Day 5 From a colosseum to Luke Skywalker’s Home
Tunisian Proverb: The multitude is stronger than the king.
Today we have a long trek ahead of us. We left our guest house much later than we planned because after breakfast we once again just sat around that table and had a good ol’ natter. We really felt like we were hosted by friends.
The first stop of the day was another UNESCO site, the colosseum in El Djem.
When we planned this trip we were hoping to do a mosaic class in Tunisia but it could not fit into our schedule so we opted for a visit to the mosaic museum in El Djem too.
On the road again
Here are some sites we took in on our drive south to Matmata where we would spend the night.
Gradually the landscape changes and we realise we are heading into the Sahara desert. Before we reach Matmata we stop at a guesthouse where we will have dinner. This is a traditional troglodyte home and the very friendly family welcome tourists here. We were going to sleep here too but there was a problem we could not understand. Something about the lady of the house will be reported to some authority if we stayed over and because she has been running this guest house for a long time we did not understand the problem. Fortunately we were traveling in the off season and it was not difficult to find accommodation in a hotel in Matmata.
We spent a few hours with the family and explored their home and got a feel for what its like to live in such a home. A troglodyte is a cave like home. Its like a pit with doors leading from there into the caves /rooms. The entrance from outside is either stepps to climb down into the pit or walk through a tunnel with a door into the pit or courtyard. Here you can see various door and stairs taking you into the home. Obviously there are no windows and these doors are the only light and air that enters the house. I did not find any of the rooms we went into stuffy at all.
Its very dark when we arrive at our hotel. Inside our room there are 6 single ‘beds / mattresses lining the side of the room. Right at the back – like an alter in an alcove and the only light suspended above it -is a queen size ‘bed’ / mattress. Friend A chose that bed but the next morning complained that she felt a serious lack of oxygen.
My part of the room was close to the door. Everything here is hand made and rough and the door does not fit into the doorframe perfectly so there is space all around the door and below to allow fresh air to flow into the room. I did not find it stuffy or claustrophobic. I thought is was cosy. The following morning when I left, before sunrise, to explore the town, I realised how warm it was inside, as outside it was really cold.