Morocco: Chefchaouen

Posted on November 24, 2010 by


Our main personal destination for the trip to Morocco was the mountain side town of Chefchaouen, or just “Chaouen” (Chow-in). It is the “blue” town as its buildings are all a combination of chalk white (above) and indigo blue (below). Locals say the white keeps out the heat in summer and the blue keeps in the heat in winter.

Chefchaouen is quite a change from the hectic life of places like Tangers and Tetuan. There is a beautiful, tranquil atmosphere in Chaouen that makes you want to stay there for a good bit of time. Having suffered through some truly bad, cold food at our base hotel we were delighted to be served a traditional tangine dish in Chaouen. Yum! Still, we managed to tour three cities in Morocco without ever having any of the delicious olives, dates, and nuts that the country is so famous for.

But that paled in the face of the beauty and friendliness of Chaouen. There are actually trails for hiking built along the hills. One of them is a three-day walk for those feeling adventurous.  You simply stop at one home or another along the way and arrange to sleep the night there.

I’m still trying to figure out how our bus driver got the vehicle in and out of this town.  For sure, tour buses have to wait one at a time for one of them to go down and up a hilly street to leave the passengers at the local hotel, and then back out of the area again so that the next one can go.  There is no turning around!

As the pictures demonstrate the entrance-ways to homes are brilliant blue, made all the more impressive by the pure white on the upper half of the exterior walls. The women gather at several clothes washing areas to do the daily wash. There is even a section for doing rugs which are then spread on roof tops for drying. One of the things that is amazing about Morocco is that so many people speak multiple languages, usually Arabic, English, French, and Spanish. We heard some locals uttering some Japanese and German phrases as well with tourists. If we heard once we heard a thousand times from our Moroccan guide about how friendly people are. The highest praise he had for the country’s leaders, past and present, was that they were/are “nice” people.

Posted in: Morocco