Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Trip to Tunisia

Since spring break was divided into two locations, I have decided to write two separate blog posts on the week and a half we had off. 

From March 1 to March 5, we were in Tunisia.  This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I had an amazing time there!  The first few days were spent in Tunis.  Here, we spent most of our time enjoying mosaics in museums.  The first night, during dinner, we had a cultural show in which Ramzi played some Arabic folk music with his band.  Although I could not understand what was being said (except Nate who speaks Arabic), I really enjoyed the music.  Sure this was a great cultural experience, but I was most moved by walking on the streets of the revolution.  It was amazing to believe that a little more than a year ago, the streets were crowded with people in protest.

                                        The main street of the Tunisian revolution riots
                                          The aftermath of the riots: barbed wire

After our short stay in Tunis, we went to Sousse for a few days.  This part of Tunisia was much more touristy.  Here, we visited Arab markets.  These were wild!  Everywhere, a Tunisian vendor would shout “American, come into my store!”  Some would even grab you by the shoulder and “guide” you into their store despite desperate pleas trying to express your lack of interest.  The next day, we went to a Tunisian coliseum very similar to the Roman one.  Here, we got to ride camels for to and from the bus!  Later that evening, we went to a small village as a change of pace from the lively Tunisia we had grown to love.  Sidi Khalif was one of the most gorgeous sceneries I have witnessed in my life, and the people living there were so welcoming and excited to have visitors. 

                                                 Ramzi talking at Sidi Khalif

Overall, Tunisia seemed like a very welcoming country.  After the Arab uprising, Tunisia has been hard-pressed for tourism, a very important market.  I really enjoyed my time in the country and hope I have the opportunity to return some day.

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