From Tanger I take the bus to Chefchaouen, a small city in the northwest of Morocco. It is situated in the Rif Mountains and about 110 kilometers distant to Tanger. It takes three hours by bus and costs 45 DH (~ 4 €). Chefchaouen is pretty famous for its blue buildings. The name refers to the shapes of the mountain tops above the town, that look like the two horns (chaoua) of a goat. “Chef Chaouen” derives from the Berber word for horns, Ichawen.
At the bus station I meet Marcus and Christoph, two Backpacker from Germany. We exchange our travel plans and decide to look together for a place to sleep. They are living in Vienna and traveled already to Spain and Portugal. We find a very nice hotel room with a beautiful view over the city. We put our luggage in the room and cannot wait to discover the small alleys.
While walking through the streets I wish to be able to photograph with my eyes. It is definitely one of the nicest places I have ever visited. All buildings are affectionately painted in blue and many details and color contrasts award the city a relaxed atmosphere. The inhabitants of Chefchaouen are selling very nice things like paintings and clothes on the street. In contrast to most other big cities they are however friendly and you can walk calmly though the alleys.
Time flies and it is already getting dark. We enjoy the view on the roof terrace for a while before we finally go to bed. We begin the next day with a very tasty breakfast in a small restaurant. For about 45 DH we get a freshly squeezed orange juice, a hot Mint tea as well as bread with cheese, honey and tomatoes.
Through the website couchsurfing.com I meet a girl who is living in Chefchaouen for many years. She shows us her city and we have some nice conversations. She really likes her city a lot but on the other hand also mentioned that it becomes a bit boring after a while. Everyone knows everyone and there is not that much to do. Moreover she cannot live like she want, there is a big pressure on the people to live according the traditions and religion.
I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and feel very comfortable. However, I also would not want to live there for a longer time. It is pretty nice for a few days, a good place to recover from all the stress and to reflect about many things however no place to stay forever.
While being in Chefchaouen it is definitely worth it to walk up to the Spanish mosque which takes about half an hour. The breathtaking view over the city with the mountains in the background however reward for the walk. Another advisable attraction is the Akchour Valley which is about 30 kilometer distant and costs 25 DH with the taxi. In Akchour there are many impressive waterfalls and walking routes through the mountains. It is also a good spot for climbing. The highlight however is a natural bridge also called God’s bridge.