climb up the "path" to the mosque.

Enjoying the view.

Crazy tree on the way up.

The mosque at the top!

The view!

Alex and I at the top!

The view on the way down.

As we made our way down, we passed perhaps the oldest blue door of all.

After enjoying our time in Chef, Alex and I headed back to Tangier and then flew to Madrid to spend an evening with our friend Oscar. Fun times had by all.

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