Matmata and Star Wars
Favorite thing: Star Wars: Don't expect neon lights or signposts to point you in the right direction. If our tour guide had not given us directions, we wouldn't have even know that the Star Wars locations were here! Each of the "buildings" is connected to the main entrance by underground tunnels. From above ground, they appear to be enormous holes in the ground surrounded by an old delapidated wire fence, with a courtyard at the bottom.
The road to nowhere
Favorite thing: It just looks like the road to nowhere, "lost in space". There is nothing in front and you have left nothing behind, just a rocks all around. The desert landscape is amazing, pure magic, far away from all my previous "knowledge" about the deset. This is where we can learn how small the menkind is.
- Family Travel
The Tourist strikes back - impact of tourism.
Favorite thing: After the 1976 filming of part of the initial Star Wars film (see Accommodation tip) the filmakers returned again in 2002 for Episode 2.
In the 1976 film Luke Skywalker complains to C3PO that life is somewhat dull in his home town, saying : "If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from"
I found an excellent article from National geographic that give a clear insight into how settled communities can be affected by the onslaught of mass tourism. Perhaps Luke would not make the same comment now !
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- Arts and Culture
When is the best time to visit ?
Favorite thing: When most of the day-trips have returned to their western hotels on the coast the place takes on a different atmosphere.
You can more easily go for a wander around the village and up on one of the small hills at the back to watch the sun go down.
The further you are from the village center the less people will be bothered about walking past their homes.
I can understand why some keep manky dogs and put up barbed wire - would you want to live in a fishbowl ?
a moonlike landscape
Favorite thing: The landscape: barren and rugged. Hilly at times with the lone palm tree here and there. The colour: a delicate ochre hue. The sky: dark and saturated: it was just before a storm - the finishing eerie touch for an uncommon location.
Fondest memory: Going for a walk away from the crowds, and paying attention not to fall into one oh the underground dwellings (as they are not fenced) one feels like being on planet Tatooine. I expected to see Luke Skywalker come out of nowhere at anytime. For the record, he never did.
Favorite thing: It is easy to see the attraction of this area to the Star Wars filmmakers as the landscape is dramatic and the caves built into the ground only add to the effect.