One day while in Fes, we drove about 3.5 hours north through the farmlands to see the beautiful city of Chefchouen (“the Blue City”) in the Rif Mountains. The city nestles in the hollow of the two mountains -ech-Chaoua (the Horns) – from which it takes its name. Steep narrow streets with white and indigo limewashed buildings, small squares, ornate fountains and houses with elaborately decorated doorways and red tile roofs make this a delightful town. It was founded in 1471 by Idrissid shorfa, descendants of the prophet Mohammed.
The drive was beautiful as the road would through a somewhat hilly terrain filled with farmlands, orange groves, small villages – and the most olive trees in existence!
Many of the older buildings in the medina are painted blue. We heard of several reasons, including “to look nice”, to attract tourists”, “it repels mosquitos”, “blue is the sky according to the Jews”, “blue is cooler”, “blue represents water – essential for human life”. Who really knows but it is pretty!