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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Ali Baba's Delight~

Gold and silver jewelry displayed in window box along main street in Kairouan
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~Kairouan~ Did I Just See Indiana Jones Dash By?

Beautiful tile work at the Barber's mosque

A typical back street scene in Kairouan

Kairouan's old city gates bidding us to come in to visit


Was our nearest town to shop for food,meat,and items needed to live. The town was about 50 miles from our home in Haffouz. We would plan our trips weekly to shop.

In order to get to Kairouan we would take the local bus, or by Louage, a fast car,sort of a taxi . When using these louages, there may be as many as 6-8 people squeezing into these small station wagons, a sort of packem' in mentality, the more in, the more $$ made, as each person pays the fee to ride. Oh, and the driver drives like a 'bat out of Hell'
If you get there, you can bet, you will certainly beat the local bus.

The local bus is another story. You stand in a group, not lined up, and then push to make sure that you get a spot. All this done as people are pushing to get off the bus! Sometimes you can stand at the stop and the bus drives by, not stopping because there is no room for another person.
One time the bus stopped to let a person off, but was not accepting any new riders, we just said "pour le deux"? For the two Americans? ( who stick out like sore thumbs, and hey, what the heck are they doing so far away from a city where they should be touring??) Out here in Haffouz, it is 'every man and woman for themselves', when it is time to get to Kairouan!

We climbed aboard and left the others on the street to comment on how pushy we were to get aboard!

Kairouan just happened to be one of the towns that the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark used in it's film.

When the girl is being chased and she hides in among many baskets,it is this scene that was filmed in and around Kairouan .

Kairouan is really a beautiful town,it shows a real flavour of North Africa with its whitewashed buildings with domes that remind you of citrus juicers, enormous skiens of freshly dyed red yarn hanging out to dry in the sun alongside white walls, provide a memory of such beautiful visuals, enhanced with the blue adorned window treatments, a la Moorish in flavor, and the beautiful tile work in the Barber Mosque.

Enter through it's Casbah gate into an old world marketplace expecting Ali Baba to appear.

There through the blue window lies the treasure of gold and silver jewelry hanging in display, a delight to ones eyes.

Tunisian women wear their wealth in their ears and around their wrists and necks in chunks of silver and filligreed pieces with patterns that display the beauty captured in the jeweler's work. The bedouin's melt pieces or chunks off of their silver, or sell a piece of their jewelry in transaction when needed.

Some of these women's ears hang with the size and weight of their silver in their ears.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Dougga, View of Spledor of Roman Days~ Temple of Saturn~

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The Defaced head of Saturn ~

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Dougga's Charriot Rutted Street~

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~ A Day Out Amongst The Roman Ruins~

While traveling through the country on day trips we were taken by a beautiful town by the name of Dougga and the remains of a Roman city, with one of the most impressive views of a ruined city of the past. . As we approached by foot we passed the massage amphitheatre where many a Roman sat and listened to their leaders give directives for their lives and perhaps sit for entertainment.
Walking further on, being followed by beggar children, approaching with hand out, "Donne'moi argent!", 'Give me money!', we walked along the carefully placed cobblestones that were rutted by the continuous weight of chariot wheels carrying people to and from the city. It amazed me to see this, but what was even more impressive was the mammoth Temple of Saturn rising high above us, built in AD195. As we walked and stood amongst the pillars there at our feet was the remains of a statue that had been defaced by having it's nose knocked from it. It made us feel as if we were Lilliputians!
When surrounded by buildings of such mass I marvel at the work involved in transporting the stone, the carving and erecting of these works of art left for us to stare at in amazement.