30 Apr Day Trip to Chefchaouen
Our day trip to Chefchaouen was not part of our original travel plans, but if there is anything being on vacation will do is inspire spontaneity.
Known for its striking, blue-washed buildings, Chefchaouen isn’t easy to get to because it is located a good couple of hours from any major city or town, and the only way to get there is by car or bus. This is why it actually didn’t make it onto our final planned Morocco itinerary. With only a few days in Morocco, spending anything over 2 hours in transit simply wasn’t a thing I wanted to or was willing to do.
However, after ignoring all blog posts I had read about there being nothing to do in Casablanca and discovering that all I really wanted to do in Casablanca was visit Rick’s Café, a restaurant bar that was designed to recreate the bar made famous by one of my favourite movies Casablanca, I found myself booking a car and a driver to drive us down to Chefchaoen on day 2 in Casablanca.When we finally arrived in Chefchaouen, after close to 5 hours of driving in a car from Casablanca with an elderly Moroccan man who didn’t speak a word of English and as we discovered during our road trip, also had no idea how to get to Chefchaouen, we were in awe. We were tired and exhausted from waking up at 4am. But as the wash of blue buildings nestled beneath the peaks of the mountain became visible to us as the car approached the Riff mountains; in awe is all we could be.
With only an afternoon in a rainy Chefchouen, we decided to spend the majority of our time exploring the old town and all the blue-coloured Medina had to offer. What immediately struck me about the Medina in Chefchouen is how much calmer and less chaotic it felt wandering around there than Marrakech’s medina. Perhaps, it was the rain, or the blue walls, but there certainly was something calming about the narrow alleyways of Chefchouen.
As the rains came down we finally had our first meal of the day at Pizzeria Mandala (when it’s cold and rainy, you just want comfort food) and later on enjoyed a mint tea in one of the cafés whilst looking out on the square of Place Outa el Hammam.
I always say that I enjoy travelling because of the unexpected experiences and memories that one can take away if they simply open themselves up to it. Even though this little excursion was not part of the original plan, it was truly one of the top 2 things I did on my trip to Morocco. Everything from the super long drive, to seeing our driver, an elderly Moroccan man, who had never been to Chefchaoen just as delighted as we were when we finally spotted the sea of blue houses; to the simple afternoon we had walking around the narrow alleys of the blue Medina, Chefchaoen is a place I would recommend one put an effort into going to see.