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My Tunisian adventures My Tunisian travels, trips 1, 2 and 3

Tunisia was amazing, I loved it soooooooooo much

TUNISIA | Thursday, 23 July 2009 | Views [982] | Comments [2]

Well now I am back home, finally I have added some photos from the 700 that I took using the cybershot phone. Wow, my first overseas trip and mostly I stayed in homestay with local families as I am a member of a hospitality exchange group.

Tunisia was so amazing. I had the privelege of being shown around Sousse by a good friend of mine and it was amazing. Sousse is actually a bit touristic for my liking in part, but I avoided the very crowded areas mostly and took every opportunity to speak with locals to practice my French. My friend was so kind by showing me of course, important things like the currency and helping me with my quite poor French and patiently helping me with my little Arabic also. I was shown the local food, and just learning about the food and what is good to eat is an adventure in itself. I ate local food for the whole 22 days of my trip. I am ashamed to say that one day I did have a burger but it was at a local place and not like McDonalds. I chose it as it was cheap. Now after eating local Tunsian food am really very fond of the harisa sauce and hope I can find a tin or jar of it in my city. I miss it.

I loved Tunisia soooooooooooooooooooooooo much and did not want to leave.The locals were forgiving of my very little French and most people were happy to practice their English. Most locals that I spoke with were delighted that a traveller from Australia would come so far for a holiday and I am so glad that I chose a N. African destination instead of somewhere in Europe (which of course is nice), like some of my family thought I should do. Tunisia does get lots and lots of package holiday tourists and most, I think go for the 4 or 5 star experience. There is a lot of scope for someone who wanted to be hedonistic and have the whole spa, fitness, experience, as there are so many health spas and resorts that cater to beauty treatments and so on. Also on the touristique strip of Sousse, the 4 and 5 star area, the peace of the area is reduced a bit, by the loud cranking out at poolside, which is opposite the beach, of a very strange (IMHO) assortment of music to cater to the taste of the tourists supposedly. I found it was annoyingly loud just to walk by and this was what people were subjected to in the pool area. Some of the luxury pool areas had open fences that opened to a beach view but they chose to be in the pool area, but often without a top on (women) so that took a bit of getting used to, walking past that contrast. Tourists holidaying in a Muslim country but going topless seemed incongrous to me and of course it is a curiousity to locals but most do not stand around looking of course.I mention it because it was a contrast and like I wrote, it seemed incongrous. However I did like Sousse, there was something for everyone I think. I stayed on the Corniche and liked the area, in a house, not a hotel......and there is something about being in one place for a few weeks and not going to too many places. It gave me a change to get really familiar with the area, and hence also get to know shopkeepers ect and it made it nice really, as then you almost feel like a local.


When my friend returned to work, I was told not to talk with the locals, but it was not possible not to speak with local people. I swam in areas that were tourists/locals together. I confess that I did use the umbrella area of the tourist hotels but never took valuables, and then I did get a sun lounge and umbrella and I felt my things were less likely to be stolen. Ha. Well I never took money with me, anyway.But as for swimming, well I chose an area where the tourists and locals overlapped, mostly as I felt more comfortable then. Locals I met did not want to swim and my friend did not either. Still, it was relaxing and enjoyable and the beach is nice. Boujaffar Beach is one beach I swam at and also Hana Beach.


For a complete contrast, with the group I am involved in www.couchsurfing.com I went on a weekend camping experience and we went to Mount El Houaria for a camping/swimming/mountain climbing weeekend and to see the El Hoauaria Sparrowhawk festival, which attracts visitors like Gulf Princes. So at El Houaria, at the beach, I had the amazing experience of swimming in such a beautiful area. The beach at El Houaria, past the harbour and after walking up some rocks and up a path, well there are these little rocky private small beaches and the most amazing place for jumping, diving ( i did not) and also snorkelling and of course swimming. Next time I will bring my snorkel.... but I was able to swim and look underwater and the lovely Mediterranean sea did not hurt my eyes. It was so relaxing and then the group climbed a mountain also. That beach was the nicest I have ever been to and I have not yet been to that many beaches, but it was perfect and I did not want to leave. Quite secluded, not very crowded. Nice rocks for lazing on and also shade. Goats to look at and rocks to swim out to.We camped on the beach at El Houaria also, and that was fun with a fire and cooking food plus singing and dancing too!

I will write more later but I have to say that Tunisia was like a dream and so enjoyable. I am looking forward to seeing more of the country. I saw most of Cap Bon, including Nabuel, Beni-Ksar, Hammamet, El Houaria and had a good look round Tunis, but only for 2 days. I was a lot of time in Sousse as I returned there as I had a huge foot blister that got infected and I needed to rest it. A highlight of my trip apart from the people was looking at Carthage, it was so interesting. Also I did have a lovely time exploring Sousse with my friend and particularly wandering around Port El Kantaoui, which is very peaceful when there are not too many people around. Another special thing was lots of walking round with my friend and enjoying the ambience.

I will write again soon and it was not possible to journal while I was there as i had some difficulty with the arabic/french keyboard, but mostly it was the time restraints. Am very happy to have been to this awesome country.

Tags: beaches, cap bon, el houaria, nabuel, sousse, sparrowhawk festival

Comments

1

i will be going back to tunis for my 5th time but i am taking my parents with me. we will be staying at the el moraudi club kantaoui hope it will be nice not only for me but especially for my parents as they have never been to tunis before if youv been in the hotel pls send me a email and tell me about it tnx
from malta

  sandra borg Aug 17, 2009 2:50 AM

2

hi there sandra, I did send an email to you. I do not know about that hotel but el kantoui is lovely. Am sure you will be fine and I will let you know if I hear anything about the el mouradi club

  aussiechick_007 Aug 26, 2009 6:30 PM

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