Morocco: Sunrise Hike in Chefchaouen

Morocco: Sunrise Hike in Chefchaouen

One thing you have to do in Chefchaouen is to hike up to the Spanish mosque and see either the sunrise or sunset. We opted for sunrise because I was going to Casablanca at noon. I stayed in “Riad Baraka” my last night and as much as I loved the heater, I missed the people in my previous hostel. And the British owner was incredibly rude and stressed everyone out. Just proves that no matter how good a place is, if the staff sucks, everything else will. Anyway, we saw that the sun would rise at 8:30 so I woke up at 7:30 and walked alone to my other hostel to meet the girls. At first I was a bit scared to walk all alone in the Medina, but Chefchaouen is so chill and the locals that were up just gave me weird glances. Apparently the Chinese tourists wakes up super early so they have Chefchaouen all to themselves, but it annoys the locals because they’re super loud at 7 am. I can understand why this can be aggravating for the Moroccans.

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As the sun rises

I heard the sunsets are amazing when the weather’s good, but wow. The sunrise was incredible! We knew it was going to be sunny so we’d get a clear view. We just saw the Spanish mosque and decided to hike straight up. I have no idea which path we took, but we passed the Jewish cemetery and climbed up in the mud, straight up to the viewpoint. Clearly this was the wrong path, which we found out when other hikers came up by the stairs. It takes about 20 minutes to walk here from Aline Hostel and it’s not a difficult hike at all. I really recommend going here for sunrise because there were no people at all when we first came, and then approximately 5 people were there too. This definitely sealed the deal – Chefchaouen is my favourite place in Morocco (so far).

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My friend who became a photographer for a minute

I went back to my Riad after the sunrise and had some breakfast, met this American guy who was also traveling from Chefchaouen – Tangier, so we decided to go together. My goal was to get to Casablanca, where my flight would also depart the day after. It’s not as tricky as it sounds like, but the journey is long. My options was to either take a bus from Chefchaouen – Fez or to Tangier, then continue to Casablanca. Both of the options would take about 8 hours, so didn’t really matter. But I preferred to go to Tangier so I would be guaranteed a spot on the bus. People told me that the buses that departs to Fez are usually full, but I have a feeling that I could’ve gotten a seat. Still. Me and Justin started walking from the Medina to the bus station (20 min) to try to find a bus that goes to Tangier. We just asked the first guy who sold us tickets for 35 DIRHAM + 10 for our luggage. For 2 1/2 hours, we paid €4. This was a very local bus though and we had to switch midway. Thank God, because a Moroccan woman on the bus did not handle the bumpy ride. She was puking constantly and the best thing? She was seated just next to us. Halfway we switched buses, but that poor thing was apparently hopping on with this one as well. Not my favourite bus memory, but me and Justin couldn’t contain our laughter (while of course, feeling terrible for this woman). We were also the only tourists on the bus and this one was not as nice as the CTM buses. But it was really cheap and it became a fun memory.

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I was missing Chefchaouen already

We split up in Tangier and I had to walk about 30 minutes to get to the train station. I knew the train hours because of my couch host, who were waiting for me in Casablanca. I knew I had about 3 hours before the train would depart so I chilled a bit after buying a ticket (about 100 DIRHAM) to Casablanca. They have a mall close by so I swallowed  my pride and got a pizza. I just couldn’t eat more tagine. The train ride went surprisingly well and I could even lay down. There was a man seated in front of me and he was trying to tell me that it’s okey that I spread out and sleep for a while. It was such a random act of kindness. I know that Moroccans don’t have the best reputation in the world, but I honestly met so many warm hearted people there, both men, women and children. I didn’t have a bad experience in Morocco with the locals and I’m so thankful for it. It really does make it or break it when you travel. Perhaps that’s why I never felt scared while traveling by myself, alone as a girl, on trains or buses. I’m not sure if I was lucky or if it’s because of something else, but nothing ever happened to me. Thank God.

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