Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tunis, Tunisia: Camels & Carthage - November 2014

Our life has been a whirlwind lately, and we had very little time to research Tunisia before we jumped aboard the plane. In a scramble, we each surfed travel sites trying to figure out what to do upon arrival. After a bit of reading, we both agreed that we had to be extremely cautious with this adventure. We read advice like, "downtown Tunis begins closing around 8:00 p.m. and is deserted by 9:00 p.m. There is no good reason to be on the streets. The only people who still are will be rummaging through garbage or leaving bars," and "anyone in any area where tourists frequent who approaches you uninvited is almost certain to be a confidence trickster. Tunisian people are far too polite to casually strike up a conversation with a stranger on the street. Those who do are just after your money." In summary, what I gathered, was trust no one, especially not English speakers.

That being said, upon arrival we hailed a taxi and were greeted by a swift-tongued, English-speaking native who almost immediately convinced James that he should guide us on a day tour of all the local attractions. We forked over our money and buckled up.

He took us to the beach so that James could wade in the sea and we posed with camels; we walked the cobblestone streets of Sidi Bou Said taking photos of the beautiful white architecture and towering blue doors; we visited the ancient Roman city of Carthage and saw Saint Louis Cathedral and Zitouna Mosque; dined at an authentic Tunisian restaurant enjoying a meal of eyeball-in fish and pasta; and ended the day with a quick run through the medina souq in Tunis city center.

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