May the Forks be with you
Matmata Travel Blog› entry 7 of 22 › view all entries
We continue our journey across the desert to Matmata, one of the most famous sites in Tunisia, on account of its ‘invisible village’. First recorded in the 4th Century it is home to one of the oldest of the Berber tribes who chose these subterranean homes as a means of escaping the extremes of the desert.
Camouflaged by the sandy pockmarked landscape and situated within immense craters, there are around 50 or so underground dwellings, many still in use today. Circular pits with vertical walls have been dug out of the crumbly sandstone and a sunken courtyard created, with tunnels cut into the walls to form caves and rooms.
We visit one family in there home to see how they live in there underground home.It looked quite cosy but I can imagine it being very cold in the depths of winter.
The surreal, other world feel is doubtless one of the reasons that it was chosen for the desert scenes in the movie Star Wars. Tonight we stay in an original cave dwelling complex, now converted into a simple hotel with communal facilities, where caves have been transformed into ‘bedrooms’.
A surreal experience indeed and more luxurious than I imagined. At dinner I could not resist playing a little joke on our tour leader who,purely by chance was called Luke. Whilst he was in the bathroom I hid his cuttlery.By the time he came back dinner had been served.Passing him back his cuttlery and trying to keep a straight face I said to him " use the fork Luke"