Carthage, Nabeul, Hammamet
John and I woke up early, ate breakfast in the hotel and headed for Carthage. This was the first morning I actually woke up feeling rested in a very long time! I think the AIRCONDITIONING and KING sized bed probably helped. lol. On the way to Carthage we had a bit of a problem. John pulled over to ask a police officer for directions. (There are several police officers at every interesction armed with multiple weapons). Instead of giving us directions to Carthage, he began yelling at John and explaining to him that our tinted windows were forbidden in this country. (This conversation was all in french, so I had no idea what was going on). Finally, he instructed us to go directly to the airport and return the car. We agreed, slowly merged into the intersection, then said "Screw u, we're going to Carthage!"
Unfortunately most of Carthage's ancient ruins were destroyed by the Romans. (Thank you crazy Ancient Roman history professor.) But, we still visited the Antonine Baths, Amplitheatre, Roman Villas and the Carthage Mueseum.
Next we headed to Nabeul. The drive through the countryside was beautiful. All of the highways are taken care of very well. There is no litter and glorious flowers line the median of the highway. On the way we listened to arab and turkish inspired music. There was also a station with french R&B which was quite amusing. Nabeul is known for its busy market and wonderful ceramics. More bargaining!! We walked around all afternoon and kept getting one good deal after after another. We bought so many nice pieces that we had a hard time carrying everything back to the car! We left with mosaics, ceramics, spices, figs, jewely, you name it!! We had lunch at a nice outdoor cafe here. I tried their specialty, grilled fish with lots of vegetables and Tunisian couscous.
On the way back to Gammarth we stopped in Hammamet. The beach here is one of the nicest on Tunisia's coast. I wadded into the water and it was almost as warm as my bath had been the night before. The sand was snow white and the water was a crystal clear blue. Unfortunately we couldn't stay long and had to head back to the hotel to prepare for our Camel rides!
Luckily by the time evening rolled around it had cooled down quite a bit, earlier it was 43 degrees C which translates to about 110 degrees fahrenheit!! John and I met up with some of our other friends that were traveling with us, (since they didn't rent a car, they spent most of their time at the resort.) Anyway, we all boarded camels and began our sunset ride along the Mediterranean. I've riden camels before in Egypt, but riding along the beach was a very different experience then riding in the desert. Along the beach we saw Muslim women wading into the water and playing with their children still completely covered, with full length skirts, long sleeves and veils. It's a good thing I didn't bring my Barcelona swimsuit on this trip. lol!
We rode the camels away from the shore, beyond the sand dunes and back to a grassy area in the woods. The air was so refreshing and clear in here! We were going to stop at a hut for some hookah and mint tea. The guides led us into the hut where we found colorful Berber inspired clothing!! We all dressed ourselves in these decorative and ornamental clothes then lounged in the hut smoking shisha. The guides even gave us traditional henna tattoos. I requested my name written in Arabic. Talk about a true African experience!
Once we arrived back at the hotel we decided to have dinner in Sol Phebus's restaurant. They served us delicious mediterranean salads, vegetables and olives followed by fresh fish and chicken roasted with harissa (a VERY picante sause) then delicious french crepes filled with fig sause and neutella. Delish!