Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Tunisia - Matmata

We hadn't really planned on taking a Star Wars tour of Tunisia, but it's kind of hard to escape the frequency of movie-related locations. In fact the more time you spend in Tunisia the more you realise that the fantastic scenes, place names and costumes came more from Tunisian reality, than the imagination of the film makers.

So we visited Matmata to see the troglodyte houses, and not because these houses were Luke's home on Tatooine (Tataouine is the name of a nearby town).

We visited a few of the troglodyte houses, which felt a bit odd in parts because people actually still live in these houses, but it was very interesting to see nevertheless.

In fact we didn't just see the houses, we actually spent the night in one of the rooms in one of the houses converted to a hotel. Certainly one night was enough - the mosquitos and minimalistic bedding ensured that.

Apart from the houses, Matmata is set in quite amazing surrounds - with dry, rocky , terraced hills, and splashes of green where somehow moisture had been retained in the soil.

The plan was to use Matmata as a base to visit some of the old Berber towns in the area, and our second night was in more civilised accommodation. Although we couldn't escape the Tunisian staple dinners of Harissa, Briks and Couscous.

No comments: