Tuesday, December 16, 2014

“The ideal is to feel at home anywhere, everywhere” Geoff Dye

Two weeks ago, Dakota, Kelsey, and I left Ifrane to go visit Chefchouen. We left early Friday morning and took the CTM to the "Blue City." It snowed in Ifrane that night, so we had a tough time finding a grand taxi to get to the CTM station in Fes. We finally got a taxi, and arrived at exactly 10:58 to the bus stop. The bus left at 11:00 so we ran in and bought our tickets and then boarded the bus! The bus ride was about five hours and we slept most of the way. We finally arrived to the town in the afternoon and found our hostel, Riad Baraka, inside the medina. The town really was covered in blue paint... it was so cool!

The first afternoon we walked around the medina. The shops were really cool and most of the shop owners were very hospitable and nice. To my surprise, everything there was extremely cheap when compared to Marrakesh and Fes. Chefchouen is known for their "drug rugs" and their wool products. I ended up buying three hoodies and a few other gifts for my family and friends since the cost of the products were just so cheap. We ate some hrira soup and played with some cats at dinner before heading back to the hostel. The weather the whole weekend was really rainy and Saturday has thunderstorm warnings.

We wanted to go take a hike at a place called "Gods Bridge" the next day, but the weather was too dismal for a hike. We decided to walk around the medina again and find a place for breakfast. Usually, we can find a m'semn stand and get a piece for only 5 dirhams, but the only places we could find breakfast were actual restaurants that had a full course breakfast for 25. We ended up having a huge breakfast and then walked around the medina for the rest of the day. Other than hiking, Chefchouen's medina is the big attraction. The shopping once again was really cheap so we spend all our time going from one stand to another. Dakota got really good at bartering and we always joke that when we head back to the U.S., we are going to be in Target trying to barter. We met a guy in the hostel from Perth, Australia, and hiked up a little to see the sunset on the town. The idea was really good, but we left too late so we missed the sunset part. Still... the view of Chefchouen was really beautiful.

The next day we woke up early to go out of the medina and hike up to the Spanish Mosque. It starting pouring rain and we were all freezing cold as we walked through a cemetery filled with goats and donkeys (yes, it was weird) to get up the hill. It got really muddy and wet but we finally made it to the top. The view was incredible, and we stayed up there for a little while. We joked around and pretended to push each other off the cliff. We also laughed, and talked, and each reflected on our time in Morocco. We are so comfortable here now and now it's time to go. We have become master travelers. We are able to pack a backpack in 5 minutes, and feel comfortable with deciding to go on a trip at the last minute, we are now able to connect with people quicker, we can navigate our way through cities, towns, and rural areas, and we understand that though everyplace might not be familiar, we are home. We have been thinking a lot about how far we have come since the first day off that plane in Morocco and sitting at the top of that hill just made us take a step back and think. After that we made our way to the CTM stop and headed home.

The weekend was great. I am so happy to have found people easy to travel with. We have different roles in traveling, Kelsey talks, I navigate, and Dakota barters, and we can make our way around each city with no problems. It was our last big trip as a trio and we spent a lot of time talking about how we are going to go crazy without each other. I would recommend Chefchouen and Marrakesh to those who just have a couple days in Morocco. These two cities offer a wide range of what Morocco has to offer and I felt comfortable in both of them. Just do not buy anything in Marrakesh because it is so overpriced, buy everything in Chefchouen!

The "Blue City" 

The view from the roof of our hostel

Everything in the medina was beautiful and I could not stop photographing!

A super cool door

Dakota and Kelsey!

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