|CONTENTS||Tataouine Tours: Travel: TRAVELLER'S REPORT I|
Our very first customer, Nikolaus Reber from Germany, wrote in with his report from many of the Star Wars location he visited during early October, 2000:
First of all, it was simply fantastic! The props for Episode 2 still smell of fresh paint and have all the gadgets. For example, in the Mos Espa set all the moisture vaporators were still up. They are a little bit different from the ones of the other Star Wars films because a lot of detail work has been added this time. For the moment, the set is closed and guarded by a Tunisian who is not allowed to let people in. Maybe they want to cash in on the now spectacular site.
The very first day, we travelled from Jerba to Tozeur by car which was an exhausting but fabulous trip; especially crossing the Chott el-Jerid which always reminds me the most of Star Wars and Luke's (and now again uncle Owen's) home.
Very early the next day, we ventured to the craters on the Chott el-Jerid not expecting that they had been completely rebuilt including the dome shaped house. Unfortunately, some gadgets such as the entrance mechanism have already been ripped off (or taken away by LFL) and part of the garage roof has been destroyed but it was still an overwhelming sight. I stayed there for quite a while and returned the next day for the sunset. We had brought our walkman including little stereo boxes and sat there watching the sun set exactly as it had done in Star Wars. Shivers ran down my spine!
Around midday, I met with Hamida for the canyon trip (Sidi Bouhlel) passing the famous R2-D2 stone, the Cave of the Swimmers from "The English Patient", the landspeeder parking, the fighting sites etc. Later the same day, we made the very rough trip to the Mos Espa sets stopping quickly at Onk Jemel. As I said before, the (big) Mos Espa set has been completely refurbished which suggests that they made quite a few shots there. However, I was told that Lucasfilm stayed only 3 days in Tozeur and 3 days in Matmata. The state of the little Mos Espa set is deteriorating. Also, some nomads have setteled in the area to make money of the tourist sites. They life between the yardangs with large tents and "attack" any visitor with their souvenirs (mostly sandroses). Almost like Tusken Raiders!
The next day, we visited the Medina and the market in Tozeur, then had a walk in the oasis. Later, we went to La Grande Dune and took the camel trip to the place where the droids first stranded on Tatooine.
On Thursday, we left Tozeur and drove to Matmata. After almost 25 years, the Hotel Sidi Driss has been filled with props again. Exactly as it was in Star Wars. Absolutely no changes!
We then went to Medenine for Anakin's home. Even though the doors and colours have changed it is still the place. The backyard with the amphitheatre is closed for renovation.
Finally, we made it back to Jerba. With a lot of luck, I found the Cantina which is really no longer worth visiting. We drove on to Ben's house and even tried to reach the Anchorhead site. In vain since the road was flooded. We returned to Ben's house and watched the sunset there. Lovely!
The next couple of days we stayed in Jerba. The last day, I tried to make it to Ksar Hadada with a tourist group but the site is no longer open to the public. It's closed for renovation at least until March 2001.
That was it! I shot more than 250 photos and made good use of Jeremy's book (which I actually took there!).
Nikolaus Reber, October 2000