I fell in love with the Casbah, a UNESCO World Heritage site, two years ago. Since my last visit there was short, my sister-in-law arranged for a tour with a dynamic young lady named Kenza, whose grandmother had lived in the Casbah. Find her on Facebook under: Djawla 3assimiya . Kenza started her presentation with a comprehensive talk in French about life in the Casbah, which she then patiently translated to English for me. She was a well of little tidbits, lure and stories of the old Casbah, which she conveyed to our group of about 20 people (and me in English) as we climbed down the steep steps to see various houses of significance, the remaining fountains, fabulous doors and beautiful tile mosaics in the walls. We visited the small Museum of the Battle of Algiers, which is placed in the location of the bombed house where several major revolutionaries were killed. From there we climbed up to an adorable patio cafe for lunch (part of the tour). They served authentic Algerian appetizer dips with warm bread, fresh grilled spicy sardines and French fries. It was a simple yet absolutely wonderful meal. Kenza bounced around making sure everyone had everything. The views across the lower Casbah and the Mediterranean were amazing. After lunch we peeked into several artisan shops, admiring handmade shoes, silver items, jewelry and, my favorite, a tiny shop filled with the cutest pottery created and hand painted by the owner named Bahia. Kenza also took us to a Museum where we could see how the houses look inside, with the rooms arranged around an inner court yard. There were also exhibits of traditional clothing, furniture and jewelry. It was a great tour, I can highly recommend it provided you are reasonably fit to navigate lots of uneven, often high stairs and cobble stones. Wear comfortable shoes!
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