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Blue-washed mountain town

Chefchaouen

sunny

After a smooth 3 hour journey by bus into the Rif Mountains in Northern Morocco, we arrived in Plaza Uta el-Hammam, the central square of Chefchaouen’s medina. Unfortunately it was raining and it took us a while to find our riad that was in an alley, off an alley, off a small street. It was worth the hunt though and we were welcomed into the modern but traditionally styled hotel with a cosy room and nice rooftop terrace.

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen

We spent 3 days in this artsy, blue-washed mountain village exploring the medina and the surrounding countryside. Luckily the rain stopped and for the rest of our time there it was warm and bright. Chefchaouen reminded us a little of the small villages we had visited in Andalusia and we learnt that when the Moors and Jews were expelled from Granada they came here as refugees and so brought the Spanish influence with them. Almost the entire town has a pale blue-wash across its white walls, the colour of the Jews.

Chefchaouen - indigo powders used for blue wash

Chefchaouen - indigo powders used for blue wash


Chefchaouen - blue washed walls

Chefchaouen - blue washed walls

Chefchaouen isn’t a place for sightseeing. Instead we filled out time wandering the streets of the medina, observing local life and taking lots of photographs. This place is really a photographer’s dream, although the people here run in the opposite direction when they see a camera, due to religious beliefs. It’s a shame as there are some nice wrinkly old faces we would really like to have captured! Still, we got a few…

Chefchaouen boy

Chefchaouen boy


Chefchaouen man

Chefchaouen man


Chefchaouen ladies

Chefchaouen ladies


Chefchaouen man drinking mint tea

Chefchaouen man drinking mint tea


Chefchaouen ladies

Chefchaouen ladies


Chefchaouen lady

Chefchaouen lady


Chefchaouen men having a good discussion

Chefchaouen men having a good discussion


Trendy chics of Chefchaouen

Trendy chics of Chefchaouen

We saw children playing in the streets, basic butcher and bakery stores, street vendors, a local fruit and veg market and lots of local craftsmen such as wood and leather workers, tailors, cobblers etc. Plus the usual tourist and souvenir shops, which are fun for a while too. Most afternoons we could be found drinking mint tea in the square and doing people-watching, just like the locals do. Sophia also joined the Moroccan ladies in the square and had some henna done.

Chefchaouen lady walking home from the market

Chefchaouen lady walking home from the market


Berber ladies' hats for sale in Chefchaouen

Berber ladies' hats for sale in Chefchaouen


Chefchaouen streets

Chefchaouen streets


Chefchaouen - blue and orange

Chefchaouen - blue and orange


Chefchaouen - lady blowing her henna to dry it

Chefchaouen - lady blowing her henna to dry it

Whilst in town, we tried out a few different food places and had some tasty and cheap food, including lots more tagines and cous cous dishes. The novelty of Moroccan food hasn’t worn off yet, although we have started to notice a lack of variety on the menus.

Chefchaouen Kasbah is a red walled fortress within the medina and we visited one afternoon to climb the tower for good views. There was also a nice garden inside and a small museum. Next door is the Grand Mosque with its unusual octagonal tower, built in the 15th century.

Chefchaouen - Moroccan flag over the Kasbah

Chefchaouen - Moroccan flag over the Kasbah


Chefchaouen imam outside of the mosque

Chefchaouen imam outside of the mosque

One afternoon we went for a walk outside of the medina. We first passed some small waterfalls where we saw local ladies doing their laundry and hanging it to dry in trees. We then walked uphill just outside of town and passed an old mosque that is no longer in use. We climbed further and had great views back over the walled medina. We passed through fields and saw men with donkeys carrying loads and ladies herding grazing goats. We eventually reached a small village where we briefly spoke to a few people. It was a nice, spontaneous walk and a good break from the busy medina.

Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen


Chefchaouen man in jellaba

Chefchaouen man in jellaba


Chefchaouen men

Chefchaouen men


Chefchaouen door

Chefchaouen door


Chefchaouen alleys

Chefchaouen alleys

Chefchaouen shopping for dyes

Chefchaouen shopping for dyes


Sit, have mint tea, and buy my rugs...

Sit, have mint tea, and buy my rugs...


Sully in Chefchaouen

Sully in Chefchaouen


Chefchaouen

Chefchaouen

Posted by Up.Up.and.Away 14:49 Archived in Morocco

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