After a long stretch of working with no breaks, we finally got a week off from school to travel or rest, and my mom came back again to visit me. And after several instances of nearly getting run over by cars and motorcycles, we were happy to spend five days up in the quiet of the mountains.
We went to Chefchaouen, which is in the north of Morocco, up in the Rif mountains. It is known for it’s blue walls, beautiful scenery, and expansive reefer plantations. My mom and I thoroughly enjoyed the two former aspects of the town, taking lots of pictures and getting daily calf workouts.
Coming from a very flat place (Illinois), I’ve always loved trips to the mountains. Every time I visit a mountainous area I start to make plans for how I can live in the mountains in the future. However, we quickly found that mountains are beautiful but inconvenient. In Chefchaouen, produce is brought in from across the mountains and sold only on market days, Monday and Thursday. To buy produce, you must go down to the lowest part of the old city, and then lug it back up to your home. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big fan of the fruit and vegetable carts in Casablanca, and that kind of convenient fresh produce was not available in Chefchaouen.
Finally, I decided to return to my life in Casablanca in lieu of setting up in the mountains and going on long hikes every day for the rest of my life. I missed the melon man, the whole-wheat bread seller, the Philadelphia cream cheese corner store, and the daily vegetable truck. I also thought it might be a good idea to go to work on Monday. But it was a wonderful and restful week, and fun to see the countryside of Morocco. The ocean breeze welcomed us back to Casablanca, and I feel just a little bit more confident about dodging motorcycles on the way to the vegetable cart than I did before.