Under the blue sky of Morocco there is a blue-blue city – Chefchaouen. Seeing him for the first time in the photographs, think: Photoshop! It seems that it is – a fairy tale. But it does exist: no fraud, even manual dexterity is not needed. Moreover, it is – one of the most popular tourist destinations in Morocco, only a hundred kilometers from Tangier, bound with Europe, hour by ferry, and from Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the northern coast of Africa. You can come here for a weekend, some Spaniards do.
In Chefchaouen exactly three entertainment: a walk around the streets of the sky-blue, goat cheese and feast on smoking Moroccan hashish. For happiness – is enough.
The city is situated among the gentle green slopes of the mountains Reef, where replacing the hot breath of the Sahara comes a refreshing salty breeze of the Mediterranean. At the end of the XV century on these lands settled Moors and Jews expelled from Spain, since here it’s different: Chefchaouen is more similar to southern Europe than in Africa – even Spanish encountered here more often than French.
The city itself – is quite normal. Interest is only its historical part – Medina. Inside the castle walls are the old city gates.
3. Pass through them and immediately get into the market – in different directions scatter vibrant shopping arcade.
4. However, in contrast to other cities in Morocco, where all the decorum and dignified, as Europeans: traders do not racket, trying to outshout each other, to no stick and dragged into their shops. Yes and the range here, if you look closely, most southern European than Moroccan.
5. The further away from the city gates, the less trade shops.
8. Surprisingly, the market is over and we are left with the city alone.
9. Here, in residential areas – a real realm of the blue. You can learn the names of colors: blue, denim, cobalt, azure, ultramarine, cornflower blue, cyan, heaven, what there still is?
10. It seems that everything is a dream, deception, illusion. That can not be. It – not with us. But it is real, and life looks exactly like the photos.
12. Chefchaouen – the Arabic name for the city, but the locals call it on berber motif – Chefchaouen.
13. The history of the city began in 1471. It was then that the Andalusian emir Moula Ali bin Musa-bin-Rashid al-Alami founded on the site of a small Berber village first strong fortress to protect the land against the Portuguese invaders, entrenched by the time on the northern coast of Morocco.
14. However, with the bright shades of the city shall not Moors and Sephardic Jews settled in Chefchaouen after the expulsion of the infidels, not professed Christianity from Spain. In the Jewish tradition the blue color symbolizes a prayer shawl – tallit.
15. Over time, the tradition has gone beyond the Jewish community, and steel blue dye up everything – walls, fences, windows, doors, stair treads, stones on the pavement,
Trees and cats.
16. The town was declared sacred, the Gentiles are forbidden to visit him on pain of death. Therefore, prior to the beginning of the XX century in Chefchaouen visited only three Europeans. The first was the famous French explorer and missionary in Africa Charles Eugene Foucault, who arrived in the city in 1883, only an hour in the form of a rabbi. After he managed to get in Chefchaouen correspondent «The Times» Walter Harris, pretending Moorish merchant. Third daredevil turned American missionary William Summers, who also managed to get into the territory of the city, but almost immediately afterwards he had been poisoned. Only in 1912, in the section between Morocco, Spain and France, the city was open to the outside world.
17. Closure of Chefchaouen contributed to the fact that for centuries it was rebuilt and almost virtually unchanged retained its medieval appearance.
18. Today, the Jews in the city no longer exists, but the locals still maintain the tradition and regularly update the walls freshly painted. Moreover, the feeling that with each passing year becomes brighter shade – everything to attract tourists.
19. The only place in the medina, not painted in the traditional blue color – the old casbah.
20. With its walls offer a nice view over the city’s rooftops. It is noticeable that the magic colors in Chefchaouen lives exclusively on its streets. Is it worth just a little to go upstairs – it does not stay on the track and, still carry wind gusts Mediterranean.
21. On the contrary Casbah is a huge amount of tourist restaurants, one of which we decide to dine on fish.
While we were waiting for our order, we were at a time suitable for drag-dealers with offers to buy hashish. It looks like this – I light a cigarette, he immediately ran up to me dubious lad with dreadlocks:
– There can not smoke!
– Who will come and arrest the police!
– Cigarette smoking is not allowed. In Chefchaouen nobody smokes cigarettes. All smoked chocolate ( chocolate – a traditional symbol of hashish in Morocco) . Buy chocolate!
Only you untying from one dealer to take his place there and then comes another, and the show is repeated on the standard scenario. Generally, the drug is considered to be the capital of Chefchaouen Morocco. Around the city there are fields of marijuana and on the streets here and there constantly puffed captured smell of grass. And this despite the fact that according to local laws for the purchase and use of drugs is assumed 10 years in prison.
Finally, we bring the ordered food. The fish is overcooked and bony, vegetables – inedible salty.
22. Chefchaouen – a real city-card: here where you do not turn the lens – the photo can be placed directly on the cover of the guide. Previously, I knew only one place is so photogenic – snow-white small village of Oia, which is the Greek island of Santorini.
23. However, in contrast to the Ii, Shefshaun in photographs obtained much more beautiful than it is in real life.
31. It is time to go further. Hasta la vista, Chefchaouen! See you!