Tataouine

Tataouine is a small town in the south of Tunisia. It is a popular place for visitors, because there are many Berber places to visit in the countryside around it. Not to mention that its name sounds like the planet Tatooine.

Entrance to Ksar Ouled Soltane

A ksar is a fortified granary, built by Berber tribes. There is always only one entrance into the courtyard.

Entrance to Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Once inside, you are surrounded on all four sides by many ghorfas (rooms). In this Ksar, they are four stories high and have been restored to their original condition.

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Ouled Soltane

Outside Ksar Ouled Soltane

This is the outside of the Ksar.

Outside Ksar Ouled Soltane

View from Ksar Ouled Soltane

The surrounding countryside. Tunisia is a very dry place!

View from Ksar Ouled Soltane

Ksar Mghit

This is another ksar that I visited. It is less restored than Ksar Ouled Soltane, but it is just as spectacular.

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

Ksar Mghit

View from Ksar Mghit

Again, the countryside is very dry.

View from Ksar Mghit

Locals outside Ksar Mghit

Many locals wear the traditional bolnos -- a brown flowing cloak made from a light, blanket like, material. Now where have I seen that type of clothing before?

Locals outside Ksar Mghit

Market at Ksar Mghit

Outside this ksar is a local market. The stall in the front is selling dates, a major crop of Tunisia.

Market at Ksar Mghit

Ksar Ezzahra

This is another ksar. This one is larger, but not as well restored as the two previous ones.

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezzahra

Ksar Ezahra

Inside one of the ghorfas (the long rooms that have been designed to store grain.

Ksar Ezahra

Ksar Ezzahra

The road leading away from Ksar Ezzahra.

Ksar Ezzahra

View from Ksar Jelidet

Another view of the local countryside. This time from the entrance to Ksar Jelidet.

View from Ksar Jelidet

Gate to Ksar Jelidet

Again, there is a single gated entrance into the ksar.

Gate to Ksar Jelidet

Ksar Jelidet

This ksar has not been restored as much as the others.

Ksar Jelidet

Ksar Jelidet

However, it is very large and appears to be still in use.

Ksar Jelidet

Ksar Ouled Debbab

The next ksar is on top of a hill. However, as we got closer, we realised that this one is a bit different from the others.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Firstly, there is a fake dinosaur outside this ksar. Something tells me that this is not an authentic feature of Berber architecture!

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

The entrance also looks very different from the other ksars too.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Once inside, past the huge eagle, it is clear that this one has been renovated for the tourists. This is the cafe courtyard.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

And the rest of it is being restored and turned into a hotel.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

A big hotel, even though the rooms themselves aren't very big.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

A hotel with a jurrasic park theme?

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

The renovations were still going on when I was there.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

The earthy and practical ghorfas.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

There is a historical charm in the old ksar.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

A charm that is going to be lost, when it becomes a hotel.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

Ksar Ouled Debbab

The hotel may provide some employment to the local town at the bottom of the hill. Still, I'd prefer the authentic feel of the ruins. However, there's one more ksar to visit: Ksar Haddada.

Ksar Ouled Debbab

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