Monday, February 22, 2010

Architectural delights

I don't think I'd ever met an architect before I moved here, and now I'm surrounded by them (unfortunately, none of them are Ted Mosby!) Today, my friend Jenan invited a group of us for a bit of an architectural tour of Tripoli, which of course had to start with some hommus and then some coffee, and THEN the tour began.

First stop was the public garden in Tel,

We then headed into the old city, and somehow managed to end up being shown into an old hammam, a bath house, which hasn't been used in a very, very long time. You can see the reflection of a star that the pattern in the roof makes.

There was then a brief window of opportunity to look inside the Grand wasn't particularly grand...

We called in to Kahn al Saboun (the soap souk), which made for some interesting photos

And a view of the elusive citadel. Now I know where it is, I can finally visit it!

We then found another hammam, this one is only for men, but they let us check out the front room.

There were more soap shops across the other side of the souk that I'd never really explored before

including Sharkass soap (I'm told the Sharkass are a race of people from near Russia, it's not actually soap made from shark asses)...

After a tea break, we headed down and then up what had been described as the "depressing staircase" to see this sign.

The black text translates to something like, "the mosque of Tel warns men and women from standing in this spot together." The red text translates to, "the whore and the slut are the ones who stand in this spot." So of course, Loai and I couldn't resist taking this shot! :-)

That conservativeness was balanced out by this nice grafitti...

There are many more photos to show, I'll put them up on picasaweb in the coming days (my internet is about to run out in 10 minutes!!) It was great to explore Tripoli with two locals, and a total of 5 architects, and to walk down alleys and corridors that I would never have found myself. A wonderful Sunday afternoon!


  1. OMG, I was out taking pictures of old Tripoli today as well! And I went to pretty much the same places as you did... My friends and I laughed hysterically at that "no loitering for lovers" sign and I even took the same picture of the grafitti that you did: (what a coincidence! :-)

  2. Hi Nour! I looked at your blog, your photos are wonderful. I'll have to check out your facebook ones later today.

    It's fun being a tourist in your own town!

  3. Hi Carly, I just updated the Tripoli post on my blog, you can read about what an adventure we had! You should join us next time! :-)