Friday, April 14, 2006

Nalut and Qasr al-Haj

Perched on the hilltop on the edge of the modern town is the old Berber town of Nalut. Stone built mosques, olive oil presses and houses cluster around the beautiful, abandoned, fortified granary (a 'qasr'). Inside the qasr, the early afternoon sun played across, around and through the varied nooks and crannies, bringing the stonework to life.

From Nalut we journeyed east, along the valley floor (is it called a valley if there's only one side? There was a ridge to the south, but the plains stretched out the the north.) to Qasr al-Haj. This is a much smaller town than Nalut but the granary is larger and forms a vital part of the life of the town, since it is still used by the locals. This qasr is much larger than the one in Nalut and opens up inside like an amphitheatre - poetically you could say that this amphitheatre provided the bread (grain) that went with the circuses that kept the Roman plebians happy.

We camped in a palm grove nearby, on the advice of the qasr's guardian, and enjoyed a technicolour sunset and even more beautiful dawn. But that's another day.


At 10:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Christian,

Just been browsing around your blog with interest - great pictures and stories. Came across it searching for the "saynoto0870" site but then noticed you had references to travels in the Sahara. Earlier this we spent a month travelling in the same region, all around Libya, and loved it. Will be posting our own tales & pics on our own site in fulness of time. Happy travels!

Stefan & Vanessa Aalten-Voogd, North Berwick.


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