14 March 2008

Tunis-Mediterranea's Charm

Tunis glazes upon Europe from the south, just a breath away from Italy, so close you could even swim there. It is has no more than a million habitats creating a loveably messy city, influenced by as many civilizations as the city's colours. It is an ideal destination from March to late May, offering excellent climate with moderate levels of humidity. If you intend to visit in summer the city will be suffocating hot, so you would rather choose one of the seaside resorts of Côtes de Carthage. The hotel offering best value would be the clean and functional Les Ambassadeurs hotel, further info at http://www.hotel-ambassadeurs.com/

Although chaotic, Tunis is easy to navigate with two focal points, dating back more than 1,000 years ago. Medina rises glorious on the west side. It is an amazing labyrinth of twisting alleys, shady pathways, mosques and minarets with foundations laying deep into Muslim tradition for over 1,300 years. The north and east, colonised by the French in the 19th century, demonstrates traits of some European sense of order. Graceful tree arrayed boulevards of Ville Nouvelle surrounded by belle époque style buildings, come in contrast and compliment west Tunis' buzzing sensation of a thousand smells and colours.

If you are into sightseeing the ancient stronghold of Carthage, east of the modern city, oversees Lake Tunis. It worth’s every minute of your time if you visit it dusk or dawn, offering amazing backgrounds and photo opportunities. Second must see destination is the Bardo Museum located in a 13th century palace, in Le Bardo. Do you feel a bit overwhelmed by all the French Muslim influences? Jump on the British-built light railway from the Marine station across the lake to Carthage, passing by outposts coming out of an Indiana Jones movie.

Tunis is affluent of dine and drink options. Café Sidi Chebaane stands proud in its spectacular location overlooking the marina arranged in different levels of the steep cliff, unfortunately no alcohol served. Mint tea is a famous apetizer so shoot off to port La Goulette and walk in the first fish restaurant you fancy.

Unfortunately I am running out of space to carry on writing, unsimilarly to Tunis’ never running out of fantastic things to do. Though, I feel I have given you enough. Book, pack and go; just dress up lightly and keep your women close.

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