September 21, 2015

Tunisia, Africia (الجمهورية التونسية)


Travel alertThe UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against non-essential travel to some parts of Tunisia, please check with your relevant national government.   
This is the information you will currently find on visiting Tunisia, Africa.  There was still a lot of political turmoil when we went back in March which is why we chose to go on an excursion through the cruise ship.  Two days after we visited, there was an incident and the cruise ship no longer stops at the port.  Most passengers on the ship would not even get off at this port and chose to stay on the ship, but my daughters need for adventure would never allow her stay on board when there countries to explore.
Current events in Tunisia:
Some areas of the interior have been declared military zones and require special passes. Trips into the interior of Tunisia should be made with a reputable tour guide.
There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners. Tunisia is nearing the end of a period of political transition following its 2011 revolution. The final round of Presidential elections took place on 21 December 2014. There have been some protests following the announcement of the results, but the atmosphere is generally calm. Protests aren’t normally aimed against foreigners, but you should avoid areas where large crowds gather.
A new exit tax of 30 dinars per person (about £11) will apply to all departing, non-resident foreigners from 1 October 2014. You must buy the stamp before you leave Tunisia. Payment is in cash in Tunisian dinars. You can buy the stamp at hotels, travel agencies, finance offices, tobacco shops, banks and customs offices (including at the airport and other borders). You can either fix the exit stamp into your passport next to the entry stamp yourself or ask the border police to do it for you.
I have to say that at no time in Africa did we feel unsafe.  We never saw any military unrest or protest and mainly spoke to people who were trying to sell us stuff.  They were all very friendly and we had a great time.
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The above photo is what it looked like as we arrived in the Port of (La Goulette). It had been raining and we could see this beautiful rainbow from our Balcony.

4  Is this what you would picture if you arrived in Africa?  I don't know why I always think of giraffes, tigers, and elephants when I think of Africa.  I picture jeeps driving over hot desserts and very little water.  You know, like in the movies? 
a6Like in most ports, the sunrise was stunning.
Once we disembarked from the ship, we headed to our first stop, Bardo National Museum, you can check out both of my post about the museum here.  After we left the museum, we headed to the Medina where we had lunch.
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We made a stop here, on our way to  Carthage, to see this portion of these Roman Aqueducts. 
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I had to snap a picture of one of the stop signs.  It was so strange seeing them printed in Arabic and English instead of one of the other languages such as Spanish, French, or Italian.
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Like all of the other places we visited along the Mediterranean, Tunisia has some beautiful architecture.
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The place was very clean with no trash to be seen anywhere.
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I loved this picture of the vendors setting up for the day.

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The important elements of Tunisian culture are diverse and represent a unique, mixed heritage. This heritage can be experienced first-hand in museums such as the Bardo Museum, the contrast and diversity of city architecture such as Sidi Bou Said or the medina of Tunis.
I was also surprised to find much of the area around Tunisia to be in the blue and white which I thought was only found in the tourist town of Sidi Bou Said. As you read my post about my visit to North Africa, you will notice that Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco have similar architectural styles.  The style is unique and beautiful and unlike the European places that I visited.  
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Of the places we traveled around the Mediterranean, I think Africa had the most beautiful doors.
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I have some serious door love here!


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