DAY 1 TUNIS
Tunisian Proverb: He ate one fig and he thought autumn had come.
On this day I had breakfast while looking down on The Nile!! My party of three arrived in Tunis just after sunrise. Everything went smoothly and efficiently at immigrations, baggage claim and customs. We were met by Austen Hand and our guide for the week.
We normally do all our travel arrangements and actual travelling ourselves using public transport but the amount of ground we wanted to cover in a short week in Tunisia made that impractical. So we employed Engaging Cultures Travel and Austen Hand to help us out. They did a sterling job. We did not regret our decision for a moment.
After the usual first activities we were taken to a lovely restaurant for an early lunch. My first taste of Brik and it was love at first sight and bite. That was followed by some fresh fish with rice and fries, and I could not resist the chance to try a local white wine.
The first sightseeing stop on this trip to Tunisia was Carthage, founded in the 9th century BC and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We had the place to ourselves, apart from a handful of other tourists and a few friendly cats. We spent a few hours just exploring, checking guidebooks for info, and generally just being in awe at how old, big and well preserved everything around us is.
Late afternoon we headed to Sidi Bou Said. This town is named for a Sufi, Abu Said Al-Baji who lived between 1231 and 1156. Through the ages many artists lived here and still do. This town is famous for the blue and white decorations. That is thanks to Rodolphe d’Erlanger who lived here in the 1920’s and started that craze.
We spend a few hours just strolling around, taking in the sites, the colours, exploring homes that are open to the public and enjoy the sun setting into the Mediterranean. As lunch was substantial our dinner was pecking from the many street food stalls.
Then we head to our hotel, The Tunis Carlton, in the city centre.