The third biggest city and a spectacle in the North, Constantine is a natural fortress created by the river Oued Rhumel which has carved out a deep gorge making it the perfect city for defense against intruders.
There is remarkably little to see, considering how long and interesting story the city has, but there is something special about the city. Its a bit like the flying Island in Gullivers Adventures and just walking though the old city and exploring the seven bridges was enough to keep me occupied for a day.
I didnt spend the night, but returned back to El Eulma. It did not seem like there were a lot of hotel options, so Constantine might be easiest to do as a day trip from Setif, El Eulma, Skikda or Guelma. Its not a place I would go back to, but a unique place that I am happy to have seen.
My couchsurfing host in Algiers was the nicest and took two days off work when I visited and told me that he could take me anywhere I wanted with his motorbike.
One place I had planned to visit by public transport was Tipaza, just 70 kilometer from the capital, but I am glad I didnt as I would have to walk a lot in the heat from the bus stop. With a bike everything was easy: we stopped at the Royal Mausoleum of Mauritania which is a Berber burial ground looking like a round pyramid and walked for a couple of hours through the ruins in Tipaza city.
Driving back we opted for a detour through Blida where we cought a cable car up to a village called Chrea were locals went to go hiking in the summer and go skiing in the winter.
I had previously thought that Algeria was a country completely covered by desert and was happy to find mountain trails through green forests and drink fresh water straight from the streams.
Algiers must have been one of the Worlds most beautiful cities at its height during the French colonial times. Most of the city is painted in white, giving the city its nickname “leblanche”, but some places it looks as if there has been no paint applied since Algeria got its independence in 1962, and the trash is piling up in the streets.
My favorite place was definitely the Casbah (old city) where you would find kids playing football in the narrow streets and people could sit down with an espresso, newspaper or play soltaire with a deck of cards.
I got to visit the main attractions of the city which was a church called “Notre Dame d’Afrique” and a glowing green monument called the freedom monument. By the monument I met a guy walking his ram, and I asked why there were so many people doing just that. Apparently there is a tradition of ram fighting which happen every year before Eid. People can pay thousands of euros for such sheeps, and walk around to promote their fighters and collect bets.
Ive done dives in many countries and on all continents, but none as polluted as my dives in Algiers.
My first dive was on a Friday afternoon when the busy was at its busiest with kids splashing around in the water. We dove down and spent around an hour on 9-10 meters dept. All I could see were some small fish and an octopus and a lot and lot of trash, just like I did the next day.
After the dive I walked around the streets thinking how sad it was with all the trash over and under the water surface. It was then that me and my friend noticed the Mayor, Abdelhakim Bettache on the other side of the street. We told him what we thought about all the trash in the city and he promised us that he would work on doing something about it.