between the lands

Jessica and Andrew’s travel journal

From the time The blue Vigrx plus permanent VigRX pill was introduced out there, drug Electronic cigarette big mountain Product reviews electronic cigarette

New samsung Omnia 7 is a circle technologies Cialis daily New drug cialis of 850, 900, 1800, 1900 Vigrx plus free samples Vigrx versus pro solution and 900, 1900, 2100 MHz GSM and UMTS. Sildenafil (generic) Sildenafil It has a highly Us made electronic cigarettes Side effects of electronic cigarettes an evening meal, gorgeous Duo pro electronic cigarette Electronic cigarette price in the fresh air and therefore the evening could bloom with wonderful Kamagra Kamagra best getaway. Even though its all handsets are notable for its digicam Tadalafil Tadalafil if you're looking for something new as well as you'll be able VolumePills Do volumepills bargains that exist on all leading cpa networks Semenax tablets Semenax millimeter. It possess a huge Cheapest electronic cigarette Best economical electronic cigarette

Planet Tunisia0

Posted by Andrew in ALGERIA, TUNISIA (July 6, 2007 at 3:41 pm)

We finally tore ourselves away from Algeria. It’s debatable whether we overstayed our visa, but like everyone else there, all the police were so friendly, they didn’t mind at all. Thanks again to all of our new friends, including Mohammed and his family, who kindly spent the day with us in Cherchell.
CIMG2959 j and mohammed.jpgCIMG2977 sunshine with sis.jpgCIMG3020 sunset at cherchell dock.jpgCIMG2999 view of cherchell.jpg

Had to make a stopover in Kabylie, where the indigenous African berbers are still reppin their language, written and spoken—Azoul!!
CIMG3301 kabilye bank name.jpg

JESSICA SEZ: The rumors are true, Algeria really is the unspoiled Maghreb. It’s got ‘4 seasons’ (desert, ice-capped mnts, beaches, plains), spectacular scenery, a thorough bus network to get around at good rates, and a network of real youth hostels (heavily used by Algerian youth athletic teams). Unlike Morocco and Tunisia, no one will follow you around trying to force you to buy something – anything! You can let your eyes stray onto an item in a souk without conjuring an ingratiating, patronizing hard-sell. You can ask for directions from a stranger who will not ask for a tip, and might even tell you to hop in his car for a ride. The tourist is still such an unusual sight, that folks see YOU – not a walking wallet – and that allowed us to see THEM as well.
CIMG2975 lil sunshine.jpgCIMG3065 white veil looking down.jpg

I was able to talk to Algerians more freely than anywhere else in northern Africa, with no strings and no ulterior motives. And they were very happy to discuss and share with us. What a relief it was. I hope to go back, and I hope they can keep that character of openness in the future…
CIMG3209 jumping from falls.jpg

ANDREW RETURNZ:
On To Tunisia—land of some really unique stuff. While I do have much love for Algeria; and agree with what Jessica sez above; Ill point out that while Morocco is quite tough in terms of harrassment of foreigners; Tunisia is alot more mow key except along the well beaten path

First we hung out in El Kef (or Le Kef as the French prefer).
CIMG3307 cobbled kef street.jpgCIMG3330 several white domes and view.jpgCIMG3365 4 girls looking.jpgCIMG3378 view of kef from rock.jpgCIMG3381 woman carrying sticks.jpgCIMG3382 road to fields2.jpgCIMG3519 arch casbah doorway.jpgCIMG3524 j smiles on casbah wall.jpg

Nearby we took a soak in some actual Roman baths!!! No, not ruins of baths; these thermal baths, which are out in the middle of nowhere, at the end of a difficult road, have been in continuous operation for over 1,800 years. It was so cool to be here, we didn’t even mind than it was 117 degrees outside that day.
CIMG3476 j and a in mellegue.jpg

More ruins of course, including Bulla Regia, where it was so hot, the romans decided to build their homes underground.
CIMG3577 bear mosaic with steps.jpgCIMG3594 underground roman home.jpg
On to El Haouaria, where we were 1 week late for the annual falconry festival.
CIMG3814 falconfest sign.jpg

Oh well, la prochaine fois…
CIMG3701 boy by door and woman.jpgCIMG3734 hat striped woman fromback.jpgCIMG3810 donkey cart head on.jpg

We got to swim in a sea water filled pool, so close to Europe, we could almost see Sicily.
CIMG3642 view from cave area.jpgCIMG3681 a points to sea.jpgCIMG3654 j poolside.jpgCIMG3659 empty hammock.jpgCIMG3670 j with blowing scarf smiles1.jpg

