One cannot really know
Algeria without trying to experience, at least once, the
extraordinary encounter with its Sahara. It is not a mere
question of geography. The Sahara is a place where reality
disguises itself in myth. It is also a place where one can
experience the extraordinary adventure of self-discovery.
One discovers himself in the process of
discovering. The sky is so pure, one cannot get over the
fact that it is inhabited by so many stars. The sweet elegance
of the dunes offers an ever-changing landscape. There are
also those marvelous oases that they could be sometimes
taken for mirages.
A geographer, who was also a poet, has compared
the Algerian territory to an amphora of which the break
dips into the Mediterranean and the leg lays on the sand.
Which country could offer such a diversity? Here is the
sea, "this quit roof where doves walk", and here
is the mountain dark flank, which the snow covers up in
winter. On the immensity of the sand-hill, the oases put
a green stain.
The South's magnificent sand-hill
In the heart of Sahara, a passage towards the infinite
Geography and history have made of Algeria
a book with diverse chapters. A two-sided country:
The Mediterranean side faces the austerity of the Great
South. The Hoggar peaks culminate at 3,000 meters. Not far
from here, at Chott Melgin, we go down to 30 meters beneath
the level of the sea.
The memory is like a palm tree with an endless give
The Algerian South constitutes a flat immensity
where the wind reigns like a master. On the plains of pebbles,
the tireless wind forms, rounds off and selects the minerals
remains. Weaken fragments are taken away. The only ones
that subsist to the ground are the heaviest and the sharpest.
In the spontanious columns
The sand flies, thickens and turns into
cloud. Among the wind, the grains become abrasive and continue
eroding the stones of the primary ground. In the sand-hills
the sand accumulates and make supple landscape: massive
shoulders, full curves that have the affecting beauty of
a human body.
So, don't be mistaken! The South is all
but a smooth surfaces. Hills, steep slopes and volcanic
embossments claw the infinite. In the sky, the wind takes
out flocks of clouds for an airing, as a reflection of hills
and valleys, which form the Algerian ground.
In the langage of the dunes
Algiers, Capital of light
...and in the stones of architecture
Visiting the cities of Algeria is certainly
being involved in the reading of history, punctuated by
antique, Islamic, Turkish and Mediterranean monuments. Algiers,
Annaba, Bejaia, Cherchell, Constantine, Guelma, Ghardaia,
Oran, Timimoun, Tlemcen, and many others are cities that
offer visitors unsuspected resources of discovery. If they
go outside the cities they will find archeological treasures
wherever they go. In the Tassilli and the Hoggar, in the
very heart of the imposing Sahara, lies the biggest open-air
museum in the world with thousands of engravings and rock
paintings tracing back the sources of humanity.
In the miracle of water
The adventure throughout the Great South
has become peaceful, but it always requires real qualities
and some care. The South first reveals itself to silence-lovers
and to those trained in walking long distances. To eat frugally,
to sleep in the open air, to accept the training of guide
constitute an essential human experience in a bosom of universe
of untouched purity.
The Tuareg people have not all become sedentary
workmen. Lots of them have answered again the call of the
space and become guides, creating sometimes their own tourism
agency. Go with them on the track, and you will have an
adventure to share.
The Beauty of the North
It is for the Mediterranean Sea that the balconies
have been invented
In Algeria, nature is generous. The palm-tree
is the most obvious symbol. It makes the magnificence of
the oases. It is loaded with dates and protects with its
shadow the gardens where fruits and vegetables are cultivated.
The vegetation is rich of diverse species: citrus, fruit-trees
and vines in plain, pines, over the littoral, magnificent
croaks, and Aleppo pines in the mountain.
In the North the game is abundant enough
to make the hunter's joy: hares and boars. Discovering the
north of Algeria is going towards a multidimensional space.
The first, of course, is that of the relief
which delimits a sort of immense rectangle in contact with
the Mediterranean Sea along 1,200 kilometers. In this rectangle,
there are two mountain chains: the Tellic Atlas that trails
its slender steeples along side the sea and the Saharan
Atlas, which pinpoints the passage to the fantastic Sahara.
In between, lies the High-Plateau, trust upward by multi-millennial
force, a universe of the steppe and the nomadic tradition.
History has left her countless vestiges
as a witness of different civilizational contribution with
Phoenician, vandal and Byzantine imprints, traces of Spanish
incursions, the impressive presence of the antique Roma
with entire cities well-preserved such as Timgad and Djemila.
The North of Algeria expresses, from an
amazing background, all the extraordinary cultural and spiritual
foaming of the Mediterranean area together with its African
and Oriental confluences.
A nuance of diversity.
Minarets, celestial extentions
The proverb has become real and the wish
has come true. In the crucible of the Algerian nation, the
inhabitants have multiplied. Besides, the succeeding intercourses
between populations have ended up with an ethnic mosaic.
During her long history, Algeria has gathered
populations of diverse origins with a strong personality.
An old tradition of resistance against the occupier has
indeed forged one of the dominant features of the Algerian
character. At least, sovereign and independent Algeria is
well convinced that her prosperity depends on human wealth
and its cohesion. In the market or in town, Algerian has
always been open-minded persons whose hearty generosity
meets quick wits.
Jewel's tradition still alive
A proverb reminds us that "three things
drive away the spleen of the heart of man: the water, the
pasture, and the smiling faces". Modern living has
perhaps put aside the essential necessity of the fresh water
and the green grass. Do you want to drive away tiredness?
The Algerian always cordially appears to be the antidote
to an excessive fatigue. In a country that knows the value
of time, we avoid jostling the passers-by. At least, we
have to deserve the reserved welcome. In Algeria, the rites
of hospitality express the thankfulness of the one who receives
the honor of a visit.
... chased throughout time
Delicacy of a present is covered discreetly
and offered to the guest when leaving the meal. The teapot
is empty and embers are extinguished, but you are happy
then. All that and even more are not meant for a simple
trip or a tour, but really for a moment of your life.(Aha)
Source: Algerian Embassy, Jakarta