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  • Writer's pictureKristin

Chefchauoen: City of Blue with Kids

Updated: Jan 26, 2021

We explored the city of blue today. It is a quaint little village in the the Rif Mountains known for its white and blue houses in the old Medina. There are a few different theories on why the houses are blue - some say it’s because blue because it is the traditional colour of the Jews, who had escaped from Europe during WWII and settled here; some say it’s to keep the mosquitoes away; and others say blue is just a nice calming colour that caught on within the community and created some solidarity among the village residents. Regardless, it is definitely eye-catching and mesmerizing!

Capturing the Stunning Village Early in the Day - Before the Crowds

I woke up little earlier than normal, and before the kids were awake, to head to the streets to get some photos before the crowds arrived. There were a few people out, but it was definitely less busy than it was later in the day. While the blue and white houses are captivating, there are so many cute kittens that add to the ambiance of the city as well.

'Our' Famous Door

The Airbnb that we stayed at may possibly have one of the most famous ‘doors’ in Morocco, as people were constantly taking photos just outside it on the steps. When I headed out prior to the rush around 8 a.m. there was a line up of people waiting to take their photo....and it only continued throughout the day. That was the only downside of that Airbnb was that you could constantly hear people outside through the windows.

After breakfast we walked around and explored some more. The Medina was beautiful and there was a surprise around every corner. However, part of the fun was also the people watching. There were people from all different countries trying to capture the ‘perfect shot.’ The most distinguishable were the Chinese girls and women who dressed up in white dresses and did various poses in some of the unique spots. Chefchauoen was definitely a hot spot for the Chinese tourists - there was even the first Chinese restaurant we had seen on the trip there. Our guide Omar from the desert trip had told us that the Chinese tourist visa program with Morocco was only a 2 year deal; but it would be hard to think they won’t be renewing it due to the income it brings to the country. There was some good animal watching as well - we event witnessed a confrontation between a dog and a kitten, which I thought may end in a dog/cat fight, but instead another dog arrived on the scene just in time to divert the other dog.

Ras el-Maa - 'Local Laundry Mat'

As we walked we headed to the Ras el-Maa, which is the waterfall in the city and where the citizens get their source of water. In fact, it was abuzz with locals doing their laundry - either washing clothes or washing their area rugs, which was interesting to watch and observe. It also made me more thankful for my washing machine at home!!

The city was very nice and the people were kind, and we could have stayed another night, but the time we did get there was enough to enjoy the basics of it.

On the Road to Tangier

We headed out after lunch to drive the rest of the way to Tangier, for the final two nights of our trip. On our way to Tangier the vibe seemed to change. As we approached the city, there were less donkeys on the road, more modern looking buildings and the roads were nicer. Although there were still some grazing livestock, there wasn’t a shepherd with them as we had seen with almost every grazing herd previously. In a basic sense, it had a more European feel to it. This would make sense because Tangier was a Spanish territory while Morocco was ruled by the French for 44 years, which both ended in 1956. However, the other cities in Morocco, like Fes and Marrakech, didn’t have this same feel.

When we arrived in Tangier, and after conquering the traffic circles - because we haven’t figured out the Moroccan logic to them yet - we found our Airbnb for the night. However, there was a little confusion and they took us to another place. It didn’t help with the situation that the man who was helping us couldn’t speak much English and we couldn’t comprehend much French, but I guess there were some water issues in the other apartment so he changed us to the other location. After that, we settled in, had our first seafood dinner and grabbed a few groceries for breakfast before heading to bed.


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