September 4, 2005

9/4/05 Málaga Spain

Into the mountains to Chefchaouen

We had breakfast at 6am and were on the road by 7. Today, we would travel up into the mountains to a city called Chefchaouen. It was a long bus ride made more difficult because of the twisting roads as we went higher and higher. It was nice to see more green, more trees and even some small streams.

Chefchaouen itself is built onto the side of the mountain. It was so steep that even the bus struggled to take us to the hotel/parador in the center of town.

The city is built into the side of the mountains

Just like before, a local guide took us all over the village, up, down, and across. It was actually a beautiful place, with all the buildings whitewashed with a lot of blue thrown in.

They had a lot of streams running through town because of the mountains. It was wash day for many families and it was interesting to watch. But a few women clearly didn't want their picture taken.

Doin' the wash

The whole town was painted blue

Like stepping back in time

After the tour, we had a good hour and a half of free time to wander through the shops. They were actually more expensive than in Málaga, but then again I'm not a good bargainer.

Again, lots of sights , smells & sounds

Had lunch at the parador before loading up the bus for the long drive back to Ceuta. I guess my beard is too distinct. One of the waiters chased me down because someone at our table hadn't paid for his drinks but he didn't know which one, so he demanded I pay. I did, but reluctantly.

Even the air conditioning couldn't keep up with the sun beating down on the bus. We were all sticky with sweat. It was such a relief to get off the bus and head for the boat for the crossing back to the European continent. This time we were on the fast trimaran that did the crossing in half the time – really, really fast.

This time we loaded onto another bus for the last leg of the trip to Málaga. And just as their schedule said, we were back at 10:30pm.