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Published: March 30th 2010
Quite unexpectedly we find ourselves publishing a blog about our drive through Northern Tunisia from Bizerte to Tabarka. What was expected to be an ordinary journey turned out to be a fascinating voyage through beautiful countryside: resting on beautiful beaches, admiring the natural beauty of white storks and contemplating the horror of World War II at a Commonwealth Cemetery.
On the edge of Bizerte we were stopped by the police! We had been expecting this to happen as there are many, many checkpoints around the country. He didn’t want to see our documents though, he wanted a lift!! Who were we to say no? So he jumped into the back of our car along with his friend and we took them about 30km through beautiful countryside. It’s a shame we had “guests” because we felt we couldn’t stop to take photographs.
We couldn’t take them to their destination of Sejnane, dropping them instead at the hamlet of Blakat Junction, literally a scattering of houses at a small road junction. They were happy enough and we said goodbye before continuing on a minor road all the way to the coast. After the disappointment of “La Grotte” we had low expectations
of Cap Serrat. Well, we were amazed. We had the whole of the beach t ourselves but it wasn’t quite warm enough for a dip in the Med. Our only companions were a herd of goats who fortunately moved on before we had our lunch. Later on we were joined by a young couple from Canada who are also travelling around the North. They brought with them a little friend, a lovely stray dog who stayed with us after they left! He was no bother though. The beach got a little crowded later as a herd of cows joined us!!!
We retraced our steps passed the charcoal burners and the dam builders to Blakat and then made our way to Sejnane. There they make ceramics which are quite pretty and unlike other examples we have seen elsewhere in Tunisia. The main reason for stopping in Sejnane though was to visit the old train station. It has been taken over by hundreds of nesting white storks. We stood and watched in wonder for quite some time before hitting the road again. They are amazing creatures and to get so close was an honour.
As we continued we passed incredibly
green countryside. It must rain a lot here some of the time!! A series of reservoirs have been created and it was interesting to see an old railway bridge arching out of the waters. The disused railway viaducts are quite scenic too.
Our next stop along the way was in the village of Ras Rajel. We were disappointed to find people lounging around the Commonwealth War cemetery but they were at least peaceful and unobtrusive. It’s amazing to think that small cemeteries like this are all around the world and lovingly tended by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. We wandered around in silence and paid our respects before concluding our journey with the final 15km or so to the city of Tabarka.
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