What you find when your plan doesn't pan out......

Tunis Travel Blog

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Our last day in Tunis and Tunisia, we had a nice and cool night with the air conditioner. The day before we had struggled with the purchase of a beautiful throw, finally we decided to just do it. Once we got up and had breakfast we headed back to the store and bought the throw. It is so gorgeous. After dropping it in the room we headed into the Medina. Rob lead the way with a map in hand and a pray he could navigate us safely through.

We took a different path into the medina and through the real people’s area. Going by many spice shops and through the huge food market was wonderful. Rob’s eyes were just shining at all the cooking possibilities. In the market the mountains of fresh fruits, vegetables, and olives were like works of art surrounding us.
In the meat and fish halls there were whole carcasses hanging around. Passing by the tables piled high with clothes and men shouting out about deals was a flashback to Sfax. We dived into the narrow streets and high walls of the medina.

Rob was trying his best, but didn’t really know where we were at. At one point he noticed a sign for a museum, the Dar Bach-Hamba known as Casa Sicilia. It is a wonderful example of Tunisian architecture with interesting and diverse collections of costumes from different countries, textiles, puppets, pottery, and when we visited a special collection of art featuring Sicily from Italian artist. We wondered from room to room enthralled by the everything. Rob especially loved the puppets.

When were out in the courtyard a man on the roof called down to Rob.
Rob was polite and waved. When I came out I recognized him as the man from the day before who showed us around the graves. Rob realized who it was after I reminded him. Later while we were in a large exhibition room the man came in and we made it clear we didn’t need a guide. We spent a good bit of time there.

Once we were back out in the medina Rob went on instinct again and pushed forward. After a number of twists and turns we stumbled upon the Dar Othman. Othman Dey, who ruled from 1598 to 1610, built this magnificent palace. It became a barracks warehouse in the 19th century and then the house of the Tunis Bey's Prime Minister. This building is now listed as a historical monument and distinguishes itself by its Hafsid-style façade and its huge white and black marble entrance door.
When you enter you are in a wonderful garden with mature trees, very tropical feeling. The building itself is now offices so no chance to see more.

Back out in the medina Rob now was able to determine exactly where we were. He guided us to the Grand Mosque and we wondered around for a while. I was thirsty and we finally found a Coke Light. It was amazing how difficult that was to do. We also tried some of the sweets being sold by vendors.

While we were trying to find the 3 Medersas complex we wondered into the Place Du-Government. It is a huge open airy square with a park area in the middle. People were sitting out and enjoying the sun and relaxing. The prime minister’s offices are located here in a former royal guest house. Across the esplanade we found the imposing government headquarters.
From here it was back towards the Grand Mosque to find the 3 Medersas complex for real now. As we snaked our way through the streets we were passed by tour groups so we figured we going in the right direction. After much wondering and doubling back some we finally found the first building. Outside was a guy who wanted to be our guide. We politely declined and he kept trying. We got our pictures and moved, but had to be more instant with the man that we didn’t want a guide. We could not find a way into the other house of the complex so we just gave up and went back to the room.

We took the opportunity to look at houses on the Internet and enjoy the air conditioning. For dinner I decided to just eat what we had left form the supermarket. Rob really wanted to try some local food so he went for a fish dinner. He had a nice dinner out and came back.

We turned in early as we had an early flight. What nice way to end our Tunisian adventure.
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391 km (243 miles) traveled
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photo by: tj1777