feeling blue in the mountains – calm & beautiful chefchaouen
After hours and hours of driving along the winding mountain roads, it reveals itself behind a magnificent wall of rock: Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of the north.
Chefchaouen, a city in the Rif mountains of northern Morocco.
Chefchaouen was founded as a fortress in the mid-15th century to fight off the Portugese invasion. The Jews that fled the Iberian peninsula during the Spanish Reconquista were the ones who brought with them the blue colour that is now so prevalent and characterizing of the small town.
Almost like an underwater world!
In 1920, the town became a part of Spanish Morocco, and remained under Spanish control until Morocco became independent in 1956. Today, it’s a beautiful and intimate city which hasn’t been completely overrun by tourists (yet), perhaps thanks to the fact that you can’t fly or take a train there. It is a very popular destination for tourist coming from Spain, though.
Small alleys and high climbs.
No cars are allowed in the old part of the city, making it a very pleasant town to wander around in and be overwhelmed by that calming, blue colour…
Next time I go, I think I’ll stay longer and hike through the nearby Talassemtane National Park – Chefchaouen is at one end of some very beautiful hiking trails. This time we were only there for two days, a good amount of time to see the city, but not enough to do anything else.
It almost seemed like the cats had been chosen/bred to gain the complementary colour of the walls…
Blue and red and green. A river runs outside the old city walls, providing the locals with an ideal spot for doing laundry and drinking tea.
Somewhere among the clouds…
Even the dawn of our departure offered us a deep blue, and a reminder of how Chefchaouen got its name – it’s a variation of the Berber word for ‘horns’.