Ailsa’s Where is My Backback? blog is fun to read and offers weekly photo challenges. I felt inspired by this week’s travel theme: big. So here we go…
El Jem, Tunisia
This is of the biggest Roman amphitheaters, truly an amazing sight in the Tunisian desert!
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Medieval streets of Sousse
Tunisia will always hold a special place in my heart for a simple reason: that’s where I went for my honeymoon. I got married in Poland and we were looking for a place that would be a great vacation spot (i.e. sea warmer than the Baltic), have historical and cultural depth to it (i.e. no Disneyland), and let us fly there in under 3 hours. Sousse – or Sūsa in Arabic – a gorgeous city 140 km south of Tunis met all the criteria.
Geography is a weird thing. In my mind North Africa is a different, exotic place. But Tunisia almost touches the tip of Sicily and, not surprisingly given this close proximity, its history is tightly intertwined with that of Europe. Tunisia was founded in the 11th century B.C. as a Phoenician port of Hadrumetum, then for centuries was a part of the Roman Empire, a Byzantine city of Justinianopolis, and finally in the 7th century A.D. conquered by the Arabs who gave the city its current character. Its medieval heart, medina, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with truly unique architecture and atmosphere. Narrow streets meander through spice-scented souks and countless shops, sumptuous aromas ooze out of hole-in-the-wall eateries, and street vendors call out their offers. To my great surprise they address me in Polish! I guess there have been so many Polish tourists in Tunisia in the last few years that it pays to learn how to haggle in the client’s language – and clearly I look the type. Read the rest of this entry →