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The Blue Pearl of Morocco

Weekend excursion to Chef Chefchaouen April 15-17, 2023.

If you are on social media in any way, you can’t possibly have missed it! Chefchaouen is the Blue Pearl, Morocco… A unique mountain-side town, perched beneath the Rif Mountains in the North of Morocco, Chefchaouen is famous for its gorgeous blue washed walls. This stunning Moroccan city was originally built as a fortress in the 15th century. The mountains towering over Chefchaouen resemble a pair of goat’s horns, and, perhaps not coincidentally, the creamy native goat cheese is one of the most popular regional treats. Architecture enthusiasts will marvel at the Jewish-inspired blue-tinted buildings, octagonal mosque and Spanish ruins. The old medina is a delight of Moroccan and Andalusian influence with red-tiled roofs, bright-blue buildings and narrow lanes converging on busy Plaza Uta El Hammam and its restored Kasbah.

The streets were buys even though it was Ramadan.

Traditional entranceway for many of the Moroccan structures.

The Riff mountains in the background.

Kasbah of Chefchaouen

Kasbah are fortifications built in areas with a certain strategic interest, and can include a wide range of building types. This Kasbah was built as a base to retaliate against the continuous attempts of the Portuguese in Ceuta to take over the north

coast of the country.

Shopping in the narrow streets. Lovely colors on the carpets.

Getting lost in the narrow, unfrequented streets of Chefchaouen’s medina is one of the main reasons to visit this city. Winding alleyways, cute doorways and charming shops are a few of the things that make up the quaint old town.

Navigating a sprawling, labyrinthine Moroccan Médina is a fascinating challenge even for well seasoned travelers (thank goodness for GPS).

City Square is this way. Actually these were the pictures we took showing our way back to the Riad for when we got lost. Our photo break-crumbs.

The sky matches the colour of the surrounding buildings!

Partial view of the city including the Kasbah

Meow - please take me home with you.

Chefchaouen should be renamed “KittyChaouen”. We’ve never seen so many cats/kittens (they were throughout the medina and were all well fed and looked after by the locals). Cats are revered animals in Islam and considered the quintessential pet. Admired for their cleanliness, they’re allowed to enter homes and mosques. Us salty sailors were not allowed in the mosques!!!

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