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Friday, April 30, 2010

Chaoen


So walking through Tangier was much like walking through any other port city apart form the fact that everything was written in Arabic and French and that the women wore headscarves and the men wore a combination of traditional clothes and western attire. We both felt like foreigners that first day and decided that we would try harder to blend in. To make a long story short we took a taxi to a neighboring pueblo called Chefchaoen for the night- we had looked it up on the web and found a great little guest house called Dar Meziana which was quaint and situated in the center of the little mountain town. Watching the scenery was breathtaking and we saw everything from lakes and mountains to sheep and horses and even huge evergreen trees next to palm trees! 

Arriving in Chaoen was as though we had dropped onto another planet-as the taximan opened the door to let us out we were met with the sounds of donkeys and bells carrying loads of straw and artesania to sell in the local souqs, and a cacophony of conversation in a mixture of Berber (high atlas), Arabic, and French.  Everywhere you looked were little pueblo style clay houses painted periwinkle blue with curiously shaped doorframes and flowers growing wherever they could find space to put down roots.

It was a charming place proud of its berber heritage and happy to welcome new visitors. After being led through the winding streets and stone steps of Chaoen to our guesthouse we were welcomed with a traditional Moroccan custom. We were seated on couches with satin cushions and were surrounded by pillows of all colors and sizes in the parlor, which was in fact an open courtyard and were then served Moroccan mint tea with some traditional sweets made of nuts and filo dough. It was delicious and very much needed after a long day of travelling. 

Next we were shown our rooms which was on the 3rd floor leading out to the terrace from which you could see all the winding little streets below and could hear the call to prayer which would be chanted from the tops of the local mosques 5 times a day. It was a beautiful place full of new textures and colors and I couldn’t stop looking around marveling at the intricate design of the rought iron trellace or the rows of fresh mint growing by the window.

I promise to add pictures between postings because words can only describe so much and the rest you will have to see for yourselves.

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