Tunisia - scrubbing kilometres and a discussion about Ksar Ouled Soltane

Tunisia - scrubbing kilometres and a discussion about Ksar Ouled Soltane

On my little smartphone, the route didn't look that long. In addition, there were thousands of photo stops, breakfast and lunch breaks and about 50 kilometres of gravel road. 

Sounds like a great day, doesn't it?

We roll through the mountains, a magical road without any oncoming traffic. We pass small oases adorned with palm trees and several ksour. However, let's be honest: we slowly whiz past some highlights, here a cave castle, there another one. 

Actually, we wanted to take a longer break in Tataouine, maybe one or two days. As we drive through, we realise that this is not our town. The energy is not right for us. So we roll on, to the next "pin" on my wish list.

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Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane is highly hyped, lovingly reconstructed and without pushy traders and self-appointed guides. Historically, there are hardly any written references to the past - the Berbers simply didn't scribble as much in books or stones as we Europeans do.

In addition, there is heated debate in forums about whether Ksar Ouled Soltane was a "Star Wars" filming location or not. There is not a single piece of information about this on official Star Wars websites, but tour guides of all stripes bring guests here and say that one scene or another was filmed here. 

We don't really care, it's a beautiful reservoir castle and worth a trip at best. The idea of taking a different route back was a fail. We staggered for kilometres back to Tataouine, passing many small villages that could have slept away another few centuries.

Several hours later, we still don't like the city, so Gerd steps on the gas and we drive once more into the mountains of our favourite Dahar range. 

And end up back in the same Berber village as just before Christmas, eating a hearty dinner here in a Berber tent (Gerd is supposed to dip his meat in honey!) consisting of soup, salad, various breads, dips, harissa, olives, meat en masse (and here we hope that it was cooked for a looooong time, as we had seen the production and storage beforehand), couscous, vegetables, vegetable gratin, fresh mandarins and lots of dates. Plus mint tea and a very strange kind of cola. 

When it gets too cold in the tent, we all move to the cave bar. There, the (actually sweet and cuddly) cave cat steals my balls of wool. Gerd (and everyone else) think it's very funny, but I don't see the joke. OK, I put the knitting away and take part in the cave life. Which actually only consists of listening to the Arabic conversations and watching the cat, and drinking tea once again. Mint tea, of course!

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Merci for "travelling with us

These weeks we are travelling through Iran. It's possible that we won't be writing posts or that they will be delayed. We first have to see whether we have enough internet or reception and whether it is suitable for us to publish from the country. And whether we will even manage to write down all the fantastic impressions in time.

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1 year ago

Dear ones, it is always nice to read your descriptions and look at the photos! Thank you for a piece of another world!
The strange kind of cola might have been sūs (pronounced Suuß). In Aleppo, street vendors had drawn it from a kind of backpack container and sold it. While doing so, they strummed some kind of cymbals in an attention-grabbing way. The ingredient was liquorice, but I don't think I ever tasted it.