Morocco - November 2022 - Day 1
After a flight delay, missed connection, nose bleed on board, tarmac sitting, rebooking - we made it to the AirFrance lounge in Paris
4 hours and one block of cheese later…
We made it on a connecting flight to Casablanca!
Our driver/guide, Sallam (not to be confused with Salam (hello in Arabic… one of the four Arabic words I know)) was waiting for us at the airport to drive us 5 hours to Chefchaouen.
We drove through towns and watched cattle who were better at direction than I am, shops that make us remember India and Nepal, men chatting outside of cafes while watching football, fruit stands, and horse pulled taxis.
The sun set and we watched the white towers of the mosques change to green outlines and they were lit for the darkening night. Look to the horizon and there’s 20 in every direction.
Pit stop at a cafe to join the crowd of afterwork men - for us it was to enjoy a pizza and coke. The olives. Omg. Those were delightful. Not delightful - reminding my leg muscles of their Wednesday workout by using the squatty potty for a bathroom break. While holding my scarf above my head so it doesn’t pick up that fresh bathroom smell.
We continued driving through the hills. Only accompanied by the occasional cow or person darting across the road and lit by the headlights. Looking almost ghastly. Ghost cow.
The sky was so dark, stars were peeking out where the land meets the earth. Holes of light pushing through the dark.
A quick coffee stop at a roadside mountain cafe where my coffee cost almost as much as our dinner. As I waited for my milk to heat up, I watched a cat following the every move of the caged birds. It reminded me of home.
Back in the car we rolled down our windows to breathe deep and smell the olives growing in the forest next to the road. We continued to climb higher into the mountains and listened to the music spilling from the speakers. A blend between African beats and Indian notes.
The cafes have run much further apart but still see friends visiting and laughing as the plastic chairs beneath them strain. It makes me wonder if all of the men just go to the cafe closest to their home each night until they hear their wife’s voice in the wind… calling them home.
A man finished his rice crop and started burning the field. Adding a sweet smoke to the air and light to the darkness.
We came into the city between the peaks just before 10pm and we’re greeted by the standard Chefchaouen greeting… a man jangling his keys to show you can rent his apartment. The cool air is thick with spice and cooked meats. Narrow streets full of night life as we make our way to the hotel.
We walked through the corridors of our riad, past the restaurant on the top two floors, around the courtyard, and up up up to the suite. Bigger than our apartment. It’s gorgeous. We are so tired though. Ready to pass out now and explore in the morning. The one thing my heart really desires though… is toilet paper. If there is one thing we've learned over the years - I am not a bidet (or hose in public bathroom) person.