Tune in to Tunisia
Tunisia was the first nation to experience revolution during the Arab spring. 3 years later, the country is doing well and the tourists are starting to flock back to the country. If a holiday to Tunisia sounds like your idea to the perfect get away. A holiday in this country means a number of things, read on to find out what to expect.
A mix of influences
This Arab country is a mix of oriental influence and French culture in a timeless Mediterranean region. That’s a lot to take in, considering that it’s no more than 350 miles long. Tunisia manages to blend its Mediterranean history with its French legacy to create a proud Arabic nation that has a unique way of doing things.
Port el Kantaoui
Port el kantaoui is one of the “international zones” in Tunisia where tourists are corralled. Five star hotels are side by side and the prices are high to say the least. The restaurants feature international cuisine on their menu. If you want an authentic Tunisian experience, head over to a Hammamet’s old section where the streets are narrow and the patisseries’ serving Tunisian pastries are a few steps away from the beach.
Medinas in their purest form
These old centers are clutter and chaos filled car free labyrinths where leather tanners and blacksmiths still ply their trade. The lanes are lined with mosques and madrasas’ as well as a tower or two which you can climb and see the great views. Stalls selling carpets, leather, glass, silk and perfume, among other things line the streets which slowly become alleys filled with slinking cats.
The Ksour, the cars and the ghorfas
In the mountain locations of Tunisia known as Ksour, fortified abode villages (Ksars) contain networks of grain storage chambers (ghofars). The Berbers who reside here wear hooded cloaks that were the inspiration for George Lucas’ star wars.
The desert is more like a theme park
In Tunisia, the desert is very accessible and you will find five star hotels scattered over every dune, well maybe every third dune. A number of films have been shot here and tourists flock by the bus load. Date palms were cut down to make room for hotels and the oasis was converted into a swimming pool. If you’re looking for a desert experience, Tunisia is not the place to get it.
Is there such a thing as ruining a Ruin? If so, Tunisia takes the cake. The 3000 year old city of Carthage is all but a suburb now. However, Parts of it have been saved from the horror of modernization.
The best way to sum up Tunisian Cuisine is “you have to taste it to believe it” if you aren’t sure what it is, try it anyway. The worst that could happen is that it’ll be thoroughly enjoyable.
You will never know the real price of things
If you find a shop with fixed prices, beware! Tunisia is all about haggling. Talk your way into some great bargains, and just because the seller is a sweet old woman, doesn’t mean she won’t try to get you to pay the best prices possible…