Tunisia From October 5 to 18, 2007

cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 07:03 am
Testing another URL to see if I can get larger pictures.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD278.jpg This camel was used in Coke commercials in Tunis. I heard from some others in our tour group that they have seen that ad.

Since I do not wish to repost all the previous pictures that came out rather small, I'll take requests on which pictures you would like to see enlarged to this size.

I'm going out for my morning coffee and newspaper.
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 07:46 am
Hi C.I.

I'm loving this thread.

If you get around to posting larger pictures, I'd be thrilled to see any/all of the following:

the mosaic and sarcophagus
the children's tombstones and public baths
Any/all of the Dougga snaps and the three temples.

Laughing Sorry. Not to make you crazy.

I really would.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 08:40 am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp176.jpg Tozeur zoo; desert fox. 

[img]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp135.jpg Lamp and walls at the museum.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD283.jpg Fire-eater at the dinner/show.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD294.jpg Belly dancer.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD286.jpg The musicians.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD300.jpg Water fountain show at the arena.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD291.jpg An early morning in front of our hotel.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD312.jpg The Red Lizard.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 08:49 am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD318.jpg One of many tunnels.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD340.jpg The Seldja Gorge.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD343.jpg The four-wheel vehicles for our ride in the Sahara desert.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD344.jpg This town was flooded in 1959, and is now a ghost-town.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp230.jpg The canyons.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp173.jpg A Berber.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp161.jpg Dates for sale. I ate more dates on this trip than any time in my life.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 09:18 am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp153.jpg Tozuer is noted for their brick buildings; most are really beautiful.

Some more animals from the Tozeur zoo.




http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp234.jpg Keep Tunisia clean sign.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp247.jpg Tamerza waterfall.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp236.jpg Hotel pool where we had our lunch stop.

On our way to Douz the following day.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp263.jpg Carriage ride in Degueche in the lush palms of an oasis.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 09:29 am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD349.jpg A painting in the Tamerza Palace Hotel lobby that I admire.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp267.jpg Lush palms.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp272.jpg A 63-year old man showing us how they harvest dates.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp210.jpg Phosphate mining plant in Chebika near Tozeur..

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp268.jpg A Christian church mineret in Degueche.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 10:11 am
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD354.jpg A house in the desert.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD353.jpg Unusual sand formations.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD355.jpg Water cooling system. Water is taken from wells over six thousand feet underground that is 65 degrees centigrade, and must be cooled before use.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD369.jpg L-R: Michael, director, and Peter from Prague.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD364.jpg L: Roberto, program director, before our camel ride in the Sahara desert.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD384.jpg 45-minute camel ride.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD374.jpg Art work in the sand.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD389.jpg Cocktail party at the Bedoin camp after the camel ride.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp277.jpg Some strange formation across the street from our rest stop in the middle of the salt lake.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp281.jpg Western-style toilets.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp290.jpg Our driver, Hedi, busy on his cellphone.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp294.jpg Cave dwellings in Matmata where two Star Wars movies were filmed.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp303.jpg Star Wars image.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp295.jpg The Bar.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp302.jpg Another cave on site.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 10:35 am
Better late than never.


The following morning, we motor coached to Douz with a stop in Degueche for a horse-drawn carriage ride under lush palm trees with a visit to a private orchard of palm trees, roses, grapes, and other flora. We saw a man in his sixties climb one of the palm trees to demonstrate how they harvest dates. We continued our journey by crossing the great salt lake (Chott el Jerid) where we were introduced to the Lord Mayor. We visited the Douz market, but most of the shops were closed (for a 3-day holiday after Ramadan). Many of the locals in Douz are immigrants from Sudan. In the late afternoon, before our check-in at our hotel for one night, we rode camels or carriages with Bedoins (are Berbers or Arabs) in the desert followed by a cocktail party. Some of the patterns in the sand are beautiful artworks of nature.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 11:50 am
More pictures of Matmata.




