Tozeur Favorites

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    date-palm
    by croisbeauty
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    Oasis
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    Tozeur

    by croisbeauty Updated Nov 29, 2005

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    The huge vase right opposite to the museum
    2 more images

    Favorite thing: On the first sight, there is nothing much to see in the town of Tozeur, it looks as a buff low-lying town marked only by three minarets. But as you approach you Tozeur's far more distinctive feature, its brickwork. The town is built in the architectural style which best suited to this oasis: facades, arcades, house-walls and minarets, all of them fashioned in desert exotic and dusty-ochre brick.

    Fondest memory: Actually, Tozeur is one of the biggest oasis in Tunisia, rich of water and vegetation. The whole town is surrounded by huge and densely palm tree woods, especially date-palms.

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    View of the Belvédère in 2002

    by JLBG Written Jan 26, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Since the previous picture was taken, the belvédère has been cropped by bulldozers in order to get more space to build new hotels. Moreover, huge heads have been carved, mimicking USA !

    This picture was taken from one of those hotels that have been built where was a part of the palm-grove.

    However, there remains enough space on top for the view-point but the landscape is now heavily spoiled. We have not been able to check it : as can be seen on the picture, there was a strong wand wind and there would have bee nothing to look at !

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Children playing in the oued

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: The children played in the oued, which was the coolest spot of the oasis. Thus, they could endure the temperature very easily. However, whilst 55°C at day time was not too difficult to handle, 48°C (118°F) all night long was much more a problem ! At that temperature, when I took my camera, as it was completely dark, I felt at first that it had been heated in the oven !

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    Cooling in the oued

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: On our 1974 visit, as I said in another tip, there was a heat wave (yes, even in the Sahara, there can be heat waves as well as cold waves !) and during the day, the temperature in the palm-grove remained 55°C (131°F) all day long. We did not visit much of the oasis (we did it on other visits !) Our friendly guide brought us to the oued that collects water from the 200 springs of the oasis and we spend the whole afternoon and evening in the water, chatting with him and his friends.

    As far as I have seen at my last visit to Tozeur, the oued has much less water (hotels need much water !) and often is completely dry, even in March !

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    Close up on dates

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: On this picture, in August, dates look almost like green olives. Dates grown in Tozeur and in the other oasis of the Djerid are considered as the best in the world. They are called "Deglet nour" (fingers of light) and are sweet and almost tasting like honey

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    Close up on a bunch of dates in the palm-tree

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: One bunch of dates can weight several kilos when it is collected ripe, in November. A visit to Tozeur in November would be a good choice (I had never the opportunity to do so), as it is the time of date harvest and the temperature is pleasant.

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    Dates in the palm-tree

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: However, and given these three levels of growth, dates are the main crop. In July and even in August, they are far from ripe and on the very top of the palm-trees, 10-15 meters high, are big bunches of green fruits, hanging.

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    Vines climbing the palm-trees

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: In the palm-grove, there are 3 levels of growth. At ground level, there are vegetable crops (carrots, salads, mint for tea, forage for the cattle, wheat, etc…). Mid heights level is for fruits, banana-trees (actually not a tree !), fig-trees, pomogranate trees. And top level is palm-trees. Vines climb along the palm-trees and give delicious grapes.

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    Donkey ride

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Our friendly guide kindly offered a donkey ride in the palm-grove to our two kids who were very happy with that. Now, there are so many tourists that donkey rides, or horse-drawn carriage rides are proposed as a, payed of course, tourist service on an almost "industrial" basis !

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    Looking for a place to camp in the palm-grove

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: This is an old picture, taken in 1974. At that time, there was no camping. A young man had approached us as a guide and he offered to camp with our caravan in the palm-grove of his family, close to the oued that drains the water from the 200 springs of the oasis.

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  • JLBG's Profile Photo

    The palm-grove

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: The palmeraie (Palm-grove) used to be one of the most beautiful of the whole Sahara. Unfortunately, it has been deeply spoilt by tourism. Parts of it have been cut to build new hotels. Increase use of water has dried many of the 200 springs that watered it and many trees are dry and dead. When we visited it in 2002, it was far from as beautiful as it was on previous visits.

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    Into the palm-grove

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: This picture was taken in 1974, when Tozeur had not yet been spoiled by mass tourism. There has been so much changes, road work, building of hotel, etc, that I have been unable to find this place anymore on our 2002 visit.

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    The "marabout" of Sidi Ali Bou Lifa

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: In the palm-grove, the famous "marabout" of Sidi Ali Bou Lifa is close to a huge jujube tree. A "marabout" is a kind of chapel that honor the memory of a saint man. It is often the dwelling of a family that take care of the building
    The jujube tree, Ziziphus lotus (Linné)*, Zizouf in Arab is a very spinny shrub or tree that gives small fruits. Its branches are used to make hedges that cattle cannot pass.

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    Down from the Belvédère

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: That visit was in the second half of July; It was around noon and the temperature was 55°C (131°F) in the shade but as the air was very dry, that was not too difficult to handle. However, a lot of drinking was necessary, as you can imagine !

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    Stairs from the Belvédère in the seventies

    by JLBG Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Favorite thing: As the Belvédère is made of dry clay, it is easy to carve stairs to allow an easier access on top. In 2002, we have not been to the Belvédère as a sand wind had begun to blow. Though it was not strong, it was enough to make the landscape look blurry and it would not have been of any interest to look for a nice view.

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