This holidays we were so lucky to spend 2 weeks in Tunisia, in Monastir. For the children and for me it was the first time in Africa, my husband has already been there as a kid. Tunisia is located in the northern part of Africa, just a few minutes by plane from Italy. Unlike the rest of Africa, the north of this continent belongs to the Arab world, which means they speak and write Arabic, they look Muslim and the religion of the majority is Islam. After the Roman conquest, Tunisia was conquered by the Turks and formed part of the Ottoman Empire for 3 centuries. Finally it was conquered by France in the 1800's, obtaining its independence in 1957 under the rule of president Habib. Nowadays French is still spoken as a second language. The food is not hot, but very spicy, with plenty of beans, chickpeas and cous cous. To join the meals there is a kind of flour tortilla, which reminded me a lot of the tortillas sobaqueras of my hometown in Sonora, Mexico.
At home we always try to make agreements before the holidays, since my husband loves the beach and he wants to spend every second of our holidays laying on the sand and soaking up the sun. While I want to leave the hotel, do some sightseeing, see how the local people live etc. This time we had the chance to do both things. We enjoyed the beautiful and crystalline beaches of Tunisia, and we also had the opportunity to visit Souss and Monastir, which were only 10 kms away from our Hotel.
In Souss, Tunisia's third largest city, we stroll through its famous Medina. The Medina is the center, narrow streets full of small stores and vendors that invite you to buy their products and are willing to negotiate to get the fairest price. At the entrance to the Medina is a large and very beautiful Mosque that is open to tourists. To go to the city it is always better to be accompanied by a man and to be covered as much as possible, to prevent any locals from bothering you or seeing you weird. For me it was a very interesting experience and several times I was taken as a Muslim. I cannot deny that Mexicans and Muslims are physically very similar.
A few days later we visited Monastir, where we had the opportunity to see the Mausoleum where the body of the famous President Habib Bourguiba rests. The place is breathtaking and full of luxuries everywhere. It is definitely a place you cannot miss to visit. In front of the Mausoleum is located the oldest castle in Africa. Admission for children is free and adults pay 7 dinars, which are approximately 2 dollars. The view from above of the castle is spectacular, you can see whole Monastir and its beautiful blue turquoise beaches. The castle gives the impression as if it was built only of sand, it is very impressive. Just a few meters from the castle, we listened to Allah´s calls to pray. This is heard all over the country several times a day. We wanted to enter to the Mosque that was nearby, but unfortunately it was a Mosque only for men and only for Muslims, so entry to the tourists was not allowed. However we were allowed to take a photo from the door, where you can appreciate the courtyard and the Muslim men washing themselves before making their prayers.
Finally before ending our holidays, we joined a caravan of camels. The experience is unbelievable. Camels are fascinating and mysterious animals. In the caravan we were able to visit briefly a Bedouin settlement, get an idea of how they live and taste their delicious breads. Of course the next day our whole bodies were in pain from camel riding camel, but the experience was worth it and not to be topped
The hotel we stayed at is One Resort and it has a water park with several slides. The rooms are spacious and clean, and the gardens and architecture are very inspiring. Thanks to the all-inclusive plan, we were able to try all kinds of food and drinks, both local and international, and the animation team with mini club was always friendly and kind.
I can definitely recommend Tunisia as a destination for both relaxation and culture. I was amazed by this trip to the thousand and one nights´ land.