Chefchaouen is known as the Blue City — a beautiful small town build on a hillside, layers upon layers built up like a many-tiered cake over centuries, creating tall walls and a maze of off-street alcoves containing magnificent doorways leading into private homes. Second and third floor barred windows overlook the many pebbled narrow streets, stairs going up and down, sideways and around. And all whitewashed and painted various shades of blue.
It is a photographer’s paradise — I do not pretend to be a good photographer but with an iPhone and sufficient light, it is possible to catch some of the beauty of the corners and entrances by wandering around the winding streets. The town is filled with tourist shops as this place lives at least partly on tourist money, some of the old houses having been bought and restored into Riads or B&Bs for the many tourists, including, we were told, many mainland Chinese.
There is nothing to do but walk around and enjoy the scenery and eat. An old fort is along the side of the main square with its mud walls now retaining its history of various conquests. No cars make it up into this area and luggage is taken up in man-pulled carts.
The sky is continually changing as rain clouds move in and the morning brings showers which dissipate in time for a morning stroll before we depart with the filtered light enhancing the blue. On one of our walks in the morning, we find the main vegetable market with great mounds of persimmon, pomegranate and grapes and, of course, dates.
We walk up stairs and around corners and go higher and higher up and yet we are still in tunnels of blue that dazzle the eye.
And now a long ride to Meknes.