Hello! Libby here!
If you read my last post, you will have seen that I only spent a day in Gibraltar. We (Karl and I) chose to spend only one day in Gibraltar because we found that is was cheaper to fly to Gibraltar and ferry over to Morocco, the main destination of this leg of the trip!
The first half of the day we spent traveling to our first town: Chefchaouen. This city is called the blue city by travelers and has a unique history. When the Jews were pushed out of Spain in the 15th century, apparently there was a Jewish refugee camp built in Chefchaouen. Theoretically, this is where the blue comes from, but there are many other theories for the beautiful color. Our first night there we did a little bit of exploring of the city and had our first of what would become a staple dish for dinner during our time in Morocco: Tajine. I do not know exactly what it is made with, but it was absolutely delicious. We were also introduced to one of the other staples for any meal of the day: bread and olives. As one of the folks staying in the casa with us said, “Don’t go to Morocco if you are trying to cut carbs.” Later that evening Karl and I went into a little shop, bought a couple things from there, and were treated to some Moroccan hospitality of mint tea and fun conversations!
The next morning, after a delicious carb-loaded meal, we set out for a small hike up to a lookout point just below the mountains. We spent a considerable amount of time relaxing while overlooking the city's medina. Then we thought about hiking up a little bit higher which is when we met Trek. Trek was a stray dog from the area that wanted some attention. We gave him a bit of love and then continued on our way toward the hiking trail. Then something quite fun happened: Trek decided to lead us up the mountain. He would walk about 10 feet in front of us, stopping if we stopped, slowing down if we slowed down. He led us right up to a great lookout point just over halfway up that mountain. Karl and I seriously pondered how we could possibly adopt this sweet dog, but alas, on our way down Trek met an Australian couple and then continued back up the mountain with them! The rest of afternoon we spent further exploring the medina and eating Tajine. We were sad that it was our last evening there, but excited to have one last morning there before going on to our next town!
Which leads us to the next morning! It was another traveling day of sorts. We headed back to Tangier (where our ferry had come in), which is where we would be staying for the next two nights. We got there mid-afternoon and, after dropping off our things, we decided to head straight towards the beach! After a couple of hours on the beach, we heading into the medina to find dinner. I’ll let you guess what we ate :) (hint: it was more Tajine). After dinner we explored the medina a bit more. When arriving back to our room, we both agreed that we wanted to make a day trip somewhere the next day. Through our hotel, we booked a six-hour tour to a nearby town called Assilah.
The next morning we visited the Kasbah, which was an old living quarter of the Sultan that had been converted into a museum. There was ton of history in this little building. Morocco, unfortunately, had been invaded many times throughout its history so there was lots of history there (especially in Tangier, the northern city). After exploring the Kasbah museum, we prepared for our tour to the costal town.
This town was a lot like Chefchaouen in nature, except everything was painted white with bright doors and the town was a little less busy. We wandered the medina a while, walked around the shores, collected a few rocks for my collection, and then eventually headed back for our final evening in Morocco. We, of course, ended the trip with one more meal of Tajine and a cup of mint tea and then prepared to leave in the morning.
We were both sad to leave Morocco. It really was a beautiful country that was very different than anything that either of us had ever seen. We enjoyed exploring a tiny corner of Africa and both Karl and I hope to come back again soon.