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Published: April 22nd 2011
24 November 1983 Thursday. We decided to spend Thanksgiving by joining a German tour group to Tunisia. We flew Condor from Stuttgart to Tunis. After clearing customs and immigration, the tour bus took us to the beach resort at Hammamet, about and hour south of the airport, where we spent the rest of the day on the beach; but not in the water which was too cold. However, the pool was warmer so we had a quick dip before dinner. That evening we had the Tunesian version of a Thanksgiving dinner, which was just fine.
25 November 1983 Friday. We joined the tour to Kairouan, an hour south of Hammamet. Kairouan, which means caravan, was at the northern end of the trade routes that crossed the Sahara desert, so was very prosperous. In 694 it was captured and resettled as an Islamic center, and is regarded as the fourth holiest city of Islam after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. The most significant site there is the Great Mosque from the 9th century. Until recently no infidel was permitted entry, but we were permitted to visit every part of the mosque. We returned to the hotel by mid afternoon and enjoyed walking
along the beach for our last evening there.
26 November 1983 Saturday. The tour bus took us an hour north to the old part of Tunis, called the medina, where we visited Bardo museum, a 13th century Ottoman palace housing an extensive collection of Roman mosaics and other artifacts; the Zitouna Mosque built in the 8th century; and the markets. Then we drove to the ruins of Carthage. Carthage was founded in the 6h century BC by the Phoenicians, who traded across the Mediterranean Sea from their home one the eastern shores. Its most famous general was Hannibal who invaded Rome by taking elephants across the Alps. Rome destroyed the city in 146 BC to prevent them from ever threatening Rome again. The Romans occupied North Africa and built the Antonin Baths, the largest outside of Rome. After walking around the ruins, we returned to Hammamet by late afternoon.
27 November 1983. The tour bus dropped us off at the airport for our flight to Stuttgart.
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