One of the many things I love about Morocco is that it’s so eye filling; She is never short of charming towns and cities. Hours spent on the road to get to one, to me is worth the journey. Just like how it was worth the four-hour trip by bus from Fez to the blue city of Chefchaouen. From afar, it looked just like any other town, but as we got closer , I started to see some splashes of blue.
The newer part of town is colorless but the old medina, set against the dramatic Rif Mountains is picturesque. What makes it even more attractive is its color. Jewish refugees who were expelled from Spain and who lived there in the 1930’s painted it white with bright powder blue accents. Why? I never really got to know.
There is a very relaxed and cool atmosphere in Chefchaouen. Its main square is lined with cafes and shops filled with locals and visitors mingling easily.
The town appeals to back-backers and it is said that tourism there is driven by its reputation for being a prolific source of cannabis in the region.
But while cannabis is part of everyday life there, it is not what the city is all about. It is beautiful, safe and it’s got native handicrafts that are not available anywhere else in Morocco like its woven blankets and brightly hand-painted chests and furniture.
“Cuanto cuesta?” it was easier for me to shop. Spanish is still spoken by locals unlike in the South, where French is widely spoken. Chefchaouen was seized by the Spanish to form part of Spanish Morocco in the 1920s but it was returned after independence in 1956.
I spent my days inside the medina roaming its quiet and narrow alleyways. Getting lost in the labyrinth of blue was like being in another world or more like in twilight zone, after almost an hour of walking, I always found myself exactly where I began.
I really didn’t mind getting lost, I was content to drift aimlessly to take in all what I can of this pretty blue city.
Getting to Chefchaouen:
There are daily buses to and from Casablanca, Tangiers, Fes, Meknes, Tatouen and Cueta (Septa). For schedules and fares go to http://www.ctm.ma
It takes about 4 hours by bus from Fes and Meknes to Chefchaouen and longer from Casablanca.