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Thursday, 2 April 2009

ROMAN RUINS...LAST BUT NOT LEAST

When we arrived in Tunisia at Monastir Airport we were met by the Thomas Cook "Welcomer" who handed us over to Ridha, our guide. He took us to the minibus and introduced us to Hamadi, our driver. Then we left on our tour. We were the only ones! I would love to advise you all on how to get such a personalised tour for the normal package holiday rate but I think we just flooked it. We had three days of Hamadi driving us and Ridha guiding us wherever and whenever we wished to go.

Ridha will be disappointed to find that his back is in the picture. He is a young, intelligent, well educated and attractive man and is looking for a lovely wife, a bit like myself but shorter and much younger! His favourite expression was " Do you mind? What is this?" What he meant was "Do you Know?" etc. I answered as best I could and was rewarded by his appreciation. Ridha, if you read this, You are wonderful and I hope that you find your dreams.
Ridha is walking us along one of the Roman roads at Bulla Regia. The quarrying of the far hill gives you some idea of the amount of stone removed to build the town. The remains of the towns we visited all had great streets with chariot wheel ruts, houses, theatres, baths, drains, markets and more.

The El Jem amphitheatre holds 35,000 but this mini-model at Dougga only holds 3,500. Ridha was good at getting us up early so that we visited the sites before anyone else had even had breakfast. This picture really is a "Roman Ruin" with no-one else there at 10.am
Much of the Roman remains were the same and we went from World Heritage Site to World Heritage Site. It was all fascinating and we trod the old roads, admired the old capitols, bath houses, mausoleums, markets, brothels, theatres and houses and marvelled at the engineering.
The drainage systems were well advanced and "Do you mind? What is this?"


Yes!!! It's a toilet. It is in the floor of a house and leads directly to the sewer which flowed beneath the road outside. Well either that or it's a baptismal font but it's a bit small and domestic-looking for that. We saw a few of those too and they needed water so were also attached to the aquaducts.


This might be the oldest olive tree in Tunisia. I bought some locally crafted olive-wood kitchen implements. They reckon this one was planted in Roman times at Dougga.

In the end Dave got sick of piles of stones just lying around and decided to set up a stall in an old Roman market place at Thurburbo Majus. These ones are cheap but "pick-up" only.

We then went on to the second half of the holiday which was "all inclusive". Wow, I have never done this before and it was amazing. We stayed at Les Orangers in Hammamet and were fed, wined, dined, waited on hand and foot and even towels provided at indoor and outdoor pools and beach. All inclusive is what it says.

We're going back! Tunisia was wonderful and there are still so many more things to see and do.

Cheers Gillian








3 comments:

keewee said...

What a wonderful time you had.

sue said...

It sounds as though you were treated like a princess. I am sure it was a wonderful holiday for you and always informative too which is great for me as I probably will never go there. I hope your first week back to school was good too.

Heide said...

How amazing that so much from that ancient time is still around. It seems that nothing is built to last anymore. The vacation looks amazing and I'm glad you were able to get away and enjoy some sunshine and meet new people. Cheers!