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mrscanada Tunisi - A travel report by Lyla
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Tunisi,  Tunisia - flag Tunisia -  Ariana
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mrscanada's travel reports

Tunisia Is Terrific

  14 votes
Page: 1 2
Tunisia is the third country from the left, (if you look on a map), in North Africa. The city of Tunis and the country are called Tunis in Arabic. It is a small country with about the same area as England and it has two coastlines.

Mosque In Tunis
Mosque In Tunis
The Berbers were the ancient people from North Africa west of Egypt and were ruled by a Queen. She had them all convert to Judaism. The Arabs invade in 639 and made most of the Berbers become Muslims.

The Jews who didn't convert live in the hills and sometimes come to Tunis to sell things in the market. Tunisia was called Ifriqiyah in the early centuries of the Islamic period. That name, in turn, comes from the Roman word for Africa and the name also given by the Romans to their first African colony following the Punic Wars against the Carthaginians in 264-146 BC.

After brief periods of rule by the Vandals and Byzantines, the Arabs conquered the area in AD 647. Although the Arabs initially unified North Africa, by 1230 a separate Tunisian dynasty had been established by the Hafsids.

Muslim Andalusians migrated to the area after having been forced out of Spain in 1492. By 1574, Tunisia was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, which lasted until 1922.

The French and British consuls, (Leon Roches and Richard Wood), used the Sfez affair to have Muhammad Bey make certain reforms, which came to be called Ahd al-Aman' , (the Pact of Security).

The Arabs who moved west and settled there, descendants of sub-Saharan slaves brought there up until the French took it over.

The official language is Arabic with French taught as a second language from primary school upwards.

The population is 98% Moslem with the other minority mainly made up of Christians and Jews but still Tunisians.

Favourite spots:
A Market
A Market
We stayed at Hannibal Palace at Port El-Kantaoui. Tunis is a quick drive on the autoroute from the Sousse area.

Both Sousse and Tunis have electric trains than help you get around easily.

The Bardo Museum, which was formerly the Turkish Bey's Palace was designed along the lines of The Prado in Madrid.

The museum is very impressive with a wonderful display of Roman mosaics artefacts .

The museum also shows the history of Tunisia from the Stone Age onwards. Besides now being a museum, the building was once a palace and is decorated with delicate Arabic carved ceilings and ornate lamps.

What's really great:
Entrance To The Oasis
Entrance To The Oasis
The Phoenician or Roman site of Carthage is a suburb of Tunis.

From the Roman forum atop a hill with a marvelous panoramic view of all Tunis, you can see the two levels of the civilizations that formed this ancient city.

The Phoenicians, (Punics), that occupied the area prior to the Romans lived on the slopes of the hill and many of their building foundations can still be seen.

When the Romans took the place over, they built brick piers all around the hill top to act as soil stabilizers and shoveled the peak of the hill away leveling off the hill top to create the forum area.
They buried of what the Phoenicians had built.

It has been re-excavated so that both civilizations are in evidence. Even if antiquities aren’t your thing, this trip is worth it for the view of Tunis alone.

Bazzar In Tunis
Bazzar In Tunis
We went to see a plantation in an oasis. We saw a number sanctuaries where they showed us dessert plants and creature. We went to the Chott El Djerid, (the World's third largest salt flat). We went onto the salt flats to see how the salt glistened like diamonds as the sun rose.

At Metlaoui we stopped here to ride the Red Lizard that is the restored Royal train of Tunisia. It took us on a ten mile branch line ending in a phosphate quarry.

Poached Pear
Poached Pear
We stayed at the Gammarth near Tunis. It is 20 km from Tunis on by the sea.

Our room was decorated in all the colors of the sand. It had air-conditioning, a king sized bed, smoke alarms, a phone, cable TV, a mini-bar, desk and the closet was divided in two, (one side for hanging cloths the other for folded clothes.

In the bathroom was all tiled and there was a bath/shower, toilet, sink and a hair drier.

Our Hotel
Our Hotel
Even though Tunis is the capital of Tunisia the night life here is not terribly exciting.

We went to the Casino a few times.

There are a few Discos but most of the people in them are men. The only time you see women is if they are with their husband or friends.

Street In Tunis
Street In Tunis
We hung out any place that served local food and drinks.

Their snack is called a "brique à l'oeuf" is a fried egg and put into a filo pastry.

Tajines are a casserole.

Iced tea with mint and sugar cubes.

Boukha is a traditional drink that is made by the Tunisian Jews. They began making it in 19th century in La Soukra, near Tunis.

Celtia is the local lager beer. Any imported beer or wine would cost you a fortune.

Post Card Of A Picture At the Museum
Post Card Of A Picture At the Museum
We had lunch at beach side hotel in the Tunis suburb of La Goulette.

The second day we stopped for lunch at hotel in Gabes, (it halfway down the eastern coast). When we go back to our hotel we had dinner and watched the sun go down in the desert.

The third day we had lunch in Gafsa at a small café where we had a few filo pastries.

Méchoui Berber is a grilled lamb chop dish with the addition of a spicy chipolata-sized sausage tasting very similar to the Greek bastourma.

The best place to eat and shop is on the Côte d’Azur.

Don't go to any place that says they serve International cuisine!
Boukha is a traditional spirit prepared by the Tunisian Jews. The brand Boukha Bokobosa was created in 19th century by the family Bokobosa. in La Soukra, near Tunis.

Celtia is the local lager beer. Any imported beer or wine would cost you a fortune.

Other recommendations:
Mausoleum Of The Founder Of Tunisia
Mausoleum Of The Founder Of Tunisia
The next day we went to see Kairouan, (the fourth holiest place in the Islamic World after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem).

I couldn't believe they brought us here to try and sell us a carpet, (in a State controlled carpet warehouse). We didn't buy one. What we did do was go visit the Mosque.

We went back to Port El-Kantaoui and had a nice long cold drink of iced tea.

Published on Friday September 22th, 2006

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Wed, Sep 27 2006 - 06:15 AM rating by gloriajames

thanks for the exotic report and pics!

Sun, Sep 24 2006 - 11:27 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Terrific report worth 5 stars!

Sun, Sep 24 2006 - 10:31 AM rating by st.vincent

Interesting report with loads of history, the photo of the market is great

Fri, Sep 22 2006 - 11:27 PM rating by davidx

Outstanding report.

Fri, Sep 22 2006 - 11:18 PM rating by ravinderkumarsi

nice report ,well written and excellent pictures too.

Fri, Sep 22 2006 - 11:46 AM rating by eirekay

Terrific report with lots of great photos!

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