“Some journeys don't have endings, they lead to new beginnings. These are the journeys that lead to great adventures!” - Alex HaditaghiDay 04: 07 October 2016 (Friday)
Route: Oran - Algiers
Distance: 432 km
Hotel: Albert City Centre Hotel, Algiers
Oran is an important coastal city that is located in the north-west of Algeria. It is considered the second most largest and important city after Algiers due to its commercial, industrial, and cultural importance. The name Oran is derived from the Berber word ‘uharan’ that means two lions. A legend says that in 900 AD, lions still lived in the area. The last two lions were hunted on a mountain near Oran and are elsewhere referred to as mountain lions.
|(A painting of an old souk)|
|(Picking ripened dates)|
|(Watching the golden sunset from the beach)|
|(A popular seaside resort for tourists)|
|(Algerian wedding on the beach)|
We had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. By 8:00 am we checked out and started our tour of Oran City.
Our first visit is to the Fort Santa Cruz, one of the three forts in Oran. The other two forts are Fort de la Moune at the western end of the port and Fort St. Philippe, a replacement of the old castle of the Saints, at the centre of Oran. The three forts are connected by tunnels. Fort Santa Cruz was built on the Pic d’Aidour above Gulf of Oran in the Mediterranean Sea, at an elevation of above 400 metres.
|(Miles of sandy quiet beach)|
|(National Army on the alert at all time)|
|(Driving uphill on the mountain road)|
|(Fort Santa Cruz perched on the hill top)|
|(Chapel of Santa Cruz with the statue of Virgin Mary)|
A small chapel, known as the Chapel of Santa Cruz, stands close to the fort. This chapel has been refurbished with a tower, which has a huge statue of the Virgin Mary, said to be a replica of that at Notre Dame de la Garde in Marseilles, styled as Notre Dame du Salut de Santa Cruz.
|(A good view of the city and harbor)|
|(The chapel is under renovation)|
|(The many arches of the chapel)|
|(A clear blue sky)|
|(The day began to get hazy)|
We drove uphill to another view point for photo shots. There are a museum and a mosque under construction and renovation. There is a small green mosque perched at the edge of the hill. From here we could sight the old cable car towers and the Santa Cruz Fort overlooking the harbour.
|(A museum under construction)|
|(An old unused cable car tower)|
|(View of the fort and the harbor)|
|(Stairs leading to another view point)|
|(A small cubical green mosque on the hill)|
We visited Oran's major square, place du 1er November, a popular tourist attraction. It is a beautiful place in the middle of town, where the old Theatre-Opera and the old City Town Hall are located. The center of the place are marked by a fountain and a nice monument dedicated to Algerian heroes Emir Abdel Kader and Sidi Ibrahim. The Oran's tram Central Station is situated close by.
|(Driving through the city of Oran)|
|(Oran Square, Place du 1er November)|
|(Memorial monument in the centre)|
|(Statue of victory on top of the monument)|
|(The Opera House at the end of the square)|
|(A major tram line running accross town)|
|(The many monuments in town)|
|(Oran Trade and Convention Center)|
|(Driving around the town of Oran)|
|(Seats to rest tired feet, with a good view)|
|(Clean streets, busy traffic)|
|(Colorful murals on the wall)|
|(Many parks and gardens)|
|(One of the many brown brick buildings in town)|
|(Many new modern architecture)|
After lunch we visited Abdul Hamid Ibn Badis Mosque for some photo shots. Our visit was cut short as the mosque was starting to get crowded with people from all over who came to perform their Friday prayers.
|(Abdul Hamid Ibn Badis Mosque)|
|(A modern mosque with a capacity of 25,000)|
|(Higher institute of learning and a centre of Islamic Art)|
|(Spending Algerian Dinar on souvenirs)|
|(Major traffic jam on the way to Algiers)|
From Oran we drove back to Algiers and checked-in Albert City Centre Hotel for the night.