Updated: Apr 18, 2021
We decided to go to Chefchaouen, aka “The Blue City.” It was about a two hour drive from
Tangier. Along this drive, you would find women working in the fields. Men would be along the road markets or sitting near the outside of restaurants drinking beverages. It was rare to see a woman out in public in rural areas. In Tangier, there were some working at hotels and restaurants. I did feel some "girl power" when I would see a female driving a vehicle.
There were small children, elementary school aged, walking to school alone. Some would be right along the roadway and no home around for miles. Many were located in the curvy mountain roadside and a cliff where the edges would drop straight down. A local told me that they would have to walk for miles to school and then home for lunch and back that afternoon. Many times I would see a motorcycle or moped carrying as many people as could hold on. The men had on the helmets and were driving, when the women and children seemed to not have that luxury.
Golden Locks May Invite Trouble
My brother and I initially were close together in the busy city of Tangier, but during the drive along the countryside toward Chefchaouen, we had separated a bit as there was a lot of traffic. Sometimes people passing our vehicle would separate my brother and I. Keep in mind in my car, there were 5 women, including myself in the car I was driving. It was rare enough in this country to see female drivers, but there was another attention grabber that existed. There were two of us who stood out quite a bit as their golden locks of hair were visible and apparent. This was rare in Morocco.
You could tell people passing or walking were peering into the car and took notice. As we were still far out with nothing around. I could barely see my brother's car ahead. I observed a vehicle approaching behind me quickly moving left to right acting very suspiciously. As I watched this car in my rearview, I maintained my speed which was much faster than I felt was the speed limit. I wasn’t able to read what the speed limit was, as I couldn’t read the signs. The vehicle was an older car with several men inside that appeared to be young in age. I felt he was messing with me, weaving in and out behind me, and doing it on purpose. I’m not sure if it were to scare me or impress me. I was going to let him pass and he did, but just as soon as he did, he slammed on brakes enough to make us come to a very slow speed. He did it a couple times.
Now I was annoyed and feeling unsure of what this group of locals had in mind. I could see it was clear of oncoming traffic ahead, so I immediately pressed the gas after downshifting and passed him fiercely. I felt the perps had an older vehicle and wouldn’t be able to keep up. Little did he know he was dealing with the wrong girl! I am retired from law enforcement and had been trained by what I consider the best, North Carolina Highway Patrol, in high speed and defensive driving. I had been involved in several high speed chases. This wasn’t my first rodeo, and I actually had a perfect situation to take advantage of this training. I shed him from the danger zone in zero minus 10 seconds. Those boys were shown what women from the United States are made of real fast. Soon after driving aggressively, we reconnected with my brother and he had an earfull from me on how he just didn't seem to notice.
I’m sure the girls were scared to death, but I never felt more in control and had a plan beyond this if anything else was to occur. I'm a step ahead or even two of what could happen and prepare myself mentally, always. It is more difficult when other people's lives are involved. But there was not a chance in hell I was going to stop and all of us possibly be victims of whatever they had in mind.
Chefchauen "The Blue City"
I would like to note that marijuana is illegal throughout Morocco. However in Chefchaouen, it is plentiful in the streets. In the mountainous Rif region, Europeans stream into the country to go on cannabis tours. They are trying to become the first African Country to legalize the herb of bliss.
Chefchaouen is painted blue supposedly to keep away mosquitos. It is such a beautiful site as you drive along mountains and in the distance you see this unique city with their very pleasing style of homes. Most were made of concrete, very much like many country cities. The colors gave a completely delightful splash of "coolness". There were many markets and restaurants here with very nice people who reside there. We paid someone to take us on a tour of the city.
Read about the other places we visited in Morocco.