On the other side of the Mediterranean Sea is a huge continent, still alien and exotic to most Europeans. Its largest country is Algeria, with hectares of deserts and semi-deserts.
Algeria is a country that has a lot to offer tourists, although at the same time "difficult", both due to the political situation and the fact that it is a relatively conservative country in terms of religion. Foreigners must comply with the rules in force therein, incl. women are not allowed to enter some temples, they are also not allowed to appear in public in inappropriate clothing (e.g. bathing suit, bare knees and shoulders, etc.).
Before visiting the largest country in Africa, you must complete formalities such as a visa for residence and transit through the country. For this purpose, we must visit the Embassy of Algeria in Warsaw. We must also have a passport valid for not less than 6 months. In the country itself, at the beginning, it is worth going to the bank and exchanging the currency, because we will only operate in dinars (DZD, in terms of 1 zloty, it is equal to about 26 dinars).
The capital of the largest country in Africa
The largest city of Algeria is its capital, Algiers. It is situated on a large bay by the Mediterranean Sea, on the slopes of the Sahel. Together with Cairo, they are the only centers of the African continent that can boast of having a metro.
You can get to Algiers, for example, by plane from Warsaw with a change in Paris (the cost of a flight for 4 people is around 1,500 euro - return after a week) or by ferry from France or Spain. An example ticket price for 4 people who want to visit Algiers in a week is approx. 1250 euro. The ferry departs from Marseille and the cost is for the round trip and stay in a 4-person cabin. We will spend 25 hours on board.
Monuments hidden among the sands
Wandering around Algiers, we can easily see French influences in the city's architecture, after all, the country was under French rule for over a century. It is also impossible not to notice that the remnants of colonial times are a bit neglected today, as if in revenge for the past. The city is divided into two parts - the old Kasbah (Arabic) and the new, clearly European.
One of the most important buildings in Algiers is the 11th-century Great Mosque with a minaret. Unfortunately, it can only be admired from the outside - it is inaccessible to tourists. However, without any problems, we can visit the Bardo Museum, which houses a rich collection of exhibits from the Sahara. We find in it, among others costumes of the inhabitants, and we will also learn about the rich history of the region.
An exceptionally beautiful sacred monument is the Basilica of Notre Dame d'Afrique, towering over the city. She is the twin sister of the basilica in Marseilles, and in its apse bears the words "Our African Lady, pray for us and for the Muslims." From the cliff it stands on, there is a wonderful view of the entire city.
The Palais des Rais from the Ottoman Empire period is also a noteworthy place. It is on the UNESCO list of monuments.
Tarzan's garden and palm leaves
A great tourist attraction of Algiers is the Jardin d'Essai botanical garden located in the Hamma district, where you can admire plants brought by the French from around the globe. It is divided into two parts: French as ordered and measured as a ruler, and English as wild as a jungle. It is said that in the latter, films about Tarzan were made before World War II.
You can get to the garden by cable car from the Monument to the Martyrs of the Revolution (Monument du Martyr) towering over the city. The building was built in honor of the soldiers who died in defense of the country's independence. To some it resembles an alien ship, but it is supposed to evoke associations with palm leaves. It is worth knowing that it was designed by a Pole, Marian Konieczny.
Among the sands
Algeria offers tourists an unforgettable experience. To be honest, you have to admit that it's not always nice and we have to be prepared for that as well. However, it is worth going to this desert country and getting to know the wonderful landscapes, beautiful monuments and delicious food, ranging from delicious bread to slurp or mutton sausages in spicy tomato sauce with the addition of harissa.
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