April 8, Chefchaouen, #IBMCSC #CSCMorocco10 #CitizenIBM
We leave our Rabat hotel at 5:10 a.m. for Chefchaouen, an out-of-the-world medieval era town about 250 km N.E. of Rabat. Chefchaouen is in the Rif mountain region famous for its blue coloured buildings and is known as the blue town.
We divide ourselves into two Ford Tourneo vans. On our way, I am sitting in the middle of Gerardo (from Mexico) and Catalina (from Colombia). It’s dark and the night sky is well lit and I spot a bright shining star. Somebody says it’s the North star and Gerardo quickly counters telling us it’s more like Venus. He checks his Stellarium app and confirms it is in fact planet Venus. I tell both Gerardo and Catalina that South/Latin America is the only continent I have not visited and and it’s on my to-do list. For the next hour we hold an animated discussion on the places to visit in LatAm.
We reach Chefchaouen at 9:15 a.m. feeling good that we have the better part of the day ahead of us. We check in at Hotel Tarek and face people staring at us wondering from what country does this group belong. Well, we belong to a country called IBM. In no time, we set out for the Medina , the walled section of the town closed to vehicular traffic. The buildings are mostly blue-washed and the alleys are narrow and appear like a maze with no two alleys alike. Why are these walls blue? The blue is meant to signify the infinite blue sky and the cherished goal of becoming spiritually awake.
We soon branch out in two groups, shoppers and non-shoppers. I am an avowed non-shopper but here I become a convert quickly. Morocco is just too exotic and remote to ignore shopping. The rugs, scarves, shawls, handicrafts, leather items, jewellery and other knickknacks are unusual and appealing.
We spend most of our day at the Medina and head back to our hotel in the evening. Today is Liz’s birthday and we all IBMers invade the patio of our hotel and celebrate with cake cutting, music and dancing to make it a memorable day and an even more memorable birthday for Liz.