Hello? Anyone home?
These huge wooden, decorated doors are commonplace around the casbah community. They are stunning.
Mark it off the bucketlist...We ventured into the Casbah and wandered the winding alleyways. We chatted with the locals (well, probably more just appreciated their hospitality since there was not a soul who spoke English). We explored some of the buildings and participated in the holy service (yes, I wore a head scarf). And even had lunch on the Mediterranean (if pushing fish heads around on your plate to make it look like you ate lunch counts as "having lunch").
The young boy in the one room school house would have been proud. He could have imagined the battles being fought in the Algerian Revolution, the camels hauling merchandise from the spice routes and the intrique of spies. Not much has changed among the cobblestone walkways and narrow passages. Residents still live in small quarters stacked upon one another. Kids still play inside the old walls. The soothing breezes off the Mediterranean still sweep through and cool the evenings. The community continues to supply water for everyone at communal water sources. Neighbors still seem to know everyone. And women still peek out the windows at passerbys below. Yes, that young Wabaunsee County boy would be so happy to know he finally
Casbah's version of the community watering hole
Every little bit, we came across these beautifully tiled niches used to supply drinking water for the residents of the casbah. As soon as we finished our photo shoot, the little boys playing "football" in the alley stopped by for a quick swig of water before continuing their game.
experienced everything glorified by the Duprees in the lyrics of the song "You Belong To Me."
Happy too would be all of our mamas back in the states because we followed the advice of the guide books and State Department and hired a guide to walk us through the many alleyways. We did not realize that a police escort is mandatory for foreign travellers and our guide suggested maybe even more so for American visitors. Americans seem to be few and far between in these parts of Africa--when we spoke English, it really seemed to make heads turn. Our guide spoke only French, so as we explored our entourage included the assigned police officer, our French speaking guide, the three Americans and our French to English interpreter (Kyle!).
We are enjoying Algiers from the food to the climate to the people. Maybe we are even pleasantly surprised at how much we are enjoying the destination. Thanks to the Duprees for the inspiration, dad's sisters for playing the song, and a little boy with an imagination.
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