My friend and I had flown into Tangier from Madrid early that morning. I was tired, exhausted even, and hungry. The doritos and cola I had purchased in the Tangier airport hadn't held me over as long as I had hoped. It's sunset by the time I turn onto a small dirt road leading into Chefchaouen. Actually, in all fairness, it was sunset when I turned onto the wrong dirt road then backtracked and turned onto a different very similar looking dirt road. At times, in Morocco, the word "road" isn't quite up to snuff. Dirt path or rough walkway is more of what I was driving on.
As we continued to wind up the foothills of the mountains, I was taken-aback. This little town looked nothing like what we had been driving through all day. It was quaint, welcoming, and simply perfect. Driving up near the bridge, I parked the car for the night. (Cars are not driven within the city limits.) We began to walk a bit through the streets at the top of the hill, making our way to our bed and breakfast. Children were playing in the blue streets. Neighbors were outside of their doors laughing and chatting together. It was apparent, even from the first few moments here, that this was a family oriented community.
The next morning, after a much needed coffee, I met up up with friends, and we immediately set out exploring these blue streets. I fell in love with Chefchaouen fairly quickly. Aside from my time spent in the Sahara desert, Chefchaouen became one of my favorite experiences in the whole of Morocco. I couldn't get over the seemingly endless blue hues, the smell of leather and fresh paint, the flower pot lined streets, and the sounds of children running around. It was quaint, peaceful even. It was nothing like the fast paced medinas of Fez or Marrakech.
I found the people to be friendly. With Spanish being the second language right behind arabic, it was a bit easier to communicate then I had expected. Many people also spoke enough English to help us out when needed. My friends and I spent hours walking in and around the city. Like the medinas in the rest of Morocco, it is quite easy to get lost. Nearly every twist and turn looks identical to the last. I recommend really knowing where you are going ahead of time, unless, of course, getting lost is the goal, in which case, happy exploring!