Chefchaouen: Blue City In The Rif Mountains

Chefchaouen in Morocco
Chefchaouen in Morocco

Travelers who come to Morocco usually visit Sahara, Fes – religious, cultural and artistic center of the country, Dades Valley, Rose Garden El Kelaa des M’gouna, but there are only a few of those who discover the blue town. However, the charming town which is rarely heard of is real gem of Morocco.

The mountain town of Chefchaouen, also called Chaouen, is placed in the heart of the Moroccan Rif Mountains. It is about four hours from Fes and its uniqueness lies in the fact it’s painted in blue – blue walls, doors and windows. The sky blue color dominates the narrow streets which are true paradise for visitors eager to discover attractive places. The old part of town abounds with streets full of cafes, restaurants and shops with various souvenirs, bags and fabrics. Jewish residents started the “blue trend” and transformed the look of the town in 1930’s. To this day it is common to see women with big brushes, as they refresh their homes with blue. It is impossible to get lost in this town since it’s not very large and all the bigger streets lead to the main square Plaza Uta el-Hammam.

Morocco, miraculous Arab kingdom, where the Atlantic Ocean meats the Mediterranean Sea, offers travelers many natural beauties, tourist attractions, marvelous desert oasis including the “lively” Marrakesh.

Entertainment in this city starts in the morning, and the center of all happenings is the Djemaa el Fna square, where traders take out the stalls with their commodities, mostly vegetables and fruits. However, you can buy the widest variety of goods on the market, and if the dealer currently doesn’t have it, he will tell one of the kids wondering around here to fetch it for you instantly. After the daily hustle, the square is slowly emptied, and everyone is getting ready for the evening, which gives this town a magnificent mystical touch. Local Moroccans come again to the square Djemaa el Fna, dressed in ceremonial robes easily enjoy the couscous made with pieces of corn pie – a scene that today seems out of time to everyone but is a part of tradition. The town itself is a strange blend of European spirit and Moroccan-Berber-nomadic mentality. There are more and more parties held with guest DJs, mostly from France and that is when town becomes a large club which doesn’t have closing hours. Night in this city is truly fascinating; one can see all those things we heard about in Arabian mythology. Juggling incandescent balls, dance and music accompanied by a monkey while beautiful Moroccan women with long black hair walk past you veiled in stars from the crystal clear night sky, will take you to another world and another time.

Great Carnival of Marrakesh abounds with flowers, food and drink, with the presence of black haired beauties, which seem to have just escaped an Arabic folktale. During the carnival the city is teeming, it is almost impossible to go through the streets. And even then, the central place for all events is Djemaa el Fna square. The packed square illuminated with stars is dancing with shadows of people who are telling stories while smoking hookah in the corners. Scene so unreal and yet so typical for this world, which still seems to be in another place and time. Beside everything, this city isn’t intended only for those with deeper pockets. In Marrakech there are several palaces, which were turned into hostels, so you can visit this city even with a rucksack on your back.

Night is the time that gives the city a touch of surreal and everything in it seems mystical. Game of shadows on a large square which fades away in hookah smoke, and suddenly disappear in the African sky will remain forever in your memories, and you will certainly never be the same after visiting this city.

Photo by: GLady

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2 Comments on Chefchaouen: Blue City In The Rif Mountains

  1. Chefchaouen also known as Chaouen, is a must see in Morocco. Not only does this mountain village boast a picturesque medina, it’s set in striking surrounds. White-wash alternates with blue. Narrow lanes twist and turn.

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