Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Axl's Adventures The Mediterranean: Part 6

Tue 19th: Carthage & A Random Tunisian Village.

Dido went to Tunisia and fell in love with a hill apparently. She branded the place where the hill was "Carthage", