Nov
13
2009

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Tunis Medina

by Going Slowly

Shortly after exiting the TGM station called "Tunis Marine", we walk by these flower markets on our way to the center of town.

Tunis Flower Market

Our first major landmark is the Place du 7 Novembre, with its large clock-tower in the middle and a fountain just behind it.

Place du 7 Novembre

Walking northeast towards the Medina, the Bab el Bahr (formerly called the Port de France) is the gateway to the old city.

Tunis Medina Arch

Once inside the Medina, it literally feels like a maze. Only a sliver of sky is visible between the tall, cramped buildings, making it nearly impossible to figure out where you are based on any sort of landmarks. We've found the best tactic to be wandering around and then making it "out" when we are done. Once we're back in regular Tunis, it is easy to re-orient ourselves and then either walk back to the train station or hop in a cab.

Inside the old walled city, Tara decided to try on some sunglasses while the salesman behind her was grooving to loud, fast-paced, Arabic dance music.

Tara & Sunglasses Seller Tara & Sunglasses Seller Tara & Sunglasses Seller

There seems to be an area of the Medina geared towards excited future brides and everything she must have for her big day—henna, candied nuts, perfumes, and frilly basket-sets. Tara bought a tiny vial of vanilla perfume from the only female salesperson we saw in the entire place.

Henna, Candies & Nuts

Most of the Medina has small shops selling the same trinkets, but this shop was much larger and fancier, and probably a good deal more expensive. We're not sure if the normal amount of haggling would be appropriate here or not.

A Fancy Shop

Tara loved the colors of these lanterns.

Lute & Lanterns

Eventually we made it out of the markets of the Medina and found ourselves in the more residential areas. We loved this stunningly vibrant blue door:

Blue Door a Vendre Blue Door

…and this yellow one.

Yellow Door Yellow Door Knocker

In this residential neighborhood we saw a puppy curled up in a perfect spiral in the sun. A little girl walked by and giggled as Tyler took this picture.

Puppy Roll Residential Medina Street

One of the hundreds of stray kitties let Tyler pick it up. Stray cats are everywhere here!

Tyler & Kitty Kitty Tuckered Out

More Medina wandering…

Pretty Buildings Medina Street Rue Boussen Buying Bread

When we made it to the great mosque we sat on the steps for a nice rest and watched men coming and going while listening to the haunting, mesmerizing chants coming from within.

Great Mosque Door Man Going to the Mosque Tyler on Mosque Steps

Tomorrow we're off to see Sidi Bou Said!


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