Tunisia

Apr
16

Tunisia is an acquired taste, people tend to love it or hate it, and for me I loved it and would enjoy another trip back there

Arriving in Tunisia is a bit of a culture shock as parts of it look as though it could be Iraq, on the journey from airport to resort we passed so many buildings half finished that we began to wonder if ours would be finished. We also noticed things such as old vans driving along with trailers tied on the back by a piece of old rope, animals such as sheep stood in the back of pickups again not secured, I kept thinking what happens if they jump out, best not to dwell on those things.

The one thing that our tour guide told us was, that there is virtually no crime in Tunisia, the people are so poor that if they commit a crime such as stealing then their families will starve, the only crime that takes place is by the African street sellers that get in illegally, I must say I did feel very safe in Tunisia and often left things out in my room which were never touched.

When we got to our resort, it was as we suspected this was a cheap beach holiday we had booked just to get some sun, the hotels large, modern, well equipped and very clean. The staff very helpful and friendly, ok they were hoping that they would get a tip but generally these are nice people working very hard, yes I did tip those I thought did special little extras for me.

The food in this particular hotel was not good, but only in the sense that it was boring and not a lot of choice, but this is surly a reflection of the price we paid due to this. We did eat out several nights, we ate at good restaurants, good food but expensive wine, but at the end of the evening it would only be what you would pay in England.

Our hotel had one of the largest pools I have seen and it was beautifully clean, but for me it was the beach which was a winner, miles of soft golden sand, although sun beds were closer to each other than I would normally like it did not stop me enjoying every minute on the beach.

Our hotel The Nahrawess was just outside Hammamet so we took a taxi in which was quite a ride, lots of speed and horns. When we got out of the taxi we felt we had suddenly arrived in Tunisia the sound of Arabian music coming from every direction, the hustle and bustle of a busy city, men and women sat around giant smoking shisha pipes on brightly coloured cushions, it had a feeling of excitement about it.

As we went to look around the old medina and do some shopping we got pounced upon from many different traders all wanting us to buy their gifts, the common phrase was come on lady cheap as chips or the other one was Asda price which was quite funny at first but by the end of the afternoon it got a little boring, but the medina are fascinating and it has such a vibrancy about it, you soon learn to say a strong no when been pestered and there is no menace in it they really are trying to survive.

Later that week we sort out the new marina at Yasmine just down the coast from Hammamet this is where all the real money is, very smart hotels, cocktail bars and fantastic yachts. You do not get bothered by sellers as the police will not let it happen here, it is very smart but at the same time felt quite clinical and lacked the colour that we had seen, I always like to feel the real culture of a country and not just the tourist side. Look upon it as an adventure and you will enjoy it, but it is not the Costas.

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