If you’re ever in the blue city, you should stay more than just one night.
We woke up fairly early on our second morning, keen to get some sight-seeing and blue-capturing in before heading off to Fes in the afternoon.
Luckily, the day didn’t disappoint.
And actually, as an aside, I want to mention that the hostel itself was pretty awesome. While in Tangier we heard several people celebrating the warmth and success of a certain place, and were happy to find out that that was the very location we had pre-booked: Riad Baraka. It’s very much what you want from a hostel- cosy and inviting, with very helpful staff (particularly a German called Tobi who had ‘gone native’ in Chaouen).
Breakfast isn’t included, but only costs about 2.5 euros, so we tucked in. It seemed like pretty good value.
^ Meet Sho and Guillermo, who are currently being obliterated by a sun spot due to my terrible photography. Sho is a Korean-Japanese-American, who seemed to me to be one of the most US-American people I’ve ever met (he was in the TV/Film buisness, and had a kind of Hollywood ‘flash’ to him).
He got the glorious gift of being called ‘Bruce Lee’ by every Moroccan person who saw him.
Guillermo, a Mexican living in Spain who studies Chinese history- who English, Spanish and Mandarin, and is therefore set to conquer the world- got the beloved nickname ‘Ali Baba’.
But you’ll see much more of him later on.
We first went into the city- Guillermo had to buy a ticket to plan his journey out of Chaouen- giving Andy and I an opportunity to pose with the Blue.
If you head out the east (I think) gate, there’s the ‘world famous Chaouen waterfall’, which- unless we missed it entirely and were looking at the wrong thing- seems to amount to little more than a small trickle coming down some stones.
We headed on uphill to the Spanish Mosque- an old building a very short distance away, that offers a viewpoint over the town.
^Che pasa? Un Burro por tu casa!
(Our Spanish friend taught us that when asked ‘che pasa’- ‘how’s it going’, we should respond with the rhyming ‘a donkey for your house!’ This is pretty much the only Spanish we know, apart from Andy’s ability to say ‘Mi gusta fiesta!’- ‘I like to party’- and my ability to mention that ‘El gato come queso’ – ‘the cat eats cheese’).
Anyway, here is the Spanish Mosque- not overly interesting in itself, but view-providing.
Back in the city, we wandered ’round the quiet streets, then settled down to some tea and lunch.
So here’s the thing.
Chaouen is a lovely and peaceful city, with plenty of photo ops if you’re simply a bit into the colour blue and exotic looking people and passageways. Furthermore, of the places we hit up in Morocco (not many, but Marrakech, Fes, Tangier and Merzouga/The Desert), Chaouen was the most soothing, which can be nice if you’re the sort of person who wants to spend some of their holiday relaxing.
But The Internet suggests very strongly that the area is also wonderful for hiking- and our tiny attempt at tasting this thing really can’t argue otherwise.
So you should probably go for a few days, get lost in the mountains, and come back and show us the photos.
In the afternoon, Andy and I took the bus to Fes.
Which turned out to be a whole ‘nother thing!