Km travelled today/sum: 98km / 5658km
Sun shine, 25 degrees, country road
We got up early today even though our planned distance was relatively short because Google estimated more than 2 hours for the 100km! We found out that the concrete roads in Fnideq were… well… sort-off polished. They were shiny and slippery, to the point where when I hit the breaks a bit harder the ABS kicked in! After noticing this we took the corners really slow and everything worked out fine.
At a traffic light In Tetouan, the next town, a scooter rider started to talk to us. He told us that we were lucky to be in this town today, since there would be a Berber market, which only opened today! As luck would have it, he was even on the way there now. Since it was still early, we thought we’d take a look. So we followed our newly met guide and ended up in a parking lot where there was safe parking for our bikes and his scooter.
Our guide was born and raised in the Kashbah of Tetouan, but had a business in Spain and commutes between the two countries. He showed us where he grew up.
From here we followed him through the labyrinth of small streets. After a while I noticed that I wouldn’t have any idea on how to get out of there. He explained that we would just have to follow the gutter which has three stones and it would guide you to an exit. Right… He did know a lot of people and showed us a lot. How to determine if a house belongs to a Spanish, Jewish or Berber family, for example. There were tell-tale signs at the door. On the door you also see whether a family was rich or not. The tiles around the door frame give that away. After a while we came to the ‘street of one man’ which was a very narrow passage.
After walking a zigzag through the kaspbah, we ended up at the kings palace. The king has a pallace in each bigger city and resides there if he is in the city. In Tetouan there is even an annual banquet at the place, well in front of the palace, where all important people get invited.
The next stop was the tannery, he explained that there is hardly anything happening since the season is over. The tannery is mostly active during the winter month. Anyway, it was nice to have a look at it and the smell was bearable, I Imagine this may not be the case when it is active!
From here we went to the berber market. Well, this was a house, where the berber showcased their products. It was supported by the government in an attempted to help settle the nomadic berber. When we entered, a sales person approached us. There was that obligatory please sit down and have a tea. During this time I will show you all the beautiful unique carpets the berber made by hand. He explained as well that the pattern were related to a clan and you could see who produced the carpet. We explained that we don’t need a carpet and won’t buy any. He said doesn’t matter, he will show us the carpets just in case. And after he had shown them all, he will put them together again and we have a chance to change our mind. Well, after all carpets were shown, he started to pack each of them up, and we had to say yes or no. After a while, our tour guide intervened and mentioned something about a dress for Sigrid. So we jumped up, and had a look at dresses. Sigrid couldn’t find anything in the right color or cut, and we could feel that the sales person started to get agitated. Our guide pulled the plug and said good by to the sales person, so we left. We were at another shop for dresses (nothing bought) and at a shop for natural medicine. There was Argan oil and Arnica tincture on offer. Sigrid started to deal, then our guide helped us and we got it for a good price. We ended up back at the garage, took a picture and said good by to our guide. Unfortunately we forgot his name and didn’t get contact details so we could say a big thank you again for his kind tour through the kashbah.
The whole tour took something around two hours, so it was still early in the day. When we arrived at the GPS position, we looked at a construction site. Not sure where the hotel should be, we checked the GPS position again, it was correct. We ask a guy, who just parked his car. His English was limited, but he understood exactly what I was asking for using my hands and feet 😂
He ask me to jump in his car and he drove me to the hotel and back again. Well it was not too far off but we wouldn’t have found it without his help.Unfortunatelly I didn’t make any pictures of the construction site but here is the entry of the hotel.
When we arrived, we got a peppermint tea with some tasty pastry. Sigrid is relaxing in the cosy launch room.
When we entered our room, we had an aquarium in the wall. That was something different!
Next day we started to explore the Chefchauen, the blue city. On our way to the gate, we found some women painting the house, so it would have that very deep blue color.
As soon we passed the gate of the old town, everything became ‘blue da ba dee da ba daa‘ 🎶😂
In the old town there are plenty of fountains and the water is drinkable, even for foreigners. So we made use of them to fill up our bottles.
On the other side of the city there is a little hill with a unfinished mosque, so we thought we have a look at it. To our surprise, the view over the city was great. The mosque however was nothing special.
On our way down, we passed a bridge with some restaurants, that’s where we tried a tajin, the traditional meal in Morocco. The restaurant was on a small creek, and when it started to fill up, the waiter placed some tables and chairs into the creek. When it got to sunny, a umbrella was placed there as well.
Here is our Tajin, one with fish and potatoes and one with chicken (hidden beneath the potatoes and carrots).
On our way back we found more impressive blue buildings and streets. And in all this blue, I found these colorfull display of….., not sure, but it looked great.
We ended up at the Kashbah, which had a nice garden inside, but for 15AUD/person, we thought its enough to have a look at it from the outside. So we walked along the stalls and had a look around. To my surprise, nobody tried to power sell us something. When you entered the shop, they greeted you and that’s it. That was positively surprising!
We walked back to the hotel and found this intersting side of the house. It was a house front with windows, but nothing behind it. We were not able to take a closer picture, since the steep street was winding around a mountain and we couldn’t really identify this fake facade from the front.
This was the neighbours house. Somebody was living at the bottom, the first floor was occupied by chooks, the second floor by a goat or sheep. We only got a closeup of the chooks.
And this was the view from our balcony.
Tomorrow we’ll visit Fez, a large city. Let’s see how this compares to Chefchaouen, which we really liked.