Sunday, July 25, 2010

Tunisia - Day One

Yesterday Wife and I got back from a week-long visit to northeastern Tunisia, where we celebrated our friends' wedding and did some sightseeing. The trip also entailed a great deal of photography -- so much, in fact, that at the end of the vacation, I had more than 400 photos on two cameras (the Konica Minolta Dimage A200 and the Digital Harinezumi 2++) to sort through. Due to the size of the endeavor, I am blogging about our trip one day at a time. So here is the first full day of our stay, as best I can remember. All images can be enlarged by clicking.

We stayed in Sidi Bou Said, a very Tunisian-looking tourist town that claims to be home to the World's Oldest Cafe (but who's counting?). Very picturesque, with stone roads, white buildings and those ubiquitous blue doors everywhere. A beach and yacht harbor were also accessible on foot, although the uphill return trip was quite brutal in the summer heat.

Due to the large amount of tourist traffic Sidi Bou Said gets, souvenir shops dominate the main road. One visit to a shop reminded me of something I hadn't thought about since my trip to Thailand years ago: I hate haggling with shopkeepers. It doesn't matter how good their English is, or how much of a "discount" haggling can achieve. It's a stressful ordeal every time. And for some reason, souvenir vendors kept calling me "chief" or "chef." Every time that happened, I thought to myself, If only you knew how unlike a chef I actually am.

Our hotel, the Hôtel Sidi Bou Fares, had a great deal of that Sidi Bou Said feel to it, with plaster and tile decoration in the hotel room and a nice courtyard where we had breakfast every morning. The courtyard was inhabited by a pair of turtles that hung around while we ate.

Coming up in Day Two: Carthage.

No comments: