Thursday, May 18, 2006

Tunisian Adventures

You have probably forgotten about my trip to Tunisia in March? And how I was supposed to write about it. Well I’m trying to catch on writing and all I seem to be doing is getting on and off airplanes and stamping passports.

Hannibal I tried your tip, but I can't even log in or get to the 'Wordpress' interface of the Maghreblog so now I'm just going to publish it here.

I think this recent trip to Tunis was the best ever especially that it was unplanned, combining business with pleasure. My only regret was that I did not contact the Tunisian bloggers early enough to arrange a meeting. I had missed their 11th meetup which took place before I arrived and they had a meeting after I left . However, as soon as I arrived I emailed Adib , who gave me his cell phone number and we got in touch , he said that he could not make it to Tunis until the weekend because he was very busy, but that we would stay in touch. Adib was really nice and we had a good conversation on the phone, but after I found out how much my business program was filled I decided I was not going to contact anymore bloggers as I could not even agree on a certain time to meet and they had their lives right ? In addition to Adib, I would have liked to meet Subzeroblue , but also Hannibal and Leilouta if they had been in Tunis , which we know they are not. I think all Tunisian bloggers are cool .

So what have I done in Tunis ? well when I was not busy at meetings I walked in the city , and managed to take a photo of a woman traffic <=warden. (It’s good I did not cause a diplomatic incident when I took photos near the Danish Embassy I did not even know it was there).

I wanted to take the metro , and here is what I found , in 'Jerusalem' street, I came accross this Church (photo) opposite 'Africa' Square and the Station’s name nearby is guess what ? 'Palestine'. Talk about coincidence.

I wanted to go to Carrefour ( a French franchise) the hip superstore ( mall ) in town and have a look at the young people hanging around there so I was told it would be only one stop . The metro was coming and I ran to catch it. Being not used to metros in plain air but only to the London underground where I knew how to pay for my fare. I assumed wrongly that it was like a bus , you pay the conductor or some kind of staff while on board. Imagine my utter embarrassment when I find after jumping (movies style), that I was an illegal stowaway – oops . Gosh I have never felt so ashamed in my life. The passengers kept telling me it was all right, it’s only one stop don’t worry just get off at the next station. I felt like a thief and I did not even know where to pay for that ticket.

Carrefour was nice, but was more hyped than I thought, I prefer Les Berges du Lac area ( hattip Aquacool) , they have nice cafes and terraces there. You have to know that it is very expensive real estate since the US Embassy has moved there from its former address ;). I found out this when I went to inquire about the procedure for a visa application. Too complicated. Check Khadijateri’s post here.

The weather was so beautiful and warm during the day (in March) that you could see the families and the kids on outings in the park. Here are some of my shots at the park.

I love this candy

I wish I could buy this house!

I did not go to the medina this time as I had gone there last year and found it to be similar to Libya. However some of my friends invited me to the Sidi Bousaid tourist village/area and I was not disappointed as the place was real pretty. The houses were still kept in the same traditional colours with blue doors and windows . It was lovely.

Having tea with loz ( nuts) at the Sidi Chabane café perched on top of the hill was a must. Tea with nuts is not new to me as we serve it In Libya as well. But I liked it anyway.

The view from Sidi Chabane Cafe

The next day I visited the marina and I thought many Tunisians must be awfully rich as it was full of yachts.

I noticed there are lots of stray cats in Tunis which reminded me of Leilouta and her cats posts and I took these two photos in her honour. In case I have not introduced Leilouta people, now you have her link so go see her she is loads of fun !

My Tunisian friend S took us out one night to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner, and I must say though the food was a mix of Syrian, Turkish Lebanese and Tuniso/European and not strictly Lebanese it was delicious and we laughed and sang . Some people also improvised a belly dancing session next to the live musician. I must say the guy was thrilled as the girls were really cute. Oh and if you are wondering did I dance ? I won’t answer and will keep you guessing ….

All in all Tunis trip was a success.

Bonus photo :)
Dating in Tunis ....


AngloLibyan said...

how nice to read your cheerful blog about Tunis this morning, thanks for the beautiful photos.

removedalready said...

thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures. I do enjoy reading your entry. Hey, any great places I shouldn't miss when in Cairo & Alexandria?

Leilouta said...

I am glad you had a good time in Tunisia. I wish I was there. I would've had fun showing you around, having couscous or lablabi for lunch and taking pictures.
The pictures of the park in Belvedere reminded me of my childhood. The zoo is located in that area and I used to go there as a kid with my parents.
Did you visit the souks? El Marsa and Carthage?
About your metro trip: don't feel bad. I lived most of my life in Tunisia and I still don't know how the metro works there :)

Barnita said...

Oooh beautiful. I love the pics.

Highlander said...

Anglolibyan , thanks I'm glad the photos turned out to be so nice :)

Redenclave :), I never went to Alex but for Cairo you should definetely see the Sidi Hussein Mosque, the Khan Khalil Souk, the 'Fish' Garden, the Zoo is nice as well and the lively , go on a Nile cruise as well ( about 2 hours plus dinner).

Leilouta , yes the Belvedere is amazing and I went to Carthage, but stupid me forgot to charge the batteries and ended up without photos :(

I went to the souk last year so no need to go this time.
Oh and I would have loved if you were there to show me around ya 3azizti. Lol @ metro , I found out how it works the hard way I guess.

Barnita, the pictures are not showing even half the beauty of Tunisia.

Hannibal said...

@Highlander: I really liked and enjoyed reading your post on Tunisia. I am so sorry that you was not able to post it on Maghreblog. But no worries you can try again. My advice ask Adib on how to post on Maghreblog, he will tell you.