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Old December 6th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #1
nicholbam
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TIMBUKTU & other Malian cities outside the capital

I've decided to open a new thread showing Malian cities other than Bamako (for which I created a separate thread a while ago).

I'll cover Timbuktu, Djenne, Mopti, Segou, Gao, and Kayes. I'll try to do one city per post, probably one a week. I'll also post some pictures of random villages, although they are not very urban obviously. Apologies to those purists who want only skyscrapers on skyscrapercity.

Ok, let's start with Timbuktu. At one time, Timbuktu was a thriving trading center in the Sahara and a great center of Islamic learning. The Europeans struggled for a long time to get there (hence its reputation for being "on the ends of the Earth" and entry into common parlance as a faraway outpost) because they had heard of the fabulous riches of its rulers. By the time the first European arrived without dying, the city had already entered into a period of substantial decline, and the European was very disappointed. Today, the city is considered mysterious and mystic, but as these photos will show, it is not terribly impressive to the eye.

flying into TB2:
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The airport and a plane on the tarmac:
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In the town:
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This is the Grand Mosque
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Timbuktu is famous for having elaborate doors on its houses:
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On the outskirts of town is this Peace Monument dedicated to the signing of a Pact that ended a northern rebellion (at least temporarily)...
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Heading out of town:
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Well, that's a brief overview of Timbuktu! If you don't think much of it, just wait. Mopti and Djenne are much more beautiful, in part because they are surrounded by water! I'll post those in a week or so.
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #2
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A good idea!
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Old December 6th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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Thank you for sharing these very rare photos!
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Old December 6th, 2009, 10:27 PM   #4
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cool. more?
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Old December 6th, 2009, 11:02 PM   #5
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whaw awesome!
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Old December 7th, 2009, 07:19 PM   #6
christos-greece
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Really interesting photos from those Malian cities
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Old December 7th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #7
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Respect! You are showing us cities and historical settlements that would get little coverage otherwise. Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:02 AM   #8
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Wow, I had never seen pictures of Timbuktu from this close. Thanks!

Is the military presence always like that?
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Old December 9th, 2009, 03:43 AM   #9
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Phantasmagorical pictures.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snt3000 View Post
Wow, I had never seen pictures of Timbuktu from this close. Thanks!

Is the military presence always like that?
No, the military is not usually so visible. I just happened to be in town on a day when there was some military ceremony or visit by some bigwig or something.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #11
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Ok, time to move on to the next Malian city:

Djenne

Djenne is a very old city in the Niger River Inland Delta and has been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. It is home to the world's largest mud building, the Grand Mosque. It is almost entirely surrounded by water.

Approaching Djenne through the inland delta:
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Crossing the bridge into Djenne:
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I am a big fan of Djenne architecture:
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The Grande Mosque:
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You can see on the left that one of the mud towers fell down.
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A sign at one of the entrances to the mosque. It reads: "Entry forbidden to non-Muslims." According to the locals, this is the result of some unfortunate behavior by some Italian tourists many years ago. I've heard a couple of different versions.
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The inevitable traffic jam heading out of town:
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Ok, that's if for now. Next week, Gao...
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #12
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Nice!! Thanks for sharing.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 03:06 PM   #13
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What an amazing place!

This is from UNESCO's website:


Brief Description

Inhabited since 250 B.C., Djenné became a market centre and an important link in the trans-Saharan gold trade. In the 15th and 16th centuries, it was one of the centres for the propagation of Islam. Its traditional houses, of which nearly 2,000 have survived, are built on hillocks (toguere) as protection from the seasonal floods.

I suppose some of those buildings can be actually quite old!
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Old February 27th, 2010, 11:28 PM   #14
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Ok, I got really busy at work, so it's been a while since I've posted pictures, but we'll move on to Gao, which is located on the Niger River in northern Mali, after the Niger turns south towards the country of Niger.

GAO

Gao from the air:
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These are nomad mounds:
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Ok, I'll try to add Mopti next week. Won't wait three months this time!
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Old February 28th, 2010, 07:19 AM   #15
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Wow! Really interesting thread. There seems to be a lot of space between the buildings and that makes the places look a bit empty, but the architecture is amazing, so unique! I had never heard of Djenné, absolutely beautiful!

Nice trip this one! Keep posting the pics!
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Old February 28th, 2010, 07:27 PM   #16
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very interesting pics. something you don't see every day.
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:26 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the nice comments, folks. Give me a few more so that I can put my pics of Segou and Mopti on page two! (your internet may be fast, but mine is not!!)
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 08:33 AM   #18
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Photos are very interesting, so I'll help you reach page 2
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 11:23 AM   #19
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Those mud structures are amazing. Never thought that mud can be used to build tall structures. What happens if it rains?

I can see soldiers roaming the streets.
Is it safe for tourists to travel to Timbuktu?
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Old March 11th, 2010, 12:31 AM   #20
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Thanks for sharing. I love this thread
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