Tag Archives: Chefchaouen

Madrid, and heading home

We are at the Madrid airport in the Neptuno lounge, waiting an hour for our flight to begin boarding.

While this holiday has not been without its challenges, this trip has done exactly what it was supposed to do: help me leave behind some daily cares for a while, be a time of friendship and camaraderie, and give me even more understanding of Morocco (and more reasons to return).

The challenges have included no luggage (found only as we were leaving Tangier) and a lingering touch of The Portuguese Revenge from the local water in Fès.

But the joys!–

  • the blue of Chefchaouen
  • that camel ride
  • several memorable meals
  • talking with locals
  • the corniche in Tangier
  • Volubilis
  • Kevin’s glee at buying spices at the market in Meknes
  • the medina in Fès
  • attentive staff at riads and hotels
  • medicine delivered to the hotel
  • sights and sounds and scents (and smells) to fill a lifetime

Some of my favorite photos from the past ten days:

Chefchaouen: odds and ends

Apparently we are in the marijuana capital of Morocco.  Pot is cultivated in plantations here.  Many people of a certain type flock here to enjoy the cannabis.  We saw loads of people of a certain type whilst eating dinner last evening.

Kif, a mixture of tobacco and marijuana, is popular here.

For details, see https://www.journeybeyondtravel.com/blog/kif-rif-hashish-morocco.html.

I am not interested in this stuff; one of my badges of honor is that I’ve never touched it or smoked it, and don’t want it around me.

The nights cool off quickly here after the sun sets.  And even this morning, as I opened my window to glorious sunshine and sky the kind of blue I’ve never seen before, I felt that chill one feels in the high desert morning, or in the Rockies at 7 a.m. on a summer morning.

Kevin was marveling at the same thing I noticed in my first trip to Tangier: the innate kindness and politeness of the local culture.  I wrote about this in a blog post in February.

Sometimes a hot shower is all one needs.  Well, that and a comfy bed.  My body ached last evening after my third day of walking well over 12,000 steps.  The significant amount of irregular, uneven steps in this town caused me a bit of tension yesterday too. I am ever-mindful that I broke my leg on steps, and I will always have that titanium rod in me.

I let a vendor pick coins out of my hand yesterday, rather than pick them out myself.  I’m certain that I paid MAD 20 for what was supposed to be a MAD 7 limon cola.  Seventy cents became two dollars, give or take.  I gave, apparently.

Watching sunset last evening, with a beer in my hand, was a reminder to let go of the stresses of first-world life.

Chefchaouen: the blue

From Wikipedia: “Chefchaouen, or Chaouen, is a city in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco. It’s known for the striking, blue-washed buildings of its old town. Leather and weaving workshops line its steep cobbled lanes. In the shady main square of Place Outa el Hammam is the red-walled Kasbah, a 15th-century fortress and dungeon, and Chefchouen Ethnographic Museum. The octagonal minaret of the Great Mosque rises nearby.”

The paint’s pigment is as blue as the sky. This is from our riad.

From my camera:

I only bought three handwoven pillowcases on Wednesday.  And overheated.  And then sat at the riad by the pool for a few hours.

I am never coming back to the USA.

Chefchaouen: minarets

During the two-hour drive today from Tangier to Chefchaouen, I decided to take photos of minarets.  Every little village has a mosque with a minaret, and in the towns, every neighborhood does as well.

The square minarets are in the North African style.  Octagonal minarets are in the Turkish style.