Pros : Amazing
Cons: The rain!
2nd April 2005
Sometimes, it gets to the point, where you think I am either going
to hit somone or you quit your job, and I was getting close to the
point. Luckily, we had an escape clause. Back in November, when
BA, completely messed us around, they gave us 100 pounds as a goodwill
offer, so we had to choose either Madrid for a weekend or Tunisia
for two weeks, so giving the circunstances, it was Tunisia all the
Compared to when we left home the first time back in 96, we had
a 35mm camera. For this trip we have, two Canon Ixus 500s, one Canon
G6, one 80 gig hard drive to store the multitude of photos we are
going to take, two Iriver 40 gig MP3 players for all our music,
movies and episodes of Nip/Tuck, and loads of power adaptors !!!
Overkill, never !!!
Now, Tunisia as a place, might not be the most exciting of places
for some, but we are here for the Roman ruins, and also a bit of
the Life of Brian and Star Wars, but before we see any of this,
we had to negotiate a plane full of parents and their kids going
to the typical Tunisian resorts. So, from the start, the screaming
started, I was getting ready to murder anybody, so I consoled myself
with a couple of vodka tonics, knowing that they maybe my last for
the next couple of weeks
Jumped in a cab, and headed for a loage station, the trains, this
is the only way to travel. So, as I sit here in the heat of Le Kef,
the plan now is to see the Roman ruins of Bulla Regia, Dougga and
Sbeitla, so until then, I have to get used to this dodgy keyboard
with funny letters all over it §§§§§ See
what I mean
Using Le Kef as a base, we decided to head over to see two old cities.
Bulla Regia and Dougga, then catch a Louage to Sbeitla
Jumping into a Louage, we arrived at Jendouba, which is the base
for Bulla Regia. Once there, we hit the town that is Bulla Regia.
The speciality of this place is that the majority of it is underground.
The Romans here had rooms dug down for the summer and upstairs for
the winter. We traipsed through old bath houses, finding many mosaics
that had been left behind during the excavation of the site. There
were some amazing colours, considering how old they were and that
they were being left to bleach in the sun. Once through this part,
we hit some of the below ground rooms. What was to be found were
some more amazing mosaics. These had been left behind for us punters
to look at. I had never seen mosaics like these, and supposedly,
there were better to see in the various museums around the country.
Continuing the walk, we visited some more houses before we found
the amphitheatre. We had been to Taragonna earlier in the month
and seen one there, but that was rather crappy in comparison. This
was superb, it was pretty much complete and it even had a mosaic
of a wimpy bear on the ground.
We finished up, jumped in a Louage to get to Tebersouk, as this
was the starting point for Dougga.
From glorious sunshine in Bulla Regia, the rain had come to Dougga.
Still, there were ruins here for us to discover, so we marched on,
on our quest. And just like Bulla Regia, we first entered the bath
houses, finding more old mosaics. This site, was huge, and we gave
ourselves 3 hours to see it all. Considering the size, we were going
to be pushed. We continued on, until we arrived at the capitol.
This was on top of the hill, which gave us a good view of the place,
and was pretty much complete, but alas, covered in scaffold. We
took the photos, and walked around to the side, and there on the
stone floor, was a huge circle, with compass points and names of
Roman places. Rain was drizzling down on us, but we moved on, until
we came upon the amphitheatre. Now, I thought the amphitheatre at
Bulla Regia was good, but this was better. More complete. So we
managed to take some photos before we were inundated with coach
loads of tourists, and rain. I don't know what was worse. So, we
stood in a tunnel, and spoke some Spanish with an old man from Valencia.
Once the rain stopped, we walked out of there, and went to see the
old cisterns. They had crumbled away, and you could kind of make
out what they were. Then there were more baths, more broken mosaics,
and then we saw the Arch, the photos were taken, then we hit the
next temple, which was as equally as good. Time was beginning to
run out, so we rushed through the last parts, seeing more baths
and then we were at the crypt, which the French had rebuilt at the
start of the century. It was pretty good, but our driver was waiting
for us, so it was time to leave. Realistically, 3 hours wasn't enough,
but the rain was pissing us off and it was getting late.
Next morning, we packed and jumped into another louage and went
As we were coming into the louage station, we came across the ruins.
The site was big, with the temples of Jupiter, Juno and Minerva,
standing out as the highlight. We jumped out and realising that
this was a one horse town, we took our packs up to the museum for
them to look after for us. Then we walked the site. We started off
at the arch of Docletian. Nice, so we walked on until we came to
the old Byzantine forts. They were not impressive, and neither was
the restoration, considering there were no doors to enter and exit
!!! Through the triple arched gate, we came across the three temples.
They were good to walk around, then we came to the bath houses.
More mosaics. There were quite a few bath houses of all shape and
sizes. We walked out the back to see the remains of the amphitheatre,
but to our surprise, they had restored it. I suppose it was ok,
but we had come here to see ruins, not restorations !!!!! There
were a few more temples out the back, and also an old coliseum,
with not much there to see. On the way back, we found another bath
house, but this one had a baptisimal basin with beautiful mosiacs.
There was not much more to see, so we headed out to grab our bags
Originally, we were going to stay a night and watch the sun come
up over the temples, but as I explained before, the town was shit,
so we jumped in a louage and headed for Kairouan. So as I write
this, it is pissing down with rain. Oh well !!!!