This was one of the most stunning sunsets I've ever seen.
I have to admit, this town is something else. Before I came to Morocco - before I even booked my flights - I remember being in complete and utter awe at this city and its sheer beauty. And that was just from looking at images from the Internet! But when viewed from the top of the Spanish Mosque south of the city, somehow the city of Chefchaouen becomes even more gorgeous than it already is. I simply have no words.
It was 5 o' clock in the afternoon and the sun was just about to start its descent. As the air cooled, I began a climb up to the top of the city, up winding alleyways and blue staircases, past blue arches and colourful flowerpots. I loved the way the rooftops cast shadows upon the brilliant blue colours of the walls, creating stunning contrasts, almost bluer than the sky itself! After about 25 minutes of climbing, I arrived to the imposing wall that encompassed the old city Medina. I looked back and stared at the view that stood in front of me, with the wall snaking its way down into the cluster of houses beneath. I only stood here for a fleeting moment because I knew it was a race against time if I was going to make it for sunset!
I set upon a trail that begins from Bab al Ansar (photo below) which is the medina's eastern gate and goes down over the Ras el'Ma river, which was a refreshing change of pace. The path then starts to steepen again and becomes more of a dirt path, now with the town to my right. Suddenly, in front of me was a cosy-looking house with what seemed to be a miniature version of the house right in front of it, as if it were an ornament to provide amusement to the trekkers making their way up the hill! There was a little slot for money so I donated some Dirhams as I knew I was approaching the end of my trip in Morocco and I would no longer need it. Satisfied that I had done my bit, I turned around and gazed at the medina, framed perfectly by the agave cacti that lined the trail. I then noticed the slowly-setting sun. I had to press on.
Slowly, I made my way up and gazed upon the Spanish Mosque that sat almost above me, towering over the city, as if it were a guardian watching over. I made my way up and climbed, "Only a few more steps" I kept panting to myself. I was only driven by the promise of rest and a view, I'm a simple man! As I looked upI saw a few tourists already settled there, armed with their tripods ready to take the perfect shot from the perfect spot. Eager to join them, I finally made it to the concrete platform of the 1920s mosque, lined with a brick. While a beautiful building in its own right, it was nothing compared to the stunning view that lay before me. Panting and sweating, I gazed upon the blue shapes that filled the landscape, lining the mountains and ridges of the Riff.
What a sight to behold!
Before I parked myself patiently to wait for sunrise (and looking a little worse for wear thanks to the trek), I asked a tourist for a photograph. Almost as proof that I was here and I made it up. I still couldn't quite believe that I was lucky enough to be able to visit this city, and it was a surreal feeling that after all those Google searches on Chefchaouen, I was finally here, in the flesh. The photo below still remains one of my favourite photos of this trip! I shan't forget it.
As the sun set slowly behind the mountains, I prepared my camera and took shot after shot as horses and donkeys made their way up the hill, slowly grazing on the lush grass; almost posing for the tourists to supplement the already extraordinary view. Not that it needed it. I sat here for about an hour, waiting patiently and staring at the view from this great height, almost in a meditative state and feeling very content with life, with everything.
The details were spectacular, and the way the deep blue contrasts turned a deeper blue as the lights changed with it. There was not a sound to be heard apart from the occasional conversation of the tourists around me, as they too were entranced by the spectacular sight. And as the sun went down, and after a few more photographs, I sat there silently, at ease with my own solitude. Glad to have made it here, and glad to have been able to share this experience with you guys too.
🌏 | Chefchaouen, Morocco
📷 | Samsung S8
🎨 | Lightroom Mobile edits used
Over the next few weeks I'll be trekking through Morocco and I'll be share with you my thoughts, feelings, tips and warnings about visiting each place along the way. Being a photographer, I will be doing this while sharing my photos with all of you too! I sincerely hope you all enjoy.
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