Tuesday, July 03, 2012

ROUND TRIP THROUGH TUNISIA - Sousse, El Djem,

I just came back from a round trip through Tunisia, which we did in a comfortable bus with a very good driver who also served as guide when the official guide didn't know !



All in all we rode 1530 km (951 miles) on very good streets over the whole country.

Our first stop was Sousse, where we also spent 2 nights.

Sousse is small city, located 140 km south of the capital Tunis.  Sousse is in the central-east of the country, on the Gulf of Hammamet, which is a part of the Mediterranean Sea. The name may be of Berber origin. Its economy is based on transport equipment, processed food, olive oil, textiles and tourism. It is also home to the "Université de Sousse". If you want to know more about this town and its history it's here.



The following morning after our arrival, we visited the port of Sousse. It has become a very touristic place since I had been there in the 80th !



This is not a town wall as you could believe but the entrance of a shopping center, built in the old style.




The architecture of the new houses were just beautiful



In the port was this fancy Restaurant looking like a Pirate ship.



Carriage owners were waiting for clients and this one used the time for a good cleaning.



Our guide employed by the Tunisian Travel Service unfortunately didn't know what this monument was (in fact he new very little to explain throughout the whole trip) the street leads to the entrance of the "Medina" which is the old town center.



From far we saw the mosque







We didn't go inside and saw it only from outside



Everywhere there were souvenirs to buy




Inside the Medina you could still find old craftsmen, this one was a shoemaker



and typical little sidestreets behind the shops



Tourists mixed with the locals



beautiful old doors



and as it was a Sunday, women were out shopping with their children.

**********
El Djem - Amphitheatre


El Djem is home to some of the most impressive Roman remains in Africa, which is the famous amphitheater. It is capable of seating 35,000 spectators. Only the Flavian Amphitheater in Rome (about 45,000 spectators) is larger. The amphitheatre at El Djem was built by the Romans around 238 and was mainly used for gladiator shows and chariot races (like in Ben-Hur). Many tourists come here to see what it was like to be inside what was once a place where lions and people met their fate. Much of it is crumbled but the essence of it still remains. It is also possible that construction of the amphitheatre was never finished. You can read more about its history here.











It really looks very impressive and takes you way back into Romans times.



under this grid are the catacombs where the lions were kept and also housed the Gladiators.



When you are down there it is quite thrilling to look up !



Was there a hungry lion in this cage which waited for some good human food ?



The thickness of the walls were impressive



and I wonder if this was a Roman graffiti ?


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5 comments:

Fun60 said...

Thanks for the photo tour. I have not travelled around Tunisia but I did go to Sousse about 6 years ago and remember it well from your photos but I didn't see that monument. Does it relate to the recent 'Arab Spring' which, of course, started in Tunisia?

eileeninmd said...

Wow, thanks for the wonderful tour. It is interesting seeing these countries I will probably never visit. Very cool seeing the El Djem, it is an amazing place full of history. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

Gary said...

What a wonderful roue!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Matkatar said...

Great pictures!

Barb said...

I enjoyed touring with you! Those ruins were impressive. Glad you didn't meet any lions!

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About Me

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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my four cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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