Tunisia

Just found the itinerary from our Tunisia trip in June 2006 – before recycling, I shall post.

Gatwick – Tunis airport, and then via (slightly) air-conditioned coach down to Monastir to the Hotel Cristal (just 100m from El Karaia Beach!… hmmm)

Feeble and I went on the following trips:

* Three days into the desert –
Monastir – El Jem (Roman coliseum in better condition than in Rome, Feeble said)
El Jem – Gabes Oasis (don’t remember this bit) and onto Matmata to visit a Troglodyte home (a Berber lady called Fatima lived there, and happily took small dinar for showing us round. A grandchild (or similar) had a chameleon on a string, and there was a cable snaking out of the home onto the surface to receive satellite TV. Ho hum!
Matmata – Douz for a camel ride dressed as a Bedouin. It was quite hot there (50C) – camel ride was interesting but a little long.
From Douz, the next day, we travelled across the dry salt lake at Chott El Jerid to Tozeur, and then stayed at Nefta in a lovely hotel. We went for a horse and carriage ride through the oasis (very sorry looking horse). There was a brief visit to a date/palm tree farm, where we bought dates, smoked palm leaves and watched small children scamper up the trees to harvest the dates.
The final day saw us visit mountain oases in Chebika, Temerza and Mides (4×4 ride across the sand dunes – hurrah!). Then on to Sbeilta, visiting a Roman site which was quite complet. Then we stopped in Kairouan on the way back. There is a very big mosque there.
We also visited Sousse and wandered around the souk.
We also went to Tunis and Carthage. In Tunis we visited the Bardo museum (which is the equivalent to the British Museum) – lots of Roman mosaics. Carthage ruins are fewer than we expected (or perhaps we ought not to have expected anything at all), but we could see from the view out to sea that it was a site of strategic importance. The Antonine Baths are the best ruins – someone has done a scale replica which is on display there (interestingly enough, the man who made it was from Cheltenham).
We also visied Sidi Bou Said – beautiful little white and blue village on the hilltops overlooking the Gulf of Tunis.

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