Gabes is one of the biggest industrial cities in Tunisia, and it´s famous for it´s Souqs in Jarah and the unusual seaside Oasis. We made a brief stop in this city specially to visit the Spice market located in front of the new Mosque (under construction). A good place to see and buy the famous Tunisian spices. As in all Tunisia be prepared to bargain.
Spice Market. Henna.
Henna is a flowering plant, native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, India and the Arab countries. It´s been used for body and hair dye. In Tunisia is used to adorn young women bodies and arms (specially hands) as part of social celebration such as marriage and fertilty rituals.
There's only one major sight in Chenini - and when i say major I mean not only a main sight, but a great one too: the old abandoned berber village. From the parking lot walk up the narrow trail to the old granaries and look at their architecture and how they blend right into the desert mountainside. You'll see some counrtyards in front of them: that's where the original inhabitants held. if possible go inside one and notice how naturally cool they are: a great place to escape the desert heat.
Matmata has been inhabited for over 700 years by Berber people. Their traditional homes were troglodyte houses: circular vertical caves dug into soft sandstone, both for defensive purposes, and to be able to bear the desert's heat. Mostly they are around 10 metres deep and 8 to 12 metres in diameter.
The only sight in Gabes, and from this you can guess that it's not really a touristic spot: the market! Big and wonderful - colourful and filled with smells and aromas. It's special products are traditional baskets (handmade) and henna. But along the road next to the market there are several wonderful music shops to buy Cd's of turkish music... and inside the market - i forgot to mention it before - you have a huge selection of sices and mint teas. Just watch it when you want to buy saffron: people will try to sell u curcuma at far too high prices
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