I See Blue.... Everywhere, Hashish, Rooftop Living
Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
215Trip End Dec 20, 2010
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Chefchaouen is everything you dream a Morrocan town to be. Enchanting and beautiful. The architecture is wonderful with houses and buildings rendered and painted in crispy shades of blues and white making it a photogenic place. The blue rinse tradition comes from the town's former Jewish population. Everything is blue and alot of locals wear blue kaftans or shirts
We met a girl travelling alone from New Zealand named Merete at the bus station and after dodging a tout named Mohammed we all did the trek up the hill to a popular budget hotel. There were no rooms left but we were offered the rooftop terrace to sleep on and this suited us. The hotel had a beautiful courtyard downstairs and the roof had some great views out over the rooftops and mountains and hashish smoking hippies who had taken up residence there. We were able to wash our laundry by hand and hang it up to dry on the roof, 30 dirham was the price for sleeping space and that is under AU$5, a good deal and we could play our music too.
We feel like we are on the set of the Alladin movie and it does seem like magic flying carpets and genie lamps could in fact exist here
The countryside around the town has a reputation for being a prolific source of marijuana, as the land is unsuitable for much else. Hashish is subsequently sold all over town and we met many new friends, all called Mohammed who would try to sell us the sticky little balls of hash
The touts and hagglers are very educated in selling. Some of them speak many languages and are incredibly persistent. The common calls are what is your name? where you from? Excuse me lady? you come into my shop, it will make me very happy, etc etc etc. Many of them know alot about your country of origin, can guess where you are from and try to make a bond with you. We have even met some vendors who can do a perfect Australian accent. We did a little browsing and asking of prices for shopping in order to get a feel for what things are worth. We like the leather poof seats and genie shoes. We all tried on some kaftans but none are too attractive and i guess that is their purpose.
We all ate at an ambient restaurant called the Al-Kasbah where we ate shishkebabs, tajine, couscous and vegetables and drank sweet mint tea. Other foods we saw in the street were roasted chickpeas and we sampled some flat, hot, cheese bread pastry hybrid dish.
The rooftop living was good, we had a true Islam crescent moon, lots of stars and a breeze, better than staying in the rooms i say. Not much privacy though. We played Liza Minnelli tracks and monkey danced with his new Converse shoes on whilst i danced with an umbrella. There was a child on the rooftop next to ours who did crazy rooster impersonations and sang to us
Merete and i convinced Nadine to get a hair clippering of the mohawk from one of the tiny barbers in town and we chose a smiley, little man with professional clippers for the job. And a great job he did for 20 dirhams. I almost wish i had a beard so i could experience a shave from his chair.
We went in to the Kasbah palace and walked around the gardens and into the rooms. The best thing about it was that they had one of those painted wooden boxes with handles on it that Islamic princesses and kings would have been carried in by four people lifting the person above their heads and then they would have paraded through the city streets waving at the people.
Nadine has been turning a funny shade of orange and we have just worked out that she has been using fake tan that she thought was moisturiser, we cant read Spanish. Holiday tans are all the rage in Europe darling!
We took the 1 oclock bus from Chaouen to the first of our Imperial cities, Fes.
I can tell you we have met alot of Mohammeds.