Blogs from Tunisia, Africa - page 12


Africa » Tunisia » The east of Tunisia April 13th 2010

Départ à 8h. Avant de quitter la chambre, nous avons admiré une dernière fois la magnifique vue sur la Méditerranée et sur le fort génois que nous apercevions de notre balcon. Nous avons encore ce matin contourné le parc national d’Ichkeul, dans les Atlas, région verdoyante et forestière qui abrite pas moins de 180 espèces d’oiseaux migrateurs. Nous avons emprunté cette fois une route sinueuse grimpant toujours et encore, jusqu’à ce que nous ayons la tête dans les nuages (autour de 800m d’altitude). Nous avons fait notre premier arrêt à Bulla Regia (La Royale), ville où se situait le palais royal numide, avant la conquête romaine. Aux IIe et IIIe siècles, les romains l’ont transformée en riche cité, comme en font foi les vestiges d’immenses maisons à 2 étages, dont un en sous-sol, pourvu de puits ... read more

Africa » Tunisia April 12th 2010

Lundi 12 avril Le départ de l’hôtel est prévu pour 8h. On a beau dormir un bon 3 heures par nuit, la levée du corps est quand même difficile (plus facile pour Charles-René qui avait dormi 4 heures). Direction Bizerte, qui fut le quartier général de l’armée française, y étant basée jusqu’en 1963. Notre premier arrêt photo a été pour immortaliser la Kasba et la forteresse espagnole. M. Sadok nous a. parlé un peu architecture ; il nous a expliqué que les minarets de forme carrée sont d’origine berbère, alors que les octogonaux sont d’origine turque. Il nous a aussi donné un petit cours «portes tunisiennes 101». Elles ont été traditionnellement construites avec 3 heurtoirs, chacun étant destiné à annoncer qui frappe à la porte, selon le son produit. Celle en haut à gauche est réservée ... read more
Forteresse espqgnole de Bizerte
Minaret berbere

Africa » Tunisia » Tunis April 11th 2010

Début de l’aventure Après 23 heures (de chez nous à l’hôtel), nous voilà enfin rendus à Tunis. La température est magnifique, quoiqu’un peu frisquette (un petit 14C)… parfait pour visiter. Voici l’hôtel El Mouradi, où nous séjournerons pour 2 nuitées. Dimanche 9h, départ pour une tournée vers le nord-est, après avoir visité le centre-ville de Tunis et le souk. Première visite, le musée Bardo (M.Sadok, notre guide, nous assure que le nom n’a rien à voir avec Brigitte), riche en mosaïques romaines de grande valeur et de pièces archéologiques, datant souvent de l’époque romaine. Plusieurs statues ont le nez cassé, œuvre des soldats du Vième siècle. Étant en rénovation, plusieurs salles n’étaient pas disponibles, mais vous auriez dû voir les belles photos que nous en avions prises. Mais elles ne passeront pas à la postérité car, ... read more
Musée Bardo
Medina de Tunis

Africa » Tunisia » Tunis April 1st 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 ... read more
Dougga Roman Ruins
The Forum
Roman Forum

Africa » Tunisia March 30th 2010

Bulla Regia is a huge site of Roman ruins in Northern Tunisia. When the Romans were here, the summer heat got too much for them so they built their villas underground. Did this happen anywhere else in the Roman world? Who knows but it's certainly the first time we've seen anything like it. It takes a good few hours to explore the site and, with the help of our guide books, we felt we did it justice. The local guides were not pushy at all and we didn't feel guilty in giving them the brush off. In some of the villas it is still possible to go downstairs and wander around the subterranean courtyards. Not all of them though. Most are named after things that were found in them or the mosaics which adorn the floors. ... read more
Bulla Regia
Bulla Regia
Bulla Regia

Africa » Tunisia March 29th 2010

Just half an hour South of Tabarka the road climbs up to 1000m above sea level as you reach the mountain town of Ain Draham. In winter this place regularly gets snow so the roofs of the houses make them seem like Alpine lodges. We missed the snow but were very lucky with the weather, catching a lot of sunshine which took most of the chill out of the evening air. Staying in the Hotel Beau Sejour we were surprised to have satellite TV in our room and heating. It's just a shame we had to ask for the water to be heated! Still, there were only 2 other people staying there so I guess the management decided not to switch it on unless requested. The bar area is like a hunting lodge but the log ... read more
Colourful Trees
Magnificent Mountains
Cork Trees

Africa » Tunisia March 28th 2010

Tabarka was a very pleasant surprise. Being just 22km from the border with Algeria it was, of course, brimming with Algerian tourists. It gave the place a bustling but pleasant feel to it. Once ensconced in the comfortable Hotel La Plage, we went for a wander as dusk fell on the town. The port area with the Genoese Fortress looming high in the background was quite atmospheric but most of its cafes are not yet open for the season. Quite why there is an Avatar-esque Mermaid at the entrance, who knows! We ended up eating in a cheap and cheerful place on the main road which served up delightful fish at a fraction of the price that the marina restaurants would have charged. The next day began with a coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice in ... read more
Bourgiba and his dog
Fish & Chips!
Coffee, Cards and Sheesha

Africa » Tunisia March 27th 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 ... read more
Storks at the station
War Graves
Beautiful Beach at Cap Serrat

Africa » Tunisia » Tunis March 24th 2010

Having said a sad and fond farewell to our friends in Sousse, we headed up North on the train to Tunis. We were supposed to be met by a car rental agency after we had negotiated a really good rate on line. They didn’t turn up and they wouldn’t answer their phone! Oh well, the best laid plans and all that!! So we took a taxi out to the airport where Russ did some hard bargaining and before long we were on the road up to the city of Bizerte, some 40km North of Tunis. The further North we got, the more the scenery looked like England, but with sunshine and the occasional palm tree! Bizerte was a bigger place than we had imagined. It’s not exactly over developed when it comes to tourism which is ... read more
Enjoying the hike
Northern Coast
Northern Coast

Africa » Tunisia » Tozeur March 20th 2010

From Tozeur we had intended to make our way up the Western edge of Tunisia. Our experiences of taking louages and other forms of public transport in remote areas put us off somewhat. Instead we abandoned those plans and headed back over the Chott El Jerid salt lake to the town of Kebili. We stayed in the Hotel Kitam on the Northern edge of town. We were the only guests and it was rather more expensive than we had hoped for. At 50 dinars (£22) for a double room we expected something really nice but as the only guests it seemed we were just an inconvenience to the tranquil life of the owners. They made Basil Fawlty look like a guest relations specialist and breakfast the following morning saw a pot of coffee on the table ... read more

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