Chefchaouen - Blue city


It was the summer of 1980, I had just met Marina who would later become my wife. Both were passionate about travel, but not those organized by agencies, we decided to go to Morocco. Neither of them had ever been there. We liked to travel without a program, step by step, deciding each time the destination of the next stage. At the time I had a sedan, not particularly suited to the type of trip we wanted to take, while Marina had a Volkswagen convertible. It was the right car and we left Rome for Morocco. In two days we crossed Italy, France and Spain that we had not imagined would be so long and finally we arrived in Malaga, where we spent the night and the following morning we took the ferry to Melilla, a Spanish town, free port with autonomous status, located on the Mediterranean coast, from where we entered Nador, a port city in Morocco. After a journey of about two thousand five hundred kilometers by car, and a seven-hour ferry crossing, we had finally arrived. It was in the afternoon, and having nothing interesting to offer Nador, we resumed traveling and towards evening we reached Al Hoceima, a city on the sea, very pretty, but alas, full of tourists. We could not find a place to sleep, and so we thought of continuing to Chefchaouen, the blue city, of which we had heard enthusiastically.

On a map, one of those for tourists, not very detailed, we chose the shortest route, thinking that in three, at most in four hours, we would have reached our destination. There would still be time to find accommodation for the night and the next day we would visit the city. Unfortunately, however, as already mentioned, the geographical map did not show that we would have to cross the RIF mountain range, a path made of infinite curves and with a terrible road surface, so the hours were not the three or four expected, but became seven. or eight, but that wouldn't have been a problem. The real problem was of another nature. The road leading to Chefchaouen passed through Issaguen, a mountain village, 1600m high. above sea level, formerly called Ketama, where the Berber people who live there are devoted to the cultivation of cannabis (summer time, but not at that time), with which Moroccan hashish, the famous chocolate, is produced. On the way, we were met, carrying bags of saffron-colored cannabis pollen, still fresh, in their hands, unsavory-looking individuals who wanted to sell their wares. We traveled a hundred kilometers, in the middle of the night, among drug dealers and strange characters. It wasn't a good experience. But thanking God, at four in the morning, safe and sound, we reached our destination, where luckily we found lodging for the night. Due to the excitement and the particular journey through the RIF and the joy of being in Chefchaouen, I could not sleep more than two hours. I let Marina rest and went out. At dawn, observing the streets of the town, visions of serenity, colored in blue, presented me, stolen from a dream, which instilled an unlimited sense of peace.

Chefchaouen - Photo posted by Travelfar

The walls, flooded with light, framed people wrapped in caftans who lapped the city spaces, like shadows in a paradise of blue light.

Chefchaouen - Photo posted by Nunzia Serino in Eroica Fenice

The dense colors of violet mingled with the sweetness of the air and were lighting up along the alleys and the steep descents of the stairways

Chefchaouen - Photo posted by WeRoad on Pinterest

which opened onto small squares, where fantastic and timeless characters worked in the most disparate tasks.

Chefchaouen - Photo © SpumadorShutterstock

The desert wind, sprayed with the salty smell of the Mediterranean, mixed with ancient and modern Arab noises, in a mixture that touched my nostrils with scents never heard before and created in my imaginary feelings of millenary melancholy. I felt a sense of true bliss, immersed in that naive world, where dream and reality merged together, generating a fairy tale that constitutes the surreal element of our childhood life, which has always lived in us through the illusions and fantasies of children, invaded always eager to know and to know, excited by everything in equal measure and like a child, in front of a new toy, I was happy to find myself in that ancient world, but new to me, which I absolutely wanted to know. That morning I felt like I was floating in a mare tranquillitatis, but more than on the moon I had the sensation of being immersed in the blue peace of a Kandinsky canvas.

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