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June 13, 2012

An Olive Tree Grows in California

We recently moved into a new home.  The house is pretty new and most of the work we’ve been doing is cosmetic.  The backyard, however, was another story.  Picture the Sleeping Beauty forest.  Without the castle, the princess or the prince.  Or any magic.  It was as if they’d planted […]

June 22, 2010

General Questions about Tunisia

Someone emailed us some questions about Tunisia, so we’re going to answer him here so other people can hopefully get something from our answers as well!   Q: Did you have any problems with Tunisians saying things or acting strangely to your wife Wendy? A: Not at all.  Everyone was […]

February 25, 2008

Getting to the airport from Tunis

In the morning, we had the hotel call a cab for us (big mistake – the price doubles – we almost couldn’t afford the fare with our remaining Dinars!). Upon arriving, the Departures Information Board told us our flight was cancelled. I won’t bore you with the details, but chaos […]

A lovely day in beautiful Sidi Bou Said

It was a beautiful day so we finished up our trip by going to Sidi Bou Said. This is a tourist town at the end of the TGM line – an easy 30 minute ride by train from Tunis. It features beautiful white buildings with blue doors (somewhat reminiscent of […]

Bardo Mosaic Museum – Most amazing mosaics we’ve ever seen

The next day we headed to the Bardo Mosaic Museum. We went by taxi (LRT is possible, but it wasn’t worth it, since the taxi is only $3 and much faster). The Bardo is the premier museum for mosaics in the world. It’s a huge museum (3 floors) and every […]

Back to Tunis for New Year’s at La Mamma Restaurant

The next day, we headed north back up to Tunis. We took a train – there are lots of them from Sousse, and it dropped us right downtown next to our hotel, the Hotel Maison Doree (same place we stayed in on our arrival). We were in Tunis for New […]

Sousse and Hotel Medina

In the morning we made our way by louage to Sousse. It’s a pretty frequent route. The louage station there is huge – a cavernous warehouse. Outside, we grabbed a cab to take us to the old city. We suspect it was a bit of a circuitous route, but we […]

Kairouan and the Tunisia Hotel

From there, it was about a half hour walk to the louage station. We were told that there were no more Louages headed only to Kairouan, our next stop, as the louages only run in the morning. We ended up paying the fare to go all the way to Sousse […]

Sufetula (Sbeitla) and its amazing Roman ruins

We were up early the next morning, very motivated to get going. We took a few louages (with great connections) and a few hours later we were in Sufetula (Sbeitla). The only reason to visit this city is the impressive ruins just outside town. The Louage dropped us off right […]

Gafsa and Hotel Maamoun – possibly the worst hotel in the world!

In retrospect, we should have pushed on past Gafsa, but we don’t like traveling in the dark. The bus didn’t end up being a good choice over the louage – even if we had to wait for the louage. The bus was packed, and wasn’t comfortable. We stopped in many […]

Douz’s International Festival of the Sahara and the Hotel El Medina

During negotiations with the louage driver getting to Douz, the driver warned us that there was an international festival going on in Douz. We had heard this line before, usually as a preface to getting us to stay at the cabdriver’s cousin’s hotel room, which was claimed to be the […]

Getting to Douz from Matmata by Louage / public transportation

Our next stop was Douz. In about 2002, they build a new road directly between Douz and Matmata. Until then, it had been necessary to loop back up to Gabes, and go through Kebili. What used to be a 3 hour journey – more depending on the louage connections- now […]

Matmata – Star Wars Hotel and the Mos Eisley Cantina (Sidi Driss Hotel), Tunisia

Arriving in Matmata, we stayed at the hotel which was also the main reason we were there – the Sidi Driss Hotel. This was the hotel seen in the first Star Wars Movie. The interior shots of the Mos Esley (Mos Eisley) Cantina were filmed here, as well as several […]

Getting to Matmata by louage

The next day, we headed to Matmata. To get there, we decided to take a shared taxi (louage) – in this case, it was a bit of a miscalculation. On our way in to Djerba, we had crossed on a causeway to the island. However, it didn’t make sense to […]

Sights of Houmt Souk: The Medina, El-Ghriba

We went shopping in the Medina and experienced some high-pressure selling. We could tell they were used to a steady stream of European tourists. Things were priced accordingly, and they didn’t really take ‘no’ for an answer. The hard sell wore on us after a while – but what drove […]

Fantastic Djerba hotel – Hotel Erriadh, an old funduq

Accommodation wasn’t a problem during the off season. We stayed at the Hotel Erriadh, which is an old funduq. A funduq is a former lodging house for travelling merchants of the camel caravans that stopped there in Ottoman times. The top floor was for the merchants, and the bottom floor […]

Djerba and Houmt Souq – getting there

We headed back north. Given that we were seeing things faster than we thought, we decided to head to the island of Djerba and see Houmt Souq. To get there, we decided to give the louage system a shot – we should have done so much before. We got to […]

Chenini and Douiret

We ate a bad dinner at the hotel (‘tourist menu’ – we should have just asked to have whatever the locals were having on the other side of the room). Again, the restaurant was unheated and we could see our breath as we ate. D The next day, we headed […]

Ksar Ouled Sultane, Highlight of our trip to Tunisia

We started by visiting Ksar Ouled Sultane. This was definitely a highlight of the trip. The granaries are four stories high, and are really other-worldly. We were there at the end of the day, and had the place to ourselves. Our cab driver (“Ali Baba!”) left us alone – even […]

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