Trip to the Blue City — Part I

En Route to the Blue City

En Route to the Blue City

The phrase “the journey is the destination” could well apply regarding traveling from Aouchtam to Chefchaouen, Morocco. The scenery between the two places is a moment by moment journey of majestic beauty and wondrous views.

We hired a private taxi and our Moroccan friend. Azis, accompanied us to make sure we got hotel arrangements to our liking. His neighbor Nizaar (not our neighbor, Nizaar) was our driver who took the curves gracefully and stopped the car whenever we asked so we could take photos and appreciate the breathtaking landscapes more fully.

Nizaar - Our Careful Driver

Nizaar – Our Careful Driver

The road follows the Oued Laou Valley, which features beautiful patchwork-like fields, still cultivated frequently with plows pulled by animals. The Berbers work the land in “the old manner,” relying on their animal companions for transportation, labor and food. Because of this close relationship with the natural world, the fields have a vitality that is less visible in the Western world, where mono-agriculture and mega-farms are more the norm. Here the ‘family farm” is alive and well, the hills are truly alive and this aliveness is evident in the great-tasting food.

Fertile Fields, Vital Landscapes

Fertile Fields, Vital Landscapes

As we got closer to Chefchaouen, the River Laou cut deeply into mountain canyons. The height of the mountains and the enormity of the rock formations contrasted with blue or cloud-filled skies offered thousands of opportunities for photographs. I used great restraint and only shot 100. Here are some of my favorites from our journey to Chefchaouen, the Blue City.

Overview of Oued Laou Valley

Overview of Oued Laou Valley

Massive Rock Formations en Route to Chefchaouen

Massive Rock Formations en Route to Chefchaouen

Rocky Peaks en Route to Chefchaouen

Rocky Peaks en Route to Chefchaouen

In the Oued Laou Gorge

In the Oued Laou Gorge

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