What comes to mind when thinking about Morocco are burnt-sherbet deserts, hectic medinas and arid plains. It evokes a dry warmth; the scent of a thousand spices, rich olive oil and colourful cloth dyes.
These are reasons enough to visit during spring, when the temperatures are still balmy - even if it does mean sharing the roads and attractions with bustling crowds.
But when we landed in Tangier we were welcomed by empty ribbons of macadam sinuating through some of the lushest landscapes we had ever seen. The hills were covered by miles of golden wheat that quivered in the wind, while wildflowers lined the highway in shades of bright red, blue and purple. Further inland, the top of the mountains were still sprinkled with snow. One could not conjure a more exquisite picture to unfold as we made our way to Chefchaouen or the "Blue Pearl".
We spent the next few days wandering a kaleidoscope of teal, turquoise and soft blues, feasting on tangy lemon-chicken tajine and enjoying the unexpected silence of this sleepy town. Travelling with no expectation rekindled our childhood curiosity; open-mindedness made it transcendent.