Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for August 2nd, 2010

Tipasa

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 2nd August, 2010

About an hour’s drive west out of Algiers is the coastal town of Tipasa, best known for its extensive Roman ruins and seafood restaurants. Algerois tend to make a day-trip out there to get a taste of both, though I was sad that the best restaurant — the Romana — seemed to be out of action for the time being. The ruins are nothing like as spectacular as Leptis Magna or Sabratha in Libya, yet nonetheless remain evocative, especially the (comparatively small) round amphitheatre and the olive oil presses, whose produce was channeled straight to waiting ships. Most of the site was deserted this morning, though there was a pack of tiny wolf cubs in yellow T-shirts being shephearded round by older scouts whose tenue and demeanour reflected the way that scouting has largely been taken over by Islamists in this country. Rather than chanting dib-dib-dib, or whetever Baden Powell’s young British followers do these days, the little boys were all singing a song about Allah as they sat in a straight line on a low Roman wall as a sea-mist rolled in up from the rocks below.

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