Tunisia – Highlights
We visited Tunisia in March 2011.
This was shortly after the Jasmine Revolution, the Tunisian revolution that forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali out of office and began the Arab Spring.
People were happy to welcome tourists back which was good for us.
We rode camels, searched (successfully) for Roman coins and meteorites.
We visited a cave dweller, ancient ruins and modern (Star Wars) ruins.
We saw mountain fortresses, salt lakes and Roman ruins.
We witnessed a wedding and, of course, spent time in Carthage.
It was most enjoyable but I’m glad we saw it then because I wouldn’t like to return now.
Tunisia – Looking for meteors
The main purpose of our 2011 trip to Tunisia was to search for ragments of an unusual meteorite that impacted in 1931 in the Sahara at Tataouine.
The achondrite (stony), green coloured meteorites came from the asteroid Vesta.
The curator from a local museum showed us the site and we gave any large pieces (fingernail-sized) to him but were allowed to keep the small fragments.
Tunisia – Roman coins
One of the lecturers on our Tunisia trip brought a small metal detector with him and some members of the tour group got up early to search a hillside that had been marched over by Roman soldiers after the third Punic War (146BC) and the German army in the second world war.
We found lots of barbed wire and also one and a half Roman coins.
Tunisia – Douz camel ride
Douz is the camel capital of Tunisia and here most of the tour group went for a camel ride.
We were all dressed up in black and white striped jelabas and green headdresses, introduced to our camels (mine was a white racing camel named Midu), and posed for a group photo.
Then we set off at a slow walk into the Sahara, through a deserted village and down to an oasis with a few date palms.
Camels are not the most comfortable of rides but well worth the effort.
Tunisia – cave dweller
In the Matmata area of Tunisia, on the edge of the Sahara Desert, we stopped to look at a Berber troglodyte house.
These are built by digging out of the hillside and creating a pit with rooms radiating from the centre open courtyard. Troglodyte homes provide shelter from heat and cold.