Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 34

32 and a bit of the north,” said Sánchez. “They went back home and I contin- ued on up north to a place called Chefchaouen. It’s a tongue twister, but it’s way up in the Rif Mountains in the far north, almost up to the Mediterranean coast. They call it ‘The Blue City.’ It’s kind of tucked into the mountains there, kind of hidden. I was really amazed by that. It is a really old city, probably one of my favorite places in Morocco, from a photography standpoint. The oldest part of the old city is all painted like an indigo blue, all blue everywhere. Several different shades of blue.” No cars are allowed in Blue City center, just very old and blue stone buildings and ancient stone streets. “Everything is blue,” Sánchez reiterated. “I mean, I really can’t describe it any other way.“ If one is fortunate enough to get out away from the city and look back from a higher vantage point, the view, Sánchez said, is spectacular. Chefchaouen, he promised, is Google worthy. In 2003, as the Second Gulf War or invasion of Iraq was getting under- way, Sánchez visited Turkey, Jordan, Israel and Egypt, all, in his book, amazing places. “Unfortunately I didn’t get in, but I wanted to go to Syria — and this was long before the Syrian Civil War started. I was told I had to get a visa at the embassy, the actual Syrian Embassy. Couldn’t get it at the border.” He would like to go back to Jerusalem, he said, “now that I know a lot more about photography, and give it a proper photo trip.” “I love the history,” he added. “I won’t go into the religious aspects, but I really appreciate the history, because that area is home to three great faiths that for better and for worse have shaped a lot of world history — whether we like it or not. It’s a very hotly contested piece of real estate.” Interested in journalism at the time, Sánchez said he felt “pulled” to the area. Currently, Sánchez’s day job is surveying water systems, a job that includes a bit of travel. At the time of this writing, he was in Seattle Taj Mahal, India and mentioned he might be going to Alaska. Wherever he goes, it’s a sure bet he’ll have a camera along to capture images that without the aid of words tell rich, vibrant stories.