Saturday, May 8, 2010

Backpacking through Morocco Part 6: Chefchaouen

[Note: This post is the final post of a series.  You will find Part 1 here, Part 2 here, Part 3 here, Part 4 here, and Part 5 here.]

April 5, 2010
If you recall from the previous post, we have just arrived in Tangier (about 8am) from an overnight train we caught in Marrakech, after first taking a 3 hour taxi from Essaouira to Marrakech. Phew.

But we're not done yet.  We stop in the train station to quickly brush our teeth and use the restrooms before heading off on foot to the bus station.  From there, we take a two and a half hour, 3-euro bus ride to Chefchaouen.  Yes, the bus was a bit sketch, but we made it without dying (unlike the man working at the train station told us on our first day in Tangier).

The four of us were in the very last row of the bus.  In fact, we took up the last four open seats: Mike and Izzy on the left, aisle, then me and Mara on the right.  And then another dude got on the bus.  So the bus driver comes to the back, grabs a piece of wood (it was seriously just an old chipped piece of wood), layed it across the aisle between Izzy and I, and that became the dude's seat for the entire ride. Eh, yeah.

And then we arrived at this town up in the mountains. Took a taxi to our hostel.

Our hostel was run by a Scottish couple and their 19-year old son (They have another son, too, but he still lives in Scotland).  The couple had frequently vacationed in Chefchaouen, and fell in love with the town so much that four years ago they moved here and opened the hostel.  Quite a brave move, to drop everything and start a life in an Arabic-speaking muslim town, where you don't speak the language.  The son doesn't attend school here in Morocco, but he has picked up a lot of Arabic in the past four years, from talking with new friends and townspeople.

The couple were so very helpful, and their son took us around town throughout our stay.  He took us to an amazing restaurant (so good, in fact, that we ate there both days) where he's friends with the owner.

The town is gorgeous, and I can see why they decided to move here.  Different shades of blue on all the buildings - I was in my element.  It was so relaxing, with nothing on our to-do list but enjoy the great food, soak in the sun, and appreciate the scenery:

...And that was Chefchaouen.  We got up early on our last day, took a taxi back to Tangier, and caught our flight back to Madrid.  What a wonderful spring break.

Oh, and all the Morocco pictures are up now on Shutterfly.

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