Our transfer day to Djerba was no less than seven hours, but one of the more interesting one for movie fans. We visited the cave dwellings at the Berber village of Matmata where 2 Star Wars movies were filmed. We visited the spice market of Jara, then coached our way to Medenine where we saw a large ksar where nomads used ghorfas (rooms) to store grains/foods in Metameur. Most are three and four stories high. They are being abandoned and falling into ruin, but some still remain as tourist destinations with souvenir shops (and ours had a WC).

Our two nights at the resort Vincci Hotel with sea-view rooms was nice. Our morning tour on the island included a pottery factory and a visit to synagogue El Djerba, considered the oldest in the world (6th century BC). We have been told that the Jews and local people have lived in harmony for centuries. Two ladies from Boston and I took a taxi to the Hoari Restaurant recommended by our local guide for lunch where I had the grilled steak and red wine. It was excellent.

We visited a carpet factory in the afternoon and were given some free time to shop around the souk before we returned to our hotel in the early afternoon. I slept until dinner time.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD418.jpg Cave dwelling; this one had five rooms.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD420.jpg Bedroom.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD424.jpg Spice market.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp331.jpg Our lunch stop on our way to Djerba.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp329.jpg A sculpture at the restaurant.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD429.jpg Storage rooms (or ghorfas) in Medenine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD431.jpg A cafe?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp339.jpg Muslim women at Medenine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD399.jpg An old olive tree on the island of Djerba - believed to be 1,600 years old.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 12:23 pm
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD444.jpg Pottery artist in Djerba.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp359.jpg At the pottery factory.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp358.jpg Seconds and junque.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp355.jpg Kilns?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp364.jpg Site of oldest Synagogue in the world (6th century BC).

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD449.jpg Inside of the Synagogue.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp366-1.jpg Downtown Houmt Essouk, the capital of the island.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD456.jpg A sample/typical shop in this souk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD455.jpg One large bird cage - all hand made.

Corrrection: The two ladies from Boston and I had lunch at the "Haroun" Restaurantk, a waterfront restaurant in Houmt Essouk.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 12:39 pm
At last, the last.

TRANSFER TO SOUSSE - Day 11 to Day 13:

In the morning, we took the ferry to Gabes and coached through the Sahel Region (coastline) with a lunch stop in Sfax, the second largest city in Tunisia. After lunch, we continued our journey through olive groves for a visit to El Jem, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, to visit the Roman amphitheater modeled in the same design as the Coliseum in Rome, but in better condition. It rained, so I went inside a café for a cup of coffee.

Our last three nights were spent at the Orient Palace Hotel in Sousse, a stones throw distance from the Mediterranean.

The first full day in Suesse was a leisure day for those who didn't opt for the optional tour to Kairouan, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, for a visit to the Great Mosque, the oldest in Africa. It's the forth most important to the believers of Islam after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem. We were told that Muslims who visit here four times equates to one visit to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam.

Our morning drive along the coast to the seaside resort of Monastir, the birthplace of their former President Bourguiba, to visit the Ribat, a fortified monastery dating from the 8th century AD, Bourguiba Mausoleum, and the Sousse Medina, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, and finally Port el Kantaoui, a very pleasant port with yachts from all over Europe and some shops. This place reminds me of some of the Caribbean ports.

Our final event was a home-hosted dinner with a Tunisian family. The seven in our group were hosted by a couple of doctors; the husband a professor of medicine at the local university, and the wife an forensic doctor. They have three children, the oldest daughter now attending medical school, the second child, a son, in secondary school, and their youngest daughter in grade school. They all attend private schools. They have traveled to the US and in Europe. Their beautiful home is a two story residence with a swimming pool in the back yard and an atrium with marble floors.

