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1. Religious buildings

2. Houses

3. Stunning panoramas


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Clinging to the mountain edge
Zriba Qadima, Tunisia

Zriba Qadima, Tunisia

Zriba Qadima, Tunisia

Zriba Qadima, Tunisia

Today only 7 families still lives in Zriba but from the condition of the houses it seems as if soon more will leave. Local are especially upset with the closure of the school, the focal point of social life out here.
Zriba doesn't reveal itself until some of the last curves leading up to the rugged, beautiful mountain where it clings. Most inhabited houses today lie beneath the original village, and appear to be in good shape.
The condition with the houses on the top is far worse, and a part of Tunisian cultural heritage is falling in here. Most roofs are gone, and bricks fill up much of the nicely paved streets.
On both sides of the village the wild mountain tops fold like protective hands, and views in both ends are stunning. I got so sad when coming here in September 2005 that I started to rave about what wealth the locals were giving up, explaining that their views were worth millions of dinars, that they were rich without knowing it. They liked what I told, but I'm sure if it helps. The people here are in the middle of a process which has struck any place on the planet: In a transitional phase, the old is nothing, the new is great. And then suddenly, the new becomes ordinary, and they realize what has been left behind or even lost.
One positive development is there, the zawiyya is being rebuilt, a sign that local pride is not all gone. But the mosque has lost its function long ago.

There are no services in Zriba itself, but there is both a hotel (usually full) in Hammam Zriba (5 km north along the new road), as well as restaurants and food stores.
There is no public transport to Zriba, but you can make it at least out to Hammam Zriba. From there you will have to arrange transport, but note that the road is quite new and easily passable by all cars so do not pay too much. Should you walk, it is 4-5 km out here.
If you come from the south, it is quicker to take the track leading out right after the end of Zriba Village. This is a bad road, but really no problem for normal car. Just don't be tempted to deviate from the most direct track. After 4 km you join the road from Hammam Zriba.
Easier is to arrange for something from either Enfidha or Zaghouan, and make a tour of Takrouna, Jeradou, Sidi Khelifa, Zriba and perhaps even Oudna. Point out to the driver that the road to Zriba is no longer bad, at least if you take the road starting with the bridge near Hammam Zriba.

By Tore Kjeilen