Two years ago, I took my first trip to North Africa. North Africa had always been a mystery to this West/Southern African girl, because it seemed so different from the Africa I knew. Among many things, I had heard (and read) about the adventure of rolling through the sand dunes of the Sahara and the beauty of the Mediterranean. Yes, I had also heard about the discrimination against Sub-Saharan Africans, but that did not impede on my fascination. Luckily, my aunt and uncle lived in Tunisia, and it was a quick two hour flight from Geneva, Switzerland.
Tunis is a grab bag of north Africa. Heavily influenced by Arab and Muslim culture, it also has distinct elements of French culture, Greek influence and African resilience. Mix in the random cow herds you are bound to witness as you leave the city with the glorious view of the Mediterranean sea, and you are sure to have quite the unique experience.
If you decide to visit, make sure you add these to your itinerary!
Sidi Bou Said: a quaint, old town just 30 minutes outside Tunis. It was BEAUTIFUL. Separate blog post coming soon.
The medinas in downtown Tunis: Sousse is the biggest one. They're crowded and they have everything you could possible want - clothes, shoes, handbags, spices, phones, scarves, books, etc. #YouNameIt. Get lost in them and make sure you bargain!
Carthage: It was the coolest, feeling like I was plopped in the middle of history. I had learned so much about Carthage as a young Form 1 student, from the Romans to the Punic Wars...I was fascinated (and frankly hype) to be seeing the ruins of something I knew like the back of my hand. Make sure you check out the Antonin baths as well. Wouldn't it have been cool if my school had been able to do a week-long trip to Tunis to see these places we learned about? Travel within Africa should be easier...but I digress.