Homes

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This post is in response to a post on the blog of our friends, Alison and Dan and Sam and Maeve, who are also on a long trip. A photo of an abandoned house in their post got me thinking of the kinds of houses we saw in Tunisia.

We spent Eid after Ramadan in the town of Sidi Bou Said, which is famous for its blue and white colour scheme and beautiful doors to the houses.

 

 

These houses we saw while driving:

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Abandoned and falling down. This was common. In Nabeul, to get to the beach we had to walk across a “field” of bulldozed houses (hotels?). The water was full of sea-scoured tiles there.

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We also saw square tents made of plastic tarps and sticks and canvas, which are the homes of the Nomadic Berber people.  Other similar temporary structures were built outside marble-cutting facilities and other rural industries.

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Here is the Holy city of Kairouan. Seven trips to Kairouan can equal one trip to Mecca, our tour guide told us. Here you see the Minaret and a dust storm coming in. The Mosque is the arches to the right.

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Troglodyte cave dwelling in Matmata. To get away from the heat, the Berbers dug into the rock. The dark spot to the left in the courtyard is the kitchen.

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Kitchen, with palm tree logs shading the opening

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Inside the kitchen

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In the bedroom. There was a small room to the right with a wash bowl in it. I never did find the toilet.

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Look in the top left! The TV antenna! Up on the roof of the cave house!

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Luke Skywalker’s house was actually a Berber Troglodyte house. Now it is a hotel.

The coolest thing about the troglodyte houses is how it made me see the landscape differently.  What I saw as empty desert was actually a highly populated and managed natural environment.  The Berbers used terracing to prevent erosion and capture water for their houses and plants.  Look closely at these next pictures to see the sculpted the land.IMG_1322 IMG_1325 IMG_1350 IMG_1367

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