How we ended up hitting Chefchaouen with The Dart, I have no idea. I must have seen a picture of the surreal blue medina and said, well hell, we’re going to be just across the strait in Spain, why not go rock the Casba while we’re in the neighborhood? Just as with Cambodia, the little side trips are totally irresistible to me.
I wasn’t expecting burkas but neither was I expecting a very professional set of women in Port Authority gear meeting the huge ferry as it docked at Tanger Med. This is why it’s good to Go – the idiotic myths are quickly laid to waste. I’ll leave it to you to read more about Morocco on wikipedia…I’m here to excite the part of your brain that feeds on pretty pictures of exotic lands.
Our favorite part of this side trip was when the taxi driver that brought us from Tanger Med to Chaouen found us walking through town and told us in broken english to Get In. We looked at each other, shugged and Got In. He silently drove us through the winding streets for about 10 minutes and then said ‘Souk!’ With a smile and a handshake and a firm refusal of any money he delivered us to a spectacular local market where we were the only non-Moroccans. The smells of freshly ground spices in massive canvas sacks, cooking meats, olive brine…the venders hawking their goods in loud and good-natured Arabic…the brilliant colors of Moroccan fabrics and rugs and fresh vegetables and fruits all around us – it was a very vibrant moment that I return to quite often in my mind when I need to Escape.
We rocked the Casba, wandered the serpentine footpaths through the old medina, wished like all get-out that the jalaba was the official outerwear of SW Colorado and bought a rug. Chaouen is a treat for the senses, friendly, vibrant and leaving us wanting way more time in Morocco.