the benefit of spending a couple of days in a single location is that you're able to get into a routine. In Sidi Bou Said the daily routine included a stop at this little neighborhood bakery in a cul-de-sac right downstairs from busy Habib Bourguiba.
On our last evening in Sidi Bou Said, the Missus was relaxing, doing stuff on the iPad. I went to the grocery, then stopped by the bakery. I was asked where my wife was....they had gotten used to seeing us together. I told him She was "resting". I placed the pastries the Missus wanted on a tray and carried it for weighing. I told the gentleman we were leaving in the morning and thanked him for being so nice. He placed everything gently in the box, weighed it, then went back to the pastry case and placed a good half dozen more pastries in the box, turned to me, placed his hand over his heart and said, "this is from me....thank you." Folks like this gentleman and Sophie really made our stay in Tunisia just that much special.
The other regular stop was the grocer on Habib Bourguiba. On our first visit, we noticed the "door".....a door that usually had a line of men waiting.
Of course the Missus couldn't help herself. She kept wondering what was behind this door. Everytime we dropped by to purchase water or whatnot, the Missus would see the line and be beside Herself. We just didn't feel comfortable standing in line for the unknown.....
On my last trip to the market, I found the door open......opportunity knocked!
So what was behind the door?
In Islam, alcohol is forbidden, so I guess to be sensitive to Muslims, all the booze is kept in a separate room.
When we first decided to visit Tunisia, the first place that came to mind was Carthage. I mean really, Carthage. You'd be surprised at how many people I've met who have no idea that Carthage is actually in Tunisia. Then of course, there's how I first heard of Carthage when I was a child. There's the story of how Hannibal crossed the Alps with his army which included elephants!
Carthage itself is just a a couple of kilometers from where we were staying, so on one rather bright morning we headed off down Avenue Habib Bourguiba....to Carthage. The first thing that was obvious when we arrived was that Carthage was a pretty upscale neighborhood. Think of having several ancient ruins in, well, La Jolla......it was pretty strange overall. The signage was kind of ambivalent as well. After the drama of El Djem, Sbeitla, and Ksar Ghilane, this was pretty tame. Anyway, the site we enjoyed the most was the Antonine Baths, the third largest Roman bath complex in the world. According to what I've read, bath houses were very important in Roman Society and this seaside setting surely reflects that.
Most of what remains is the foundation and what I'm assuming are the underground network used to heat and move water.
I gotta say, the Roman really understood "location, location, location....."
The other locations we visited were somewhat non-descript. Some had trash strewn about. We decided to that a visit to the Byrsa Hill and the Musee de Carthage would be in order. It was really interesting trying to find the museum. Eventually, we found a sign and scrambled up this hill to the museum.
That building to the left is the beautiful Saint Louis Cathedral.
Which was not open to the public.
The view from the hill is dramatic. You can easily understand the importance of this location....
The museum itself, less so, as it seemed unorganized and haphazard. For me, the best display was of these two sarcophagus dating back to Punic times.
For some reason, even though it was still morning, the heat was getting to me......sort of like this mutt.
We headed down the hill to the TGM station and caught the light rail to La Marsa. After all, it was just about lunch time.......
Thanks for reading!