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Sahara

Day 94: Algiers

Algiers, Algeria 
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Every home a balcony, decreed Napoleon III, and the apartment blocks of Algiers, with louvered shutters and neo-classical details, are a reminder that for more than 100 years, until independence in 1962, Algiers was as much a part of France as the Lyon or Marseille it resembles.
Michael Palin - SaharaEamonn O'Brien is walking me through the lush gardens of the Hotel El Djazair, Algiers, formerly the St George, known to the Victorians as 'The Leading Hotel of North Africa'. An elaborate network of paths winds past beds in which hibiscus, rose and flowering cacti seem to grow in profusion, undaunted by prolific fronds of banana and palm trees. The paths, together with occasional colonnades, pergolas and ornate ironwork screens, show that this bosky little Eden has not grown wild. It was laid out by the British, who built the hotel in the 1880s, when the warm Mediterranean air, sheltered by the mountains from the harsh dry winds of the interior, made Algiers a favoured destination.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Sahara
  • Day: 94
  • Country/sea: Algeria
  • Place: Algiers
  • Book page no: 241

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