Posted By Dorrit, Coen, Sophie, Marlies & Leonie

another day in Tetouan. After we read about its Unesco heritage Medina (old town), we decided to visit the city one more time. This time we let ourselves flow with the stream. It was amazing! All those little shops, sorted by trade and goods. Little narrow streets and endless turns. Medieval towers, walls, It seemed to go on and on. When Marlies was getting hungry and Sophie tired, the fun part was over. Especially because of the rain, the streets were covered with centimeters of mud (and sheep blood mixed with fish). So were we... Next morning we left for the mountain city Chefchaouen. It was "only" 60 kilometers but it took us 2 hours. It was a beautiful road right through the Rif mountains. Amazingly green hills,  little muddy villages, men with packed donkeys, goats and exotic inhabitants.  And hashish ("kif") selling peasants every kilometer.
Chefchaouen is surrounded by steep and rocky mountains. We visited the old castle and the old town with its typical blue colored houses and arabic shaped windows. Here the majority of the people dressed in traditional folklore and with palmtrees and the sandcoloured castle as deco, we felt as if we were in the middle of the story of 1001 nights. According to the experiences of other travellers we met, this is going to be topped down south.
As this is a mountain area, the nights got cold again . For some days, the rain is our compagnon but as the rain comes in showers it is possible to live around it. We spend another day in this lovely town and on the campsite we met a German family with two kids that Sophie could play with.

Then it is time to drive a big part through the Rif mountains in direction Meknes. The area again is beautiful and green. The road winds itself along hills and rocky ridges. We pass many lonely men riding on donkeys or hearding flocks of sheep or goats. Flashlights of other drivers mean; cows near the road, heards of goats crossing the road or police controls. The exclamation sign means; road damage or any other circumstance for which you should hit the breaks quickly before losing ground. Marlies is starting to be "catching the spoon champion" as she usually gets her lunch while we are driving and the roads are pretty bumpy. We arrive at a nice campsite that looks like a Spanish garden with orange trees, pots and trees nicely arranged. Also the bathrooms could perhaps be worth giving a try. So far, the bathrooms of Moroccan campsites were old and filthy  in a way you wouldn't even touch the door to open and look inside. We are happy to have all facilities in the van!

Between heavy rainshowers we visited the ruins of the city Volubilis. This Cartagenian city was taken over by the Romans. It survived because the grand grand son of the profet Mohammed occupied it. In the 18th century it was destroyed by an earthquake. The next day in this area we visited the city of Meknes, one of the four imperial cities in Morroco.  First the old town was on our agenda. When after prayers the great mosk emptied itself in the narrow little streets, we were almost run over by men.  For a good overview on mausoleums, royal palaces and castles the city is full of, we took a horse carriage. For the girls this was great fun. Sophie pretended she was queen and waved at all "roadside peasants". She is still friendly to the locals although she starts getting annoyed by the dozens of people that kiss her, hug her or pick her up.  At the end of the day we took the motorway to the second imperial city:Fez. We installed ourselves on a nice campsite full of tour groups and Sophie was happy to meet some playmates that belonged to a Belgian family.

2 Comment(s):
Annemieke said...
Aan de jurken van Sophie kunnen jullie jaren later nog zien waar jullie geweest zijn, niet dat jullie zo'n super ervaring zullen vergeten.. die rainshowers hadden wij in Zeeland trouwens ook maar bij jullie lijkt het me toch prettiger ;) groetjes, Annemieke
April 10, 2012 20:26:40
mawil said...
Ha! Gelukkig weer bericht. Hoop jullie nog te spreken, maar alvast fijne Paasdagen met elkaar. xxxx
April 8, 2012 11:45:04
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