Tunisia

L E   K E F   /   K A I R O U A N

Upon landing in Tunis, I immediately hailed a cab from the airport to the bus station, where I bought a ticket for a small town about four hours to the west called Le Kef. 

LK is about an hour from the border with Algeria, and is noted as a literal city on a hill.  Here you can see some of its vertical nature in the omnipresent stairs that loop throughout its medina.

View from the now abandoned Kasbah in LK, which is the highest point in the city, looking out over the valley.  Behind me are the walls of the Kasbah.  I found an opening in it, and traversed what is now just an overgrown empty field, inhabited by wild fowl.  Strange dilapidation for what must have once been a supremely important site.

Just below the Kasbah, looking down into the LK medina.

After wandering through the medina, I went in search of a certain gate mentioned in the guide book.  This gate in the large medina wall gave way onto this: a sedate, wooded path that led away from the city.  It was so odd to find such an arcadian scene just immediately outside of walls of a city considered to be the capitol of western Tunisia.

These next four photos were taken the next morning in the medina of a city called Kairouan (keer-wan).  Kairouan is the fourth holiest city in all of Islam, and the holiest city in North Africa. 

Its medina was the most tranquil I've visited.  In many places, the colors that had been originally intended were washed away and faded so much by time and the elements that they had almost an aquarelle quality about them, as seen here.

Doorway in Kairouan.

Inside a covered souk in Kairouan.  Gives you some idea of the interior of these quiet medina dwellings.

Another curious assembly of pastels...

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