Crossing the Mediterranean from Europe into North Africa always promises adventure and here on the Mediterranean coast of amazing Tunisia, a few miles outside the capital city of Tunis, the coffee is sweet and thick as you plan your excursions from the domed casbah-like hotel on your whitewashed seafront terrace.
When visiting this northernmost country on the great African continent, choose a peaceful abode on the outskirts of bustling Tunis while enjoying day trips to explore this colorful and fascinating city and the nearby legendary ruins at Carthage before venturing south into the captivating desert region via the historic rambling railroad. On the shimmering turquoise shore of the Bay of Tunis there is mystical poetry in the bleached columns still standing over the ruins of glorious Carthage, which held sway over the entire coast of North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the western border of Egypt, as well as Sardinia, Malta, the Balearic Islands and into Sicily.
The scent of jasmine and spices is always in the air as you explore the splendid souks and marketplaces en route to the pageantry to be found at the National Bardo Museum, which houses a renowned collection of magnificent mosaics as well as a superb collection of sculpture and artifacts representative of the region, Greek, Roman and Egyptian. Roman ruins dot the coastal region surrounding Tunis, notably amphitheatres, including El Djem, and some of these are currently performances venues.
Rambling southward by train toward the port city of Gabes, Tunisian music quavers and tea is served in little etched glasses. The garden landscape gradually becomes a wide austere desert. Rushing through miles and miles of sand, now and again you see a lone figure making his way against the wind, "from where to where ?", you wonder.
Hire a driver in Gabes to take you round a range of high, colorless hills and rocky cliffs into the extraordinary village of Matmata where dwellings are built below the ground for shelter from the Saharan sun. This creates charming sunken courtyards encircled by doors leading to the cool and comfortable rooms.
Travelling back along the eastern and northern coasts dotted with Roman ruins, you feel you will someday return to beautiful and unforgettable Tunisia.