After our wonderful night we awoke and decided to go see what was available for breakfast in the square. There are a handful of small restaurants all which must cater to the tourists of Chefchaouen. At the time, we were about the only ones. We saw one or two other small groups that obviously weren’t from around there and the patios at the restaurants were pretty much deserted.
Each place staffed an English speaking employee to recruit people who walked past. They all seemed to offer the same small selection for breakfast so we sat down at one and enjoyed some fresh orange juice, a selection of bread and jams, and a cup of coffee. The girls opted for mint tea. Even though my teeth were rotting from all the sugar in the mint teas I had already drank that week, I probably should have ordered another cup as well instead of coffee. It’s the official Moroccan drink and you should really enjoy it when it’s available!
After eating the girls wanted to walk around the shops and see what was for sale. Rob and I decided that we MUST check our email so we went to the internet cafe.
When we were finished getting our internet fix we walked back to our room and ran in to Youssef again. He invited us over to where he lived (right next to the small hotel we were staying at). We sat down in his modest place and started talking. His walls were lined with rugs that he wove. Although our tastes obviously differ, many of them were very impressive and I could only imagine the time it woudl take to complete just one, let alone the dozens he had.
He offered a coca-cola and we politely accepted. He ran downstairs and was gone for several minutes. When he returned sweating, with two ice cold coca-colas in hand, we were a little confused as to where he went. He told us he ran down to the store to buy them for us! We felt terrible and apologized. We assumed he had them on hand and that’s why he offered them to us. Again, he told us that it was not a problem and that we were his guests in not only his home, but his city and he wanted to make us feel welcome. Such a kind gesture is unheard of where we come from so Rob and I were extremely touched by the generosity shown by Youssef.
He asked what we were planning on doing for the day and we told him that we were going to walk around and see the city. He told us there were some great hikes up the hills and he would love to show us. Even if we wanted to turn him down, I don’t think he would have let us so we gladly accepted and went off to find the girls.
We began to walk up a pathway that overlooked an area of a stream that was built so the locals could wash their clothes.
We continued hiking up side of the hill and were soon rewarded with beautiful views of Chefchaouen.
Eventually we reached what Youssef called “Spanish Mosque” but I believe it to also be called the “Destroyed Mosque” based on the guidebook. It was a very small structure, maybe 10 feet x 10 feet, with narrow stairs that went up a couple of stories to provide a wonderful view of the valley down below.
After taking in the views for a little while, we headed back down the path and walked down the other side of the town with its blue and white washed walls that are often synonymous with Chefchaouen.
When we made it back to the main square, we decided to tour the kasbah and old prison. A quick 10dh donation to enter and we began the several story climb to the top of the prison which offered a great outlook over the city.
We were all pretty hungry after the hike and went to a restaurant that Youssef recommended for lunch. He had a pretty bad cold and decided only to have some tea despite our encouragement for him to eat (we really wanted to treat him to lunch to pay him back for all the help and generosity he had shown us).
Surprise, surprise. I had another chicken tagine. Trust me, these are to die for. So flavorful and juicy!
Rob, Lauren and Lizzie needed to purchase bus tickets for their trip back the following day so we walked to the station with Youssef and he helped them purchase the correct tickets. They were heading to one of the port towns several hours away to take a ferry back to Malagra, Spain. I was going the opposite way to Tangiers to take a flight back to Madrid, Spain so I decided I would just hire a taxi when I needed to leave.
With their tickets out of paradise in hand, we headed back to to our rooms to clean up. Youssef invited us for dinner again. We were surpised they would want our compay again but we agreed only one condition. That they allow us to purchase the items needed for dinner. He was hesitant but agreed. We felt it was the least we could do. We gave them 100dh, about $13, and it fed nine or ten of us. Not a bad deal I’d say! My only request was that for us to have chicken, since I’m a chickentarian and I really wanted to have a filling dinner.
I was quite surprised, and a little disturbed, when Mohamed, the man responsible for all the cooking, came home with fresh chicken, feathers and all! He went up stairs to prepare it and I was a little freaked out but put it behind me quickly. I guess I didn’t realize that the supply of frozen chickens would be sparse in Morocco!
Dinner was wonderful again. We had the tasty chicken served over a bed of rice that was full of flavor. The effort and quality put into food there is really amazing. They love their cooking, that’s for sure.
It had been a long day and we were full. We ventured back to our rooms and hit the hay. There was no question that our final full day in Morocco had been wonderful. We were able to spend some time in a beautiful town that was pretty far off the beaten path, meet some great people, and best of all, enjoy some amazing food!