berber man on the road chefchaouen vilostrada

My heart told me – travel to Morocco. Go explore. Down the road there will be a purpose.

At the Nerja Sunday market, I met the perfect guide in Kritzlynn Al Taib from Hidden Morroco Tours. On September 20, we headed south for Algeciras for a busy long weekend. We caught the ferry to Ceuta and drove on up in the Rif mountains in Morocco. I knew while enjoying the views from the car window that hidden treasures and adventures awaited.

Early afternoon, we check into Auberge Dardara, a 3 hour drive down the African continent, and meet Jaber El Habibi for the first time. A man with a vision for a better sustainable life for his children and the people in his village, where true craftsmanship is in focus. Our meeting will come to change lives.

The Blue City Chefchaouen Vilostrada

Kritz and Jaber guides us through a fairly quiet Friday afternoon in the Chefchaouen medina to introduce me to a great deal of talented craftsmen and shop keepers. As we walk through the streets, all painted in strong shades of blue ranging from light to cobalt blue, a quiet echo of the Friday prayers fills the air. Jaber shares the story about the Jewish refugees who lived in the city in the 1930’s, and even though there are practical reasons for painting the houses blue in other places, the reason in Chefchaouen is believed to be spiritual.

Filled with impressions, our evening winds down with a long swim in the turquoise pool below the Rif mountain tops and an exquisite three-course dinner with traditionally Moroccan spiced Chicken Tagine – cinnamon, saffron, cumin.

textiles carpet morocco chefchaouen vilostrada

The atmosphere, the people, the food, the craftmanship, the colors, the scents – were all fantastic. Something tells me we will be back.

All photos from our trip can be found on the Vilostrada Facebook page>>