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Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tunis: It was not only the sea and the Sun

Tight plan, we see demonstrators fidgeting in an urban setting. One has the impression of a compact mass. If the cameraman somewhat broadened its plan, is aware that it is a small group, quite comparable to those protesting at the same time - in other latitudes - front factories Renault to denounce redundancies or on a Parisian sidewalk to oppose gay marriage.

It's like this: media do not have their like this to serve as a Magnifier and disseminate the deaf and irrational fear of insecurity. Of course, the part - as Egypt - made Tunisia of those countries booming policy. But in either case, the holidaymaker should really look agitation to be confronted in a territory as large and welcoming. The smarter choose precisely those periods to fully enjoy sites miraculously - alas, not for Aboriginal people who live - freed from the usual tourist hordes. Ah, the Nile without shorts and shirts with flowers on the photo!... Ah, Sousse, Hammamet or Djerba without having to compete for his piece of fine sand! Not to mention, as a bonus, unbeatable rates. Just brought from the country where was born the Arab spring, the following images demonstrate the unalterable sweetness of the destination:

No problem to book the hotel via ebookers referring to the wide range of proposals adapted to all budgets.

A typical picture of the friendly Tunisian accommodation.

Jamel Batten, current Minister of tourism, wants to restore confidence: "when the attendance will be back to normal, we will seek to offer higher prices, of course with much more sophisticated products. We will commit a plan of modernization and diversification, including highlighting our heritage".

I just want to leave to the discovery of that one, without waiting for the realization of these beautiful projects. Direction: the medina of Tunis, registered since 1979 in the world heritage of the UNESCO. An immersion in this colorful maze would justify it only a trip to Tunisia! As well, we need his Ariadne's thread in this maze, I carefully note the name of the access lane.

Lack of luck: it's a dead end!

Fortunately, the sellers here are always ready to show you the right direction, without forcing the purchase. One of them advised me to visit the Zitouna mosque (or mosque of the olive tree), the principal of the medina. There again, it will be to avoid any confusion between the 9 entries available! I Marvel 184 antique columns from the sanctuary, mainly from the neighbouring site of Carthage. Emerging from this spectacular place, I think it would make an amazing film set, as the surrounding neighborhood.

My laptop reports a SMS: "Think spice!" Oops, I would have forgotten, and their sponsor probably wanted me. It's time to move to an exercise for which I am very gifted, but whose economy would disappoint no doubt dealer: haggling. For the price of a bag of curry and another of cumin, it will offer me a little coriander.

At midday, I do stop at the restaurant Dar El Jeld, in the enchanting setting of ancient Palace. I feel like veggies, just guides recommend that backpackers avoid, under penalty of tourista. Experience however proved to me that it is not likely much to the good addresses. That one was placed in the forefront of settlements Tunis. And how can you resist the Oriental pastries offered across the nozzles to sugar?

Flavors of dates and perfume of anise...

In my opinion, no Tunis getaway should save the cost of a visit to Sidi Bou Said, which is the capital that Gruyères is the Romandie: a jewel, all white and blue (characteristic color imposed by patron baron D'erlanger, which can browse the charming residence). Do not neglect the interest of Arab and Mediterranean Music Centre!

Already the tea time? Sidi Bou Said, has the choice: shaded terraces, vertiginous balconies on the big blue or local tradition (hookah included!) as the inevitable coffee mats, still haunted by the ghosts of André Gide, Colette, Simone de Beauvoir and other fans of the place.

A mythical place...

I promised to finish by the famous Bardo, which I'd like to revisit the fabulous mosaics. Calves requiring a short break, the journey will not be on foot!

'Taxi! ... is to the Prado Museum, please!"

If this institution seems to me indispensable, if not so much for its reputation of most important archaeological museum of the Maghreb as for its outstanding collections back to the glorious past of the ancient Tunisia: everyday objects, masks and other priceless statues.

A technique used in the service of art.

The Hall of Odysseus is my favorite: small room equipped with a remarkable pavement from Dougga, where the most famous episode of the Odyssey is told. Indeed, the hero asked to be tied to the mast for not succumbing to the siren song of. I tell myself that if the latter were Tunisian, instead of the hero, I would have good and evil do not decide my fasteners...

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