Before meeting my partner Kais, whom is originally from Tunisia, I had never heard, let alone showed any interest in visiting this country. Let’s be honest, it isn’t the most advertised country. So for the next few blog posts, I wanted to let you discover through my photos more of this beautiful country.
Let me just start by saying that if you do not know anyone in Tunisia that can be your tour guide through the city or if you do not speak the language which is arabic (a tunisian dialect), then I would definitely recommend exploring this country with organized tours. Thankfully, I had Kais who had family and friends giving us recommendations and renting a car made it incredibly easier for us to visit on our own.
Tunisia has little gems located throughout the country for tourist to discover it’s beauty.
It definitely isn’t a drive-by flashy developed tourist industry. You have to plan and organize where you want to go in order to see the best Tunisia has to offer.
While we stayed in a hotel in Sousse closer to relatives, we drove about 30 minutes to the near-by town of Monastir. Located on the Eastern border, it is a cute coastal town. There are many resorts located in that area as well as an airport. It actually had one of the most amazing views of the sea as we drive in. I asked to stop a few times to take some pictures at the seafront!
We were actually in town only for a few hours to go to the fish market. In markets, you always negotiate but when you are a tourist the prices always start much higher. So we had my father-in-law do the talking and selection of the specific fish I wanted to try (checking if they were actually freshly fished…looking and touching their eyes). The “dorade” fish is one of the most commonly served fish and what I was always served while visiting relatives. It would melt in my mouth, it was oh soo fresh!
Tunisia rarely imports any food. The locals eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. I asked the question since the fruits that we were continuously served were always green grapes, pears, apples, bananas, dates, pomegranate and cactus pears (these are oh soo good!… and grow on actual cactus on the side of the road, like weeds)
What is a cactus pear?
Cactus Pears are ripe when their flesh is a rosy/fuschia color. You peel the fruit and discover that they are either yellow or red in color. They are refreshing to eat on a hot day and a little sweet with tons of edible seeds. In Tunisia, this fruit is very accessible as it basically grows on the side of the roads. The locals also say that whomever eats it regularly will have beautiful skin as they also use it in beauty products.
It also has a lot of vitamin C, magnesium and is high in fiber thus helping your digestive system.
***I found them in our local grocery store in Montreal but they weren’t as sweet and fresh as eating them locally in Tunisia***
There is also an impressive and one of the oldest forteress in Northern Africa, the Ribat, located in the city which unfortunately we did not visit since we had fresh produce in the car and it was a very hot day! However, I would definitely take the time to go back to visit more of this beautiful city.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this first travel diary of Tunisia. If you have any comments or questions on this place, please leave a comment in the comment box below…
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