Tag Archives: Tunisia

Tunis – Carthage and Sidi Bou Said

Part of our trip to Europe last summer took us to Tunis – OK, it’s not Europe, but North Africa, I know, but it was still part of our “Europe” tour. The heat was terrible with temperatures up to 40 degrees, so it was a little hard at times. I had been to Tunisia a few times before but only once to Tunis and I realised with horror that it was thirty years ago! I spent a few weeks in Tunisia as a teen-ager helping to build a school in the desert, and the trip had started with a visit of the capital. It has changed, of course – it is more modern – but not that much, and it has retained its charm. I love the white houses, the thick vegetation and the mixed smells. We visited Carthage, even if there is not much of it left, but to think of what a city it was¬†never ceases to amaze me. I keep hearing my Latin teacher when I was twelve years old, who loved to remind us that “Carthago delenda est” (“Carthage must be destroyed”), a sentence which Cato the Elder was supposed to finish all his speeches with. The Romans did end up capturing (and destroying) Punic Carthage in 146 BC ¬†before making it one of the most important Roman cities until its final destruction by the Muslims in AD 698. The ruins of the city are in the wealthy suburbs of Tunis today, close to Sidi Bou Said, another touristy spot. Sidi Bou Said is full of white-washed houses with blue doors and windows. It has become a major tourist attraction and its main street is full of shops. It’s still cute but I think it has lost a lot of its charm. Here are a few pics for you to see…

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