Artsy Moroccan

October 24 – 25, 2023 –– The train ride back to Tangier from Fez was another opportunity to see the landscape and many small towns in the northern central part of Morocco and the vast amount of agriculture. The trains in Morocco are good, run on time, and are a pleasant experience. First class, which costs only about $10 more per ticket, guarantees an assigned seat and a slightly larger one. Well worth it.

Chechouan, “The Blue City” had been highly recommended to visit, so we decided to spend our last day together there. We hired a driver who took us first to Asilah, a small village on the Atlantic coast, south of Tangier. This is now considered winter in Morocco, so the medinas and shops generally do not open until 10:30 or 11. As awe did not arrive there until 10 and needed to move on around 11, it was not enough time. What we did see we really liked and would like to visit again. At this time of the year it has a quaint seaside feel, though we understand that in the heat of summer it is quite chaotic.

The drive to Chechouan (means Look at the Peaks) took us over the Riff Mountain, the high peaked mountains near the north coast of Morocco. We had sailed past them on our way to Tangier from Gibraltar, a beautiful sight. Chechouan is described in Lonely Planet as “one of the prettiest towns in Morocco: an artsy blue-washed mountain village that feels like its own world”. They also acknowledge the hustlers trying to drag tourists into their restaurants around the main square in the Medina. They were right about that. In fairness to Chechouan, we really did not have enough time to quietly wander the streets, with a long drive at either end of the day. We did get a feel for the wash of blue walls and door throughout the medina. Walking through the narrow lanes of the medina is better off the beaten path.

Chechouan and Asilah

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