i spent the morning wandering around the streets of old Tunis, getting lost. as far as souks and medinas go, the one at Tunis seemed to be the most accessible that i’ve been to (i.e., a “beginner’s medina”), not overly crowded or dirty, or…smelly, although i assume this might change in the warmer months when it’s not in the 60s outside. the shopkeepers seemed to hassle me a lot less than other places i’ve visited, too — either that or i’ve gotten really good at the “i’m not interested, don’t even bother” look. that said, it’s still, IMHO, a very authentic old town and worth a couple hours just strolling and exploring.
p.s., try and avoid the tour guides who will try to vie for your attention. i spent $10 on the shortest tour ever. :\ blargh. oh well. lesson learned. (i haven’t mastered this one yet!)
had a bite to eat just inside the Bab el Bahr (Porte de France) before heading in:
there are some great views from the rooftop of the government store, which, well, i couldn’t tell you how to get there, but there are signs in front that advertise the panoramic rooftop. i think you can just walk right up? i’m not sure, as this was one of the places the guide took me.
on the other side of the medina is the government center at the kasbah — a large open plaza awaits. there may be some small demonstrations going on.
and perhaps my favorite picture that i’ve taken the entire trip, i was walking by and saw some old doors chained together, with a gap between them. you know i can’t resist this stuff, so i peered through the gap and discovered a land of wonder on the other side! it’s too bad i wasn’t able to explore 🙁 i used the panorama function on my iphone to take this picture, as i couldn’t get it all in one shot. it worked pretty well, i think, except for something odd going on at the edge of the right door.
you may remember i discovered Tunisian donuts during yesterday’s trip to Sidi Bou Said — there’s a stand near the medina entrance from the kasbah that sells them! they ran out just before i got to the front of the line, so i got freshly-fried ones! he grabs a small handful of dough, forms it into a ring, and tosses it spinning into the oil. YUM. there are benches built into some of the buildings nearby — have a seat and nom away!