I’ve wanted to go to Tunis for years now. Maybe that is part of why I felt a bit underwhelmed. I think I built it up too much in my mind.
By the time I got out of the airport and got to my hotel, it was pretty late. I had just a snack and tried to watch the Brazil-Argentina game in the sports bar in the hotel, but that obviously ended after 5 minutes.
The next morning, I was up early to eat breakfast and then head out to explore. After getting stuck in a ton of traffic, I paid the taxi driver the arm and a leg price on the meter then went to explore the market in the Kasbah.
I continued into the old city stumbled upon this cathedral.
I also thought this was awesome. Every country needs this.
Next, I made my way to the train station to catch the light rail out to Sidi Bou Said, the blue city.
From here, I caught the train back towards the city and got off near the ruins of ancient Carthage.
This is what I came to Tunis for. This is what I’d built up in my mind.
And this is what I found underwhelming. I think I was too excited, and thus it wasn’t amazing enough.
The history and what’s here is interesting to look at, but it also needs more. In my honest opinion, with the museum “closed for renovations” for a long time now and not much information available, it’s just a dot on the map. It could be a lot more than that.
From the hilltop, I walked to the ancient amphitheater and some other spots I saw signs for and just went to check out.
Eventually, I made my way back to the light rail and caught it into the center. I tried to get dinner here and had an impossible time finding vegan options. I had assumed that their Arab+Muslim culture would mean I could find the same foods, same availability as other countries I’ve been to. Boy, I was wrong. Their diet is VERY meat + seafood-heavy, and anything aside from that is French-influenced.
After I spent over an hour looking at menus at various restaurants, I gave up and went to the Kasbah area. After striking out there for about 30 minutes, I finally just caught a taxi and headed back to the hotel. I had french fries for dinner.
The next day, I explored the area around the hotel, which wasn’t really that interesting. Lots of embassies, TV channel buildings, and embassies.
I also had to get my Covid test that day and talk to the hotel employees about my airline ticket. They were SUPER helpful. My plan had been to go to Guinea, but the coup the day before and border closure changed that. I had a non-refundable ticket with Tunis Air. The hotel staff was able to talk to them and get permission to change the ticket. I was willing to change it to a flight to Morocco, despite that being cheaper and the prospect of losing the money being a downer.
I was super surprised that the hotel was able to talk Tunis Air into giving me a voucher for the fare difference. Now, will I be back somewhere in the next year that I can fly on Tunis Air to use this voucher? It seems unlikely. Who knows.
The final morning, I got to the airport early. Good thing. The line just to show your tickets/pass security/go inside was ridiculous.
I liked Tunis, but it didn’t match the expectations I had. Maybe that’s my own fault from 8 years of looking at it on the map saying, “I really want to go there.”This entry was posted in Africa, Tunis, Tunisia