Thursday, June 10, 2010

dusty days in chaouen

I mentioned the smells in the last post -- well imagine it now, looking at this photo. A pleasant 25°C, the constant smell of incense and tangines cooking away. Mint tea, hazy sun, orange blossoms, evening breeze. One minute you can't escape the calls of shopkeepers and restaurant workers, the next you are in a completely deserted lane-way, with only distant noises, and the many smells.

The central medina is dependent on the tourists that visit there, but still all around you are the sounds of the townspeople: collecting goods for dinner, chatting with friends in the shade by the central fountain, boys teasing each other as well as you. Everything stops when the call to prayer sounds. Nothing so beautiful and calming as that has ever woken me up at 4am before. It's reassuring to hear it throughout the day. A little reminder that everyone is together in something. It felt safe. I miss it the most.

Most of these pictures are from inside the old Kasbah, now a museum, it was a sanctuary within an oasis. We loved Chaouen so much, but this quiet fort filled with agaves and aloes and callas and cats was better than any fancy European city.

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