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A Louage to Kairouan

TUNISIA | Saturday, 2 November 2013 | Views [3032]

Louage station, Sousse

Louage station, Sousse

If you are lucky, a louage to your destination will be nearly full, waiting just for you to hop on and be on your way.  More likely, you will have to wait from ten to twenty minutes for six or seven others going the same way.  A louage is a 7- or 8-passenger van, made by Fiat or Citroen, WV, Toyota, Nissan, Mazda, Mitsubishi or Renault painted white with a red stripe.  And it will never leave until every seat is full.

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    The Grand Mosque

A louage is cheaper than the train and faster than a bus.  Your driver will probably smoke and you will be subjected to loud Arabian music or worse, Arabic talk radio.  But if the louage doesn’t break down and the driver doesn’t kill you (seat belts are non-existant) insha Allah, you will get where you are going.  Like Kairouan.

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     In the medina

Kairouan is the fourth holiest site in the Muslim world. The Grand Mosque, the oldest in Africa, occupies a corner of the medina.  It isn’t very impressive as mosques go, the small prayer hall was undergoing renovation, and is off limits to non-believers.  The pillars with their mismatched capitals were recycled from earlier Roman buildings.  We enjoyed wandering the nearly empty medina’s blue-trimmed, whitewashed buildings as much as the mosque.

 

 

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