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Published: April 7th 2010
Dougga was such an amazing place. From the road it doesn't look like much but once you've parked up by the impressive amphitheatre and wandered into the ruins, you can explore for hours. We certainly spent much more time there than we had anticipated. It must have been a massive and impressive city in its day.
The huge forum is also very impressive. It's not until you stand at the base of it's gigantic columns that you get any idea just how tall it is. Beneath the forum are the remains of the city including mausoleums, houses, baths and even a brothel! Words cannot do justice to the place so hopefully the photos will do a better job!
From Dougga we drove for several hours towards the coast. Our next destination was the water temple of Zagouan. After our previous two Roman visits, this one was soooooooo disappointing. It was a very small site, part of it is under reconstruction, and we were continually hassled by a guide who gave us a running commentary and followed us around even though we asked him not to. No doubt he expected a tip at the end but he didn't get one!!
It wasn't too far from there to drive down to Hammamet, the nearest place of any size with hotels. We stayed in the lovely Hotel Bellvue which we had spotted on our last visit. We had a fabulous view of the beach and it was just a short stroll to the Brauhaus with its delicious German style beer! The next day we drove to the very posh area of Yasmine Hammamet where all the 5 star hotels, restaurants and nightclubs are. Whilst it was nice to see, we are pleased we didn't stay there.
From Hammamet we drove up to Tunis then continued to the peninsula of Gammarth. Thanks to laterooms.com
we got a good deal on a couple of nights in the 5 star Mouradi Hotel. Arriving at midday we were told that we couldn't check in until 2pm despite our reservation clearly stating 10am. Clearly we were not the kind of (rich/exclusive) guests they were used to dealing with. A little disgruntled we made our way to La Marsa where we had a stroll by the corniche and the beach.
The hotel was nice but we felt the service left a lot to be desired.
You have no idea how hard it was to run up those steps and get into position in just 10 seconds for the self-timer!
Backpackers enjoy a night or two of luxury too you know!! On our final evening in Tunisia we treated ourselves to a buffet dinner which was excellent, and then to a beer and a sheesha sat on cushions in the cafe. Ok, so none of it was cheap but we really enjoyed our splurge.
Our next stop was the airport, signifying the end of our Tunisian adventure. There were no dramas with the hire car. In fact they didn't even inspect it for damage so we needn't have treated it with so much respect!!!!!!
The flight was more or less on time and before we knew it we were back in England where it was oh so cold in comparison! Tunisia has been a great experience. We just wish things had worked out a little better professionally as we have made so many friends and we would like to return in the not-too-distant future.
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