La Gazelle - Page 62

envies wishlist ‫رغبـاتنـــا‬ escapade à Tabarka I getaway in Tabarka I ‫رحلـــة اىل تــــــوزر‬ Visit Tabarka, northwestern gem C 1. Les Aiguilles, véritables attractions touristiques de la ville. I Les Aiguilles, true tourist attractions in the city. I ‫اإلبر الصخرية، عنرص جذب‬ I ‫أسايس للسياح يف املدينة‬ 2. La plage de Tabarka, l’une des plus convoitées de la côte nord.  I Tabarka’s beach, one of the most coveted of the North coast. I ‫شاطئ طربقة، واحد من أكرث‬ ‫الشواطئ جذبا يف الساحل‬ I ‫الشاملــي‬ 3. La statue en forme de violon, symbole du Festival de Jazz de Tabarka. I The statue in the shape of a violin, symbol of Tabarka’s Jazz Festival. I ‫متثال عىل شكل كامن، رمز‬ I ‫مهرجان الجاز يف طربقة‬ oastal city in north-west Tunisia, located a few kilometers away from the Algero-Tunisian border, Tabarka seduces with its atypical charm. Every summer its red-tiled roofs attract a lot of foreign tourists but also a fair number of Tunisians looking for calm and relaxing moments. The rest of the year, Tabarka enjoys a peaceful existence, lost between mimosas and eucalyptus trees. It is true that this small town has everything to fascinate visitors in search of a unique cultural experience. Ideally situated between sea and mountains, Tabarka is wealthy. Its multicultural past makes it an ideal destination for those who don’t want to hit the beach everyday. The coral, a highly coveted resource Anyone wandering through the city centre and strolling in front of jewellery stores notes that coral is widespread in Tabarka. Undoubtedly, coral trade is linked to the historic wealth of the resort town. The exploitation of this precious resource, which made the wealth and the fame of the city, goes back to Roman times. The port of Tabarka is one of the vestiges of this era, the Romans built it in order to ship coral, wood and cork cargoes abroad. A few centuries later, Charles Quint acquired Tabarka’s trading post. A powerful family from Geneva, the Lomellini, was put at its head. They built the wellknown Genoese fort that sits on the top of an island’s summit. Nowadays, this island is connected to the shore. It is possible to visit this place using the road or the trail that can be accessed from the beac h. Finally, in the 18th century, France has the privilege of coral fishing under the supervision of the Royal African Company, which has market exclusivity until decolonization. Since then, coral fishing is strictly regulated and the exportation of raw branches is forbidden. However, you can buy jewellery from Tabarka’s artisans. Unique landscapes, at sea and on land La Gazelle 60 I 64 Tabarka is full of historical treasures, but one also needs to put his head under water and admire all the beauty of its landscapes. It is no coincidence that Tabarka’s depths are known way beyond Tunisian 1 borders. Every year, several hundred divers come to explore the twenty sites that are open to the public between April and the end of October. Among the spots that are worth a look, “the tunnels“. This site contains about twenty tunnels that are 30 meters long and in which divers can comfortably watch morays, breams, rays and friendly large groupers. Another popular site among divers, “the corridors“ made of colorful rocks arranged in series, where langoustines and huge gorgons like to stroll. Back on firm land, new landscapes are subjects of admiration. Leave Tabarka without having seen the needles is not an option. These monolithic stones of about twenty meters were sculpted by erosion into various original shapes. The Messaoud tower also deserves special attention. Ancient cistern dating back to Roman times, it was transformed into a fortress by merchants from Marseille and Pisa during the 12th century. But the most beautiful natural spectacle in Tabarka is certainly the sunset melting into the sea. For the best view, climb the hill using the tourist road towards Annaba. The heights offer a magnificent view over Tabarka and the shore. Focus on Tabarka Jazz Festival Created in 1973 by Lotfi Belhassine, the Tabarka Jazz Festival becomes within a few years an international artistic event. The annual rendez-vous has put Tabarka on the map and its slogan “I don’t want to stupidly sunbathe“ expresses the intention to attract a new type of tourists, more interested in culture than in white sand. Artists from all around the world have performed in the Basilica of Tabarka, including Billy Paul, Barbara Hendricks, Kool & the Gang, Miles Davis and Claude Nougaro, drawing bigger and bigger crowds each year. However, the Tabarka Jazz Festival was cancelled due to some difficulties, until 1997. Since 2012, the festival is cancelled again, because of a lack of support from the authorities. I