Algeria, in the middle of the Maghreb
In January 2019 I travelled to Algeria from Paris. The visa was the hardest thing to obtain: I had to prove that I lived in the country from where I would ask for the visa, so I presented the electricity bill with my name on it. I also had to present a travel insurance, flight tickets and hotels, invitation letter, a photo and I even had to pay €85. I went to the Algerian Embassy three times and I finally got the Algerian visa. So I had 30 days to spend in the country but I could only go 6 days as I had to work in Paris. I would go back as the country is awesome! I chose to visit Constantin, Ghardaia and Alger.
Constantin is a city known for its 8 bridges. I loved the city as it has a special charm. Most of the tourists I saw where from Japan and China but there many Americans going to Algeria as well as there are international cruises arriving in the country. However, even though tourism is not a priority, last year Algeria received 2 million tourists.
Then, I took a flight with the company Air Algeria to Ghardaia, a city located in the south in the Sahara, where the Mozabites live. They are a Berber community whose women wear white hijabs. Mozabite married women only show one eye. An the ones that are single show both eyes and nose. Taking pictures is very difficult. In fact, there is an area in the city where you have to go with a local guide and you cannot take pictures of people, except from far or in case you ask before. In Ghardaia, I stayed in a traditional Algerian guesthouse: we ate on the floor with beautiful rooms decorated in blue and white, the Mediterranean colours.
And finally I visited the capital, Alger. It has a lot of French influence as it was the French who stayed in the country for many years, occupying this part of the African continent. Algeria has oil, so for the country tourism is not as important as in Morocco or Tunisia. There are many security checkpoints at the airport. In Algiers, I also suggest visiting the Casbah, a fortification, where you can find palaces and mosques. Martyrs Museum was an interesting place. It commemorates the Algerian war for independence.
Algeria became one of my favourite countries!!
The City of Constantin