THE BLUE CITY

My favourite city in Morocco. The ‘blue city’. This place feels like another world. You will find yourself lost in the tiny winding pathways amongst tall blue buildings, tiny doorways and hole-in-the-wall shops selling traditional wares. The sweltering heat of the Moroccan sun is kept at bay by the coolness of the blue walls and the shelter of the towering Rif Mountain Range. Spend at least a week here, it’s well worth it.

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The beautiful city of Chefchaouen, framed by the Rif mountains

WHAT TO DO

Wander. Lose yourself. The most interesting and tiniest shops and cafes are found at the end of the longest pathways, nestled into nooks between buildings and behind long rows of colourful washing hanging from window to window.

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Can’t hide any ‘dirty laundry’ in this city 
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One of the many beautiful archways, complete with shopping on the sides

Take some time out to hike in the Rif Mountains. It’s breathtaking, beautiful and feels so damn good to work up a sweat and get that gorgeous mountain air into your lungs! The hikes can be tough if you choose or relatively easy for anyone with a basic fitness level. Regardless, they are extremely satisfying and fairly easy to follow. You can also hire a guide from the town for just a few Dirham to give you some history and fascinating stories about life in the Rif mountains.

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Hashish anyone? Its always a good idea to decline this regular offer on the streets. The beautiful greenery of these rolling hills is actually neverending fields of waist-high cannabis plants. 
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Gorgeous wild poppies in the Rif Mountains, a sight that always tugs on the heartstrings of an Aussie.
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A completely wild tortoise which I very nearly stepped on during my hike up the mountain. I don’t know who was more surprised!

WHAT I ATE

Mountain food is simply nourishing for your soul. You can actually feel the goodness in it! We ate delectable fresh homegrown veggies cooked in family sized tagines served with handmade bread, goats cheese and handpicked dates. Now a mint tea addict, I was desperate for my fix and of course these lovely mountain ladies were able to oblige with our customary end of meal tea party.

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Home-made goats cheese mixed with chives and handpicked olives grown in the mountains. Can it actually get any better?
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Yes it can. These veggies were amazingly fresh and cooked to perfection in this gorgeous tagine. Perfect after a long day of hiking. 

In the city I ate at a myriad of lovely little cafes and restaurants, served by the friendliest people. One of my favourites was Beldi Bab Ssour – amazing food and hospitality with a stunning rooftop view of the city.

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Rooftop restaurants – one of my favourite things about Morocco

 

Freshly squeezed orange juice as always is readily available on every laneway with sellers trying their best to convince you in a mix of Arabic, French and English of whose is the sweetest and juiciest juice!

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Even Pepsi must be abide by the blue ‘rules’.
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Could this place get any more stunning?

 

CULTURAL MUSINGS 

You will see a wide variety of wonderful clothing worn by the locals, my favourite being the long ankle length cloaks with tall pointed hoods worn by the men of the city. For me this created a wizardly, Harry Potter-esque kind of feeling that I unashamedly really loved! People-watching in Chefchaouen was actually one of my favourite pastimes. Order a mint tea, relax and just enjoy this other worldly experience. 

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The original laneway shopping experience. This place is a haven for brilliantly woven textiles and handmade leather goods.
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I clearly have an unhealthy obsession with photographing over people’s washing lines…

CAPTURED ON THE STREET

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Chefchaouen is a photographer’s dream. 
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These powder paints are for sale all over the city, the colours beautifully vibrant and enticing you to run your fingers through them. 
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The city was at times eerily deserted, at others bustling with laughing families, playful children and busy workers. 

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Always look up. Roof’s are a great place to dry your carpets.
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Washing of clothes and carpets in the river is a huge social activity and part of every day life for the women of Chefchaouen. I’m still amazed at how they get those carpets up there. 
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Such a photogenic city. 
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All the mountain kids had such wonderful natures and gorgeous smiles.

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وداعا ‘Wadaeaan’,

Kate

PS. Are you thinking of going to Chefchaouen? Have questions? Ask us in the comments section below.

Have you been to Chefchaouen? We would love to hear your travel stories also!

 

8 thoughts on “MOROCCO – CHEFCHAOUEN

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