Who can pronounce Chefchaouen?

What a Sunday – we got up earlier and drove to Chefchaouen, a small town in the mountains that is famous for its blue doors. Once again, I was stunned by the landscape of Morocco, it looks so different from what I expected.

On the way, we closed to ran out of gas – apparently 3 gas stations were demolished that George, our guide, counted on. George is as close to a Moroccan as an American can get – he has lived here all his life and speaks better Moroccan than most locals – so he, of course, knew how to handle this while we had our cameras ready – something magical was going to happen.  Here, we stop at a local garage, ask a guy for some gas and he pours it into your gas tank – and for the same price! If we asked, it would have had a very special mark up – as everything we touch. More likely, we would have taken a donkey straight to Casablanca for our flights on Saturday.

The town itself is one of the most beautiful and serene places I have ever been to. It is situated on a hill and is not that easy to get to – but once you do, it is pure magic. A little note: I try to take pictures with local people in it but it is not easy in Morocco – people hide, cover their faces or start shouting at you. I have asked why that is and seems as there is a religious reason (islam doesn’t allow portraits and women are not allowed to be seen by other men, etc) but also a little bit of fear as to what will happen with the pictures. This is just a little teaser, see more on the pictures site

I did manage to take some pictures of the local life which I like the most.

On the way back, we stopped in a national park – tall pine trees, rocks, pretty cold temperature and – monkeys. If it wasn’t for the monkeys, it would feel like Canada. We also stopped and took pictures by some very “relaxed” fields which seems to be a big industry in the mountains, a common knowledge everywhere. The North has a tough reputation and seems as the government is closing the eyes on some of this activity, even though it has been successful in replacing it with other crop – trying to provide locals with substitute economic opportunity . Well, I am glad I didn’t buy the chocolate/caramels that were sold on the street in Chaouen – would have been a few very wired boys at home.

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