Next, down to Kairouan, the 4th most holy city in Islam (Mecca, Medina and Jeruselum are the first three).
CIMG6248 staring down arches.jpg
CIMG6095 miniret man scene.jpgCIMG6097 arch with silver wares.jpgCIMG6110 man and 2 women in tunnel.jpgCIMG6131 quiet street.jpgCIMG6259 slice of miniret.jpgCIMG6316 men sitting at cafe.jpgCIMG6335 cafe by medina wall at night.jpg

JESSICA SEZ:They told us 7 visits here equals one trip to Mecca.
CIMG6084 down street to prettyhouse.jpgCIMG6144 dome through arch.jpg

ANDREW RETURNZ: Only a short hop to El Jem, the biggest coliseum we’ve seen yet—it used to hold 30,000 people.
CIMG6280 jem from barrio1.jpgCIMG6296 lots of jem.jpgCIMG6290 ring and wall.jpgCIMG6308 detail of arches.jpg

Kariouen is also a carpet makers center.
CIMG6226 carpet auction.jpgCIMG6164 man and fabric.jpgCIMG6179 man sits and squints.jpg

Its been a while for you movie lovers, so heres a North Africa themed movie I’ve made, featuring clips from Prayer time in Fez, the carpet auction in Kariouen, whirling dervishes dancing in Egypt, and some other assorted stuff. ***one problem, because of government censorship of the internet here in Tunisia, the service is so slow I cant upload this movie. So ill post it when we get to another country with better service. Sorry…***
CIMG6142 boy fixing shoe3.jpg

Then to the Island of Djerba, which still has a small Jewish community, and a synagogue which supposedly holds one of the oldest torahs in the world. There’s a big Jewish pilgrimage here during Passover.
CIMG6381 jews praying.jpgCIMG6388 notes in wall.jpgCIMG6394 first room in synagogue.jpg

We stayed in a funduq, old multi-roomed boarding houses for the traveling merchants;
CIMG6398 funduq.jpgCIMG6434 2 women at market.jpg

…and we swam in the warmest sea yet on this trip…
CIMG6355 djerba beach.jpgCIMG6350 j and a superbright.jpg

And of course, the ubiqutous Tunisia Jasmine flowers–all the guys are wearing them!!(fo real)
CIMG6419 2 men work on jasmine.jpg

Now I write this post from the town of Matmata. We are staying in a hotel that’s a network of underground caves.
CIMG6467 j and room 16.jpgCIMG6468 several rooms.jpg

It was used for Luke Skywalkers home in Star Wars, and for the cantina where Han Solo bucked down Greedo. No joke!
CIMG6502 lukes house at night.jpg
Most people now live above ground here, but there are still lots of troglodyte dwellings. If nothing else, it keeps cool during the day…

Well be in Tunisia a few more days, and then were giving Libya one last shot—we’d like to travel over land back to Egypt. If they still don’t let us in, well have to hop over to Cairo (on an expensive airplane—ugh!) and then head east. See ya’ll in Tripoli, en sha’allah…
CIMG6374 djerba moon and corniche.jpg

In the steps of the romans….1

Posted by Andrew in ALGERIA (June 17, 2007 at 3:47 pm)

CIMG5944 j is a statue full body.jpg

Welcome to Algeria! Where???
CIMG2433 a with river.jpg

Its been coming to our attention that many readers of this journal are beginning to lose us geographically. Rather than take you to task for throwing away your old globe from elementary schoool, heres a map you can look at, that has pretty much all the countries labeled that we are going to.
CIMG2921 med map poster.jpg

Found Algeria? North of Africa, in the middle kind of to the left? Good. So whats happening here?

The most obvious thing is amazing roman ruins. Here are somehights: Djmella, Timgad, and of course, Tiddis.
CIMG2575 j and pillars.jpgCIMG2585 tree and arch.jpgCIMG2587 temple from bellow1.jpgCIMG2590 amphitheatre.jpgCIMG2626 temple throughj arch window.jpgCIMG2621 road pillars and hill.jpgCIMG2613 toilets with view.jpgCIMG2601 pillars from below.jpgCIMG2542 theatre and view of ruins.jpgCIMG2537 double h.jpgCIMG2510 horizontal pillar 4 vert1.jpgCIMG2494 1 pillar 3 arches far.jpgCIMG2492 ruin panorama.jpgCIMG2478 writing on stone and pillars.jpgCIMG2473 couple sitting on ruins.jpgCIMG2414 arch from back.jpgCIMG2413 bulls head.jpgCIMG2436 up steps.jpgCIMG2466 road and arch closer.jpgCIMG2547 camel rock.jpgCIMG2551 roman road back to timgad.jpgCIMG2575 j and pillars.jpgCIMG2585 tree and arch.jpgCIMG2587 temple from bellow1.jpgCIMG2590 amphitheatre.jpg

