Chefchaouen is a famous blue city in Morocco. The old town area is primarily painted blue. When we were there, a local said that the color blue keeps mosquitos and other insects away. Wikipedia says: "However, according to some locals, the walls were mandated to be painted blue simply to attract tourists at some point in the 1970s." If the city was indeed painted blue in order to attract tourists, it worked!
My mom and I arrived in Morocco from Tarifa, Spain. We had traveled from Lisbon to Sevilla, then to Tarifa. From there we caught a boat and arrived in Tangier, Morocco. We wanted to walk around and explore Tangier a little bit, but the city was so hectic and our bags were so heavy that we looked for transportation to Chefchaouen soon after we arrived.
First we found an ATM and got some Moroccan money, then we went looking for a ride to Chefchaouen. We had heard that the taxis at the bus station would take us there so we found a taxi to the bus station. On the way to the bus station, our taxi driver said that he would take us all the way to Chefchaouen. So we stayed with him and he drove us the 1-2 hours to our destination.
Driving through Morocco was a big change of pace from Europe. The drivers had codes to warn each other of police that they had passed. I was wondering why people kept honking and flashing their lights at our driver, he explained the warnings of police ahead.
We stopped at a pretty little roadside restaurant for drinks and ice cream.
The landscape and architecture of the buildings let us know that we were on a whole new continent.
After an hour or so, we were in Chefchaouen. We found our hotel and dropped off our bags. The staff at the hotel gave us a map of the area and we had a taxi take us to the main tourist area.
The streets were awesome to wander around. It felt like something out of a historical movie.
The tiny little doorways and paths were great. There were plenty of little shops too. One of the problems with traveling for long periods of time is not being able to buy the fun little trinkets that you find at tourist spots.
The two of us had some dinner then wandered around a little more.
This little guy was keeping a close watch on the neighborhood.
Some scenes of the original Star Wars were filmed in Morocco. It looks like the costume designers also borrowed inspiration from the locals.
I have surprisingly few photos of Chefchaouen. I have the feeling that I lost some of them, but maybe not. Maybe I was feeling lazy after the boat ride and long drive in the taxi.
After walking through the tourist area, we walked back to our hotel. The more modern parts of the city are painted normal colors.
Some of the newer areas had a cool style that I liked.
After returning to the hotel, we killed some time then went to sleep. The next day we had long 4 hour bus ride to Fez.
The bus ride wasn't super comfortable, but it wasn't too bad. It was cool to see how life was being lived in Morocco. I was still feeling a bit of culture shock after having spent almost 9 years in Europe. Africa was definitely a change of pace for me.
I was glad we were traveling during the day because I'm a perpetual window-watcher whenever I take trips. I love sitting with my head against the window, seeing the country pass by. In Peru most of the busses travel through the night. It's good for having more day time at destinations, but I hate not having anything to watch out of the windows.
After a long drive, we arrived in Morocco and met a stranger who would be our guide for the next few days. I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we explore the maze-like city of Fez.