The Beauty of Tunisa

24 Oct

A lovely photo post, and a good reason for posting it: at the start of the month I was visiting a friend in Tunisia – a new country for me, and a whole new continent, as I had never been to Africa.

I can’t say I fell for Tunisia the way I did for Albania and, to a lesser extent, Greece, but it was fun, and had some beautiful sights. And the Roman ruins! Oh my word! I’ve never seen such well-preserved Roman buildings. And there was even pre-Roman stuff! So from that point of view, I was in my element, even if my Arabic is a little less polished than my Latin 😉

Sidi Bou Said (siddy-boo-sigh-EED) is a wee town on the outskirts of Tunis that has been deliberately preserved as a beauty sport, with the traditional white and blue buildings, and gorgeous flowers everywhere.


Sidi Bou Said

After wandering around the Tunis souq in a state of increasing claustrophobic discomfort, I finally emerged onto the narrow but thankfully uncovered old streets at the back, where I saw this truly gorgeous example of a Tunisian door. They are very into their doors. You can buy tiny ones as souvenirs. (I didn’t. I bought baklava 😀 )


Tunisian door

I took so many photos of mosaics at the Bardo Museum, but I thought I’d better be restrained and just post one. Here I am copying it. As the saying goes, when in the wider Roman world, pretend to be a Roman mosaic.


Roman mosiac, woman with mirror

Then I threw restraint to the wind, and just posted a shedload of them.


There was world-class statuary in the Bardo as well, some of which I remember studying at school or university, including this pink lady. She is possibly Marcus Aurelius’ wife Faustina, according to the wisdom of the internet. I can’t say I remember any more.


Roman statue

There was also Phoenician stuff which I had never seen the like of. Look at the vase in the shape of a woman! (Or woman in the shape of a vase, if you prefer.)


Phoenician vase

And this gorgeous wee 2,600-year-old monkey!


Punic monkey

The Roman wonders weren’t confined to the museum. This is a Roman aqueduct that runs right through my friend’s neighbourhood in Tunis. It’s so amazingly well-preserved that it would probably still work if they hadn’t driven roads through bits of it. (Maybe people put the roads through the bits that had fallen down by themselves. But I doubt it.)


Roman aqueduct

A little further afield is the Roman city of Dougga / Thugga. Baths, gym, market, theatre, temples, joined together by a network of stone paths that local farmers still use, lined by houses with the mosaics still on the floor. Just incredible. As you can imagine, I was in heaven.


Dougga / Thugga

Go on, you want another photo of Dougga, don’t you?


Dougga / Thugga

I’ll leave you with a picture of sunset over a beach near Tunis – mainly because it came out surprisingly well, making me look like a much better photographer than I actually am.


Sunset, Tunisia

I hope you enjoyed these highlights of my North African trip. Get in touch below if you have any comments or questions.


One Response to “The Beauty of Tunisa”

  1. Joan McDowell October 28, 2018 at 8:27 pm #

    Just brilliant photos Karen and I look forward to seeing and, hearing more about your trip,tomorrow night. Joan

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