Saturday, January 2, 2016

Chefchaouen - Day 2

Chefchaouen is a small village, nestled in the foothills south of Tangier. The most distinctive element of this particular village! The walls, the steps, the passageways, the shops...all are washed in blue. In fact, they are constantly washed in blue…we even got to see some of the village ladies adding another layer of blue to a plaza area; apparently they do it frequently to keep the color fresh and vibrant!
The Kasbah, or fortress, was built in the 18th century, to fight the Portuguese invaders. It has now been restored as a museum with glimpses of its history as well as views of the small gardens as well as the surrounding area from the one remaining tower. The village seems to have grown from this beginning and it is now prominent in the village walled medina, or shopping area. We had a chance to roam the streets and check out the goods they had for sale. You must make note on how narrow the streets are…and everywhere we went, cars and motorbikes were sure to be in the mix.
The villa we stayed in was fabulously picturesque, almost hobbit sized (we could easily touch the ceilings). The stairs, the halls, banisters, sitting areas, gardens; everything had a uniqueness to it from the urns scattered seemingly randomly to the lights adding their dancing shadows. Delightful!

Apparently, there are a lot of hikes available in the area - up the the "horns" that the village is named for, along the old city wall, however, we were not there long enough to take advantage of any hikes up in the mountains. We did walk down the river that weaves through the upper part of the town and across from our villa. Here we found a number of concrete basins, complete with concrete scrub boards where people still come to do their washing, gossip, and spread drying items on the bushes. There were even people out in the morning, washing, and stomping on, their  clothes. There were also numerous tile art pieces that decorated the walk from time to time. Little did we know at the time what a large craft that is here in Morocco!

One last picture from the garden. The moon was so brilliant in the sky...I just couldn't resist...

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