Blue-n Away

 After a long day of driving to and then touring Rabat (Morocco’s capital) and then a few more hours of driving, we arrived in the famous “Blue City.”   Chefchaouen, or Chaouen, is in the Rif Mountains of northwest Morocco. It’s known for the striking, variously hued blue-washed buildings of its old town.

Surrounded on all sides by epic mountain scenery and with a 500-year-old fortress at its center, Chaouen is becoming a new "it" place on Morocco's tourist trail.  It’s not easy to get to, but it’s worth the trip.

The gorgeous blue rinse covers Chaouen's houses, its mosques, government buildings, public squares and even its lampposts and trash cans. 

The custom dates back to the 15th century, when Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition settled in large numbers in Chaouen. They brought with them their tradition of painting things blue to mirror the sky and remind them of God.

Our guide told us that the blue also helps to keep the bugs (especially mosquitos) away.  We hope you enjoy the pics!  Next stop, Fez.

p.s. if you do decide to come here, remember to bring your own wine…it’s a religious city and a mostly dry town.  We didn’t get that memo. Fatal flaw with our pre-trip planning.

Annie is super happy and grateful for every minute of this.

Annie is super happy and grateful for every minute of this.

This was such a random, lucky shot...how great is that color she's wearing?

This was such a random, lucky shot...how great is that color she's wearing?

These are used to make colors for artwork, paint, leather goods, etc...

These are used to make colors for artwork, paint, leather goods, etc...

Check out that one red flower on the tree.

Check out that one red flower on the tree.

These are what we decided to call "poofs" (not sure what the Arabic word is) for sitting on...you just stuff these with fabric or rolls of clothes, turn them over and voila!  

These are what we decided to call "poofs" (not sure what the Arabic word is) for sitting on...you just stuff these with fabric or rolls of clothes, turn them over and voila!  

We were asked not to take pictures of anybody without their permission - from far away was aok. Look at the kids climbing the stairs toward the top.  Adorable.

We were asked not to take pictures of anybody without their permission - from far away was aok. Look at the kids climbing the stairs toward the top.  Adorable.

Number 8!  Also random, but very lucky.  Not only is this Annie's favorite number it's also an important number in the Islamic faith.

Number 8!  Also random, but very lucky.  Not only is this Annie's favorite number it's also an important number in the Islamic faith.

There are a lot of stairs here and the only way to get from Point A to B is to walk.  Michael is here to report that all Molanphys are putting their best feet forward.

There are a lot of stairs here and the only way to get from Point A to B is to walk.  Michael is here to report that all Molanphys are putting their best feet forward.