Spices and Souks

The Medina (old part of city) in Sfax  as in other cities has different souks within its walls. Shopping in these places is always more fun than in the supermarket

Luckily we didn’t need to actually buy  much – I find bartering really difficult. I always think as an obvious tourist you pay too much but then they have to make a living. Guess you just have to decide how much you want it.






One of the best experiences in Northern Africa is a visit to the spice market. We visited several but Gabes is the most famous.

Gabes is also  the worlds only seaside oasis which seems a really weird concept but it is a fertile spot in a desert region so I guess that does  make it an oasis

There are many date palms round the town and  the locals don’t think they are very good quality. It’s true they aren’t the best huge soft dates you can get in some places  but they’ve obviously never tasted a date from Morrisons.

Gabes is also famous for henna and for basket weaving.



After all that shopping it has to be time for more Roman ruins.

El Djem

We visited the third century Roman amphitheatre at EL Djem.  Imperial Official Gordian started to build this in  230 AD. It would have held over 30,000 spectators but  Gordian killed himself in 238 AD  after his bid to be Emperor failed so it was never completely finished.


Despite never being finished it was used for gladiators and chariot races. In the seventeenth century its stones were used to build the village of El Djem and it was damaged in World War two but there is still a lot to see. Nowadays the good acoustics mean it is often used for concerts.