Tozeur's Mosque el-Ferdous can be viewed from almost anywhere in town. Its dramatic brick-laden minaret acts somewhat like a magnet, drawing in both believers and tourists alike. And thus, after our incredible lunch at the Restaurant le Minaret, we used the mosque as a starting point for a meander through Tozeur's many intriguing backstreets.
One spot that quickly caught our attention was the Artisanat L'etoile du Sahara. The inviting bazaar features a well-cobbled assortment of sculptures, masks and rugs out front, but its the unique treasures inside that really make this market worth a visit. Owner and artist Adbel Moula was especially pleasant, offering us complimentary mint tea and some of the best conversation in all of Tunisia. Once he found out where we had traveled from, and other cultures we had visited previously, he sifted through his CD collection for music he knew we would appreciate. (Brazilian samba in Tunisia? Priceless.)
Adbel’s selective, artistic eye is the key to his success. The items inside his shop - vases, dyed carpets and textiles, silver objects and jewelry - were of much higher quality, and interest, than any other vendor in town. If you are looking for a special token to bring back home, something perhaps a bit more expensive, this is the place to find it. (We’re still loving our pair of one-of-a-kind woven wool pillows purchased at a cost of $25 USD each.) Don't miss this one.