Everybody has heard of Carthage, founded in the ninth century BC, on the Gulf of Tunis.
I know a little about the three Punic wars and Hannibal crossing the Alps to Italy on an elephant. That’s the extent of my knowledge but it was enough to make me keen to visit.
I wasn’t disappointed this UNESCO site just outside modern was well worth the effort.
This was once the richest sea port of ancient time. It was founded by the Phoenicians but destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC. Eventually a Roman city was re-established on the site but this was later destroyed by the Vandals. But despite all that destruction there is plenty to see.
Sidi Bou Said
Also just outside Tunis is the touristy village of Sidi Bou Said. An artists village on a cliff side next to the Med. The cobbled streets are full of souvenir shops and lined with white houses with bright blue doors and windows. All the doors are the same colour but decorated individually to be different so of course I went on a door hunt- here are just a couple of pics but I have many more.
The Bardo Museum
Next, time at the fabulous Bardo museum.
I do realise this is a different experience since the 2015 attack on tourists at the museum but it is simply on of the best museums I have ever been to.
Shopping in Tunis
And finally a shopping experience. We didn’t buy a stuffed camel or a leather pouffe now the test was to emerge into the daylight without a carpet- easier said than done. Tunis is supposedly one of the best places to buy a quality carpet. There are woven mergoum carpets but here the big sell was was fine knotted carpets. After a demonstration and mint tea many finely knotted carpets were unrolled and inflated prices quoted. We escaped with Dinars intact. Mostly I think because others in our group looked richer than us!