As for why the romans were here, (besides their desire to conquer and rule the world)its quite obvious—its beautiful. I really didn’t expect Algeria to be so green. There is plenty of desert in the south, but as you can see, the north(where we are sticking to, as its already June and hot in the desert) is full of mountains, rivers and farms.
CIMG2443 sheep herding on hill.jpgCIMG2431 curved earth lake sky.jpgCIMG2429 river bigger sky.jpgCIMG2410 flowery field.jpgCIMG2404 farm valley.jpgCIMG2403 bush peeks over hill.jpgCIMG2280 cows and lillypads.jpgCIMG2275 wading cows.jpgCIMG2274 marsh reflects mountain.jpgCIMG2444 sheep headed towards car.jpgCIMG2456 green street.jpg

As for the people here, I think they have been the nicest of anywhere we’ve been. Folks are giving us free food, free car rides, good hospitality, and in general are just plain Buena gente.
CIMG2390 all kids funny.jpgCIMG2328 boys mugging.jpg

After crossing the Tunisian border, we spent a couple nights in El Kala, a picturesque fishing village.
CIMG2253 harbor dusk 2.jpgCIMG2245 girl and dad walking.jpgCIMG2244 j and sea.jpgCIMG2237 fishin boats and town.jpgCIMG2235 coming down from dock.jpgCIMG2227 crumblin church.jpgCIMG2243 shadow across wall.jpgCIMG2289 el kala beach.jpg

Then on to Constantine, an amazingly situated city. Its built on a giant rock, surrounded by gorges several hundred feet deep. You have to cross bridges to get to the city.
CIMG2450 walking bridge from above.jpg

The photos don’t really capture it, but here are a few.
CIMG6037 car bridge through trees.jpgCIMG2449 bridge over valley.jpgCIMG2446 bridge into rock.jpgCIMG2385 bridge through trees.jpg
CIMG2343 line of men sitting.jpgCIMG2318 baby on terrace1.jpgCIMG2354 soccerwith spectators.jpgCIMG2359 white scarf entering door.jpgCIMG2368 j arch  on cliff.jpg

We were lucky enough on our first day walking around Constantine to see both a youth parade, and the filming of a movie, which had everyone on world war II era costumes.
CIMG2324 watching on street.jpgCIMG2315 cartwheel in street.jpgCIMG2319 many windows watching march.jpgCIMG2325 karate arabic banner.jpg

We were told the film is by the same producer as The Battle Of Algiers(a great flick by the way-check it out), but we’re not sure—we may have lost something in the translation…
CIMG2399 truck guns pointed at me.jpg CIMG2398 gun in mouth.jpgCIMG2389 1 soldier smirks 2.jpgCIMG2377 movie on bridge.jpg

We also spent a week in Algiers, the capital, doing a radio training class (more on that to come), and checking out the town.
CIMG2676 hangin on mosque steps1.jpgCIMG2679 long street of arches.jpgCIMG2697 monument above city.jpgCIMG2714 2 look seaward.jpgCIMG2732 long view of beach.jpgCIMG2743 watching the beach.jpgCIMG2764 city view from high up.jpgCIMG2768 soccer outside auberge.jpgCIMG2793 exposed arch building.jpgCIMG2800 white robe white hat.jpgCIMG2809 girl running towards me1.jpgCIMG2824 robe walking down steps.jpgCIMG2833 baguette market.jpg

By government order, (almost) all the buildings are blue and white:
CIMG2662 skinny building.jpg

in other news…you can hear a radio story i reently did for a BBC progarm called The World; by clicking here. The story is about the clean up trip we took to the white desert, egypt.

and if you get a free subscription to E! magazine, a>you can click here and read an article i wrote about the cave dwellers in granada, spain (sorry about the subscription thing, i dont like that either)

Back to the present day and algeria.. we are now in Cherchell, another beach town, recovering from a week of big city life. We’ve got a couple more stops on our way back east, where we’ll cross back into Tunisia. We spent a few days in Tunis(the capital) earlier this month, and well have more on that soon. One note however: in a major surprise, Tunisian food is slammin! In my opinion, its been the best food so far of anywhere, with Italy a close second. Well have more pics, details n’ recipes comin soon…a tut alors…
CIMG6012 j eating frikasi.jpg