We got up pretty early in the morning. The Missus decided that we should check out La Marsa, a village which is the last stop on the TGM, the Tunis train line. The Missus however, wanted to walk to La Marsa and we got some basic instructions from the folks at Dar Amilcar. La Marsa was somewhat sprawling, but looked more upscale. There are signs you notice that indicate a more well to do lifestyle; more cars and folks exercising. Folks who have to work long hours or hard labor just don't have the luxury of putting on some rather stylish work-out gear and go jogging. La Marsa really had a laid-back Mediterranean vibe which we really enjoyed....we later found out that many Europeans also enjoy the vibe as this is where the rich Tunisians and ex-pats live. We wandered the streets of La Marsa until we walked pass the Mosque.
Right past the mosque was a rather busy coffee shop....well, the coffee shop wasn't very busy, but the shaded little area across the street was. It seemed like this was where the locals hung out, socializing and chatting.
So we had a seat, looked around, and just soaked in La Marsa.
One thing we quickly noticed was that everyone was facing the same direction. Toward the coffee shop and the little street in front of it. I'm not sure why this was, but hey, if it's good enough for the locals, right? I recall tweeting, "having a cup of cafe express with the locals, all facing the same direction, like camels toward the sun." Or something like that.
There was a bit of excitement when two cats decided to duke it out under a chair. What made it slightly humorous was that there was a gentleman seated in it! He was calmly reading a newspaper when all screeching hell broke out below him. He literally levitated out of his seat into the road. Ah, such was the thrill of having a cafe express here; you never knew what was going to happen next.
A few blocks away is the waterfront, here you suddenly knew why this was prime real estate, and why the Ottoman's made this their summer capital, a place to escape the heat.
We loved the palms, the white-washed look, it was so Mediterranean to us.
A few blocks away is this building. You could tell right away what it was.......
The perimeter of the ground floor was ringed by various shops, most of them selling meat, poultry, and charcuterie.
The center portion was where all the produce was located. Here's a view from above.
There was quite a good selection.
Our favorite shop here by far was the little pickle and olive shop.
There was just a staggering array of pickled items in this shop. The friendly guy running the place kept trying to give us samples.
At this point we decided to just go ahead and have a nice self-catered lunch. We'd hit up someplace a little bit nicer for dinner.
Right across the street from the other side of the building is a location of Monoprix Market, the big grocery chain in Tunisia. And next to the market is this Patisserie.
I took that photo a day later since the place was really packed on this day. I was just trying to survive long enough to get a baguette.
We started walking back the way we came, but then decided that the TGM might be a good bet. Thing was, we couldn't find the train station. The Missus went up to a gentleman and asked, he spoke some English, but then I noticed that he was blind. Leave it to the Missus to find the one blind guy in the crowd to give us directions. So we walked around looking for the TGM station. Finally, we saw a young lady, book in hand, she looked like a college student. So we went up and asked her if she spoke English, which she did....quite well by the way. We asked her where the train station was and she told us to follow her. We told her that she could just point it out to us, but she insisted on walking us there. We actually walked back toward the mosque, but on the other side, a good half kilometer. We felt really bad that the young lady, "Sophie" had to walk all this way with some strangers. She led us to the TGM station, told us to wait, and went to the window and spoke to the person issuing tickets. A couple of second later she came back and said, "your train will be here in a few minutes....here are some tickets, this is from me. I hope you enjoy Tunisia." My goodness, what could we say! I felt like we should be giving her some money, but thought that would have just insulted her. So I simply got her name, we shook hands, she smiled, turned around and walked away. Bless you Sophie, you're a wonderful ambassador of your city! You really touched us and we'll always remember your generous and kind gesture.
We caught our train and made it back to the Sidi Bou Said station and did the short 10 minute walk back to the Dar Amilcar.
We ended up having a nice lunch......nice cheese from Monoprix.
Peppers, olives, and various pickles from the stand in the market......
Man, that baguette was really good!
Sitting around the pool........
Life was good!
We also met a friendly gentleman who was sunning at the pool. I believe his name is Raphael. He told us he was from Toulouse and visits Sidi Bou Said just about every 6 weeks or so. He told us it's cheaper to have a little weekend holiday in Tunisia than it is in France. Anyway, he gave us a couple of recommendations for places to eat.
Things were indeed looking up.
Thanks for reading!