"Ldzayer lbahja" Algiers by mikey_e
Algiers Travel Guide: 138 reviews and 434 photos
Ever since I was young I have wanted to visit Algiers. I don’t remember the first time I saw the movie La bataille d’Alger, but it caught my imagination. My desire grew as I saw the movie on successive occasions (I was older and better able to understand), and I read more about Algeria and the independence struggle. The city and the country’s mix of Arab, Berber, French and other Mediterranean elements fascinated me, as did the differences between Algeria and it neighbours, which seem somehow more Arab than this child of the Mediterranean. The opportunity to visit finally arose in January 2011, when a visit to Barcelona left me with a few extra days to bounce around the Mediterranean. I deliberated a bit, but decided to take a risk and book the short flight to Algiers for a cold day at the end of January.
I must admit that I was rather nervous about traveling to Algeria. I had read and heard from people in the capital that the country was unstable and still slightly dangerous. This has never really been a strong dissuasion for me in the past, but it still nagged at me a bit. The feeling was compounded by the visa process, which was a bit lengthy, probably because I was the only person to ever ask for a tourist visa at the Embassy in Riyadh. I charged ahead with my plans, and suddenly I found myself at El Prat airport, boarding a flight for Algiers along with returning migrants, business people and diplomats. My first sight of the country came from the airplane window, as we came down over a spectacularly beautiful green coast, with the brooding mountains in the back. I have always loved the mountains, and this first view of the country erased any fears of the country that might have lingered in my belly.
I only spent three days in Algeria, but they helped to eliminate any misconceptions I might have had. People were not only friendly but genuine, if not a bit confused by the Canadian attempting to negotiate in Lebanese (which they called Turkish). Tourist infrastructure is seriously lacking in the country, which hindered my ability to do a lot. Still, the availability of cabs and the near total penetration of the French language make tourism less daunting than it first appears. The abundance of good food is also a welcome distraction from the bland cuisine of the Arabian Gulf, and I managed to discover several new meals between lunch and dinner. Best of all, though, is that Algeria is a country that continues to surprise, whether in its rugged beauty, its friendly and welcoming people, or its unique outlook on identity and development.
Algiers is not a city that was created by colonialism. Indeed, it has a long history, and was an important place during... more travel advice
Abd el Kader was an prince (emir in Arabic) who was an active organizer of the resistance to French colonisation in the... more travel advice
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