The average income in Tunisia is about US$9,000 per annum, and the middle class is growing. Tunisia is the largest exporter of dates. Agricultural land occupies about half of the country's total area. Tourism in Tunisia is growing, and many local and foreign investments are being made in developing its tourist infrastructure. Foreign car makers such as Fiat, Ford, and Mitsubishi have assembly factories. They also produce Levi Strauss, Lee, Wrangler, Gap, Hanes, Reebok, Russell, and
Fila for US companies. Tunisia is trying to attract more foreign investment by providing ten year tax benefits and subsidies, but the company must hire Tunisians to get this benefit. The Tunisian Dinar is not negotiable currency outside the country.

Twenty five years ago, only 750 students attended college. Today, they have over 350,000 students in college. Tunisia has the only Pharmacy College in Africa.

Our tour director, Roberto, lives in Italy, and is an independent travel guide/consultant. He speaks five languages fluently, and two enough to "survive."

He was born in North Africa, and his knowledge of European history, Africa, and the Middle East is outstanding. He has traveled extensively around the world.

Habib Bourguiba was born in 1903, and was proclaimed its first president in 1956 when Tunisia regained independence, and held that office from 1957 until 1987 when he was declared mentally incompetent. He studied law in Paris, and embarked upon intensive political work. He brought many pro-western reforms to the country providing for equal rights for women, divorce, and a secular government.

Bourguiba is held in high esteem to this day by most citizens of the country.

Finally about olive oil. The first press of small olives is termed "extra virgin," and should be green in color. The second press is termed "virgin," and should be yellow. The third press is "olive oil," and the last is "mixed" with other vegetable oils. The best olive oil is produced in Tuscany because of the soil (zero acidity) and ideal micro-climate. The next best olive oil comes from Provence, and the third comes from Tunisia.

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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 02:11 pm
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD467.jpg Waiting for ferry to Gabes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp374.jpg These ferry run about every 15-minutes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD482.jpg Our lunch stop in Sfax.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD478.jpg Lobby of Hotel Les Olivier.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD472.jpg Downstair bar at the hotel.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD475.jpg One of many pictures of movie stars in the bar.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD494.jpg Amphitheater at El Jem.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp381.jpg Closer view of the colosseum.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp385.jpg The Grand Mosque in Kairouan on an optional tour.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 02:26 pm
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp386.jpg Court yard.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp392.jpg The mineret.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD24mp390.jpg Prayer hall.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD561.jpg Cistern; courtyard slopes toward the center for rainwater to drain into this cistern designed to filter out impurities before it goes into the well.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD548.jpg The hallways.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 03:17 pm
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD514.jpg Our hotel in Sousse.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD595.jpg Bourguiba birthplace in Monastir.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD607.jpg Ribat: fortified monastery dating from the 8th century AD.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD609.jpg Road to upper levels.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD622.jpg Looking down from the tower.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD627.jpg The tower.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD619.jpg Gulf of Tunisia.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD636.jpg Bourguiba Mausoleum.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD637.jpg Not quite the Taj, but still impressive.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD644.jpg Bourguiba tomb.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD649.jpg Chandelier.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD664.jpg Sousse madina.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD674.jpg Souk.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD675.jpg Fried (Bedoin) bread?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v97/imposter222/TunisiaOct2007xD690.jpg Post office at Port el Kantaoui.
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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 03:28 pm
Joeblow requests:










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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 03:34 pm
A bit of a map...

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cicerone imposter
Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 03:57 pm
osso, Good map; thanks for posting it.
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 04:00 pm
Well, those are wonderful photos, CI. They increased my interest in Tunisia a lot.
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 04:02 pm
Remembering to tell you, I have some Tunisian ceramics. Back when we had the gallery, we bought some items from a fellow in Petaluma - some ironwork to sell, some oil jars to sell, and the plates for ourselves.

I have managed to not break any of the plates yet...
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Reply Sun 21 Oct, 2007 06:08 pm
Great narrative, gorgeous images, C.I. Fascinating.
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