John and I woke up early again and headed for Tunis, the capital and largest city in Tunisia. We began at The Great Souk, yet another market. haha. (A souk is a market place or covered bazzar that is organized into areas according to the goods on sale.) Together they form one vast, colorful animated marketplace. I didn't make quite as many purchases today but John kept spending the dinar like it was nothing! --in actuallity it really isnt worth much. lol. One Tunisian dinar is equivilant to about .57Euro. One thing we learned while shopping is how much Tunisians love Canadians (and hate Americans). John is from Ottawa and for the rest of this trip so was I! One of the merchants further proved this fact when after giving us a perfume presentation he showed us seperate price lists. One for Americans and one for Canadians. lol
After meeting a nice chef at a restaurant, he took us to the see the inside of The Great Mosque. To enter here, I was given a shaw to cover up. Inside we saw the vast courtyard and polished marble, which was still in its origional form and surrounded by graceful arches. Then we were lead to a carpet shop which had about 5 flights of stiars that lead us to a huge lookout point decorated with colorful ceramics. From here you could see the dome of the mosque and all of the surrounding city!
Our next stop was the Bardo Museum. This museum is located on the outskirts of Tunis and houses one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world. They are from the second to fourth century AD and were found in the homes of some of Roman Africa's wealthiest citizens. This was the greatest, most amazing museum I have ever been to. Anyone with a love or even appreciation for the arts needs to visit this place at some point in their life. I can't even describe how impressed I was!! There are rooms and rooms filled thousands of ceramics and mosaics. The building itself was totally worth the trip. Large arch ways and colorful stained glass decorated all of the rooms as well as large gold domed ceilings. I truly could not believe my eyes.
On the way out of the museum John was talking about heading to another market but I was quite exhausted and was ready to spend some time relaxing back at the resort. He suggested that we just walk to the car, sit in the airconditioning for a bit and then decide. Unfortunately I didn't make it this far. The extreme temperatures finally got to me. (Today the high was 117 in Tunis!) Apparantly I fainted in the parking lot, luckily John caught me and brought me to the car where I regained alertness. lol. So, we decided to head back to the resort!
After sitting in the airconditioning for a while and drinking 3 liters of cold water, I started to feel better. I made my way down to the spa for some R&R. I recieved several soothing treatments for the rest of the afternoon. I selected the very appropriate H2O package. This began with a tranquil soak in the vitality pool which is supposed to completely "wash away stress and leave the world behind." Next I moved onto the steam shower. This provided moist, aromatic warmth with heated floors, walls and seats. The body is to be warmed slowly beginning by opening the pores and finally reaching the inner body and organs. Next was the Rasul Experience. During this traditional Moroccan treatment natural mud is applied to the face, upper and lower body. Dry heat then allows it to cool and release the toxins from the body. After rinsing off I was lead to the massage room for my final treatment, an hour long rub down! This elaborate treatment was truly luxurious!
As you can imagine I am apsolutely thrilled that I decided to come on this trip. It was everything that I hoped for and much more. As much as I enjoyed visiting the popular sites including the Bardo Museum and Tunis it was the culture that I loved the most. I will never forget the deilicous couscous, the arabic music and all merchants at the souks! Tomorrow it is back to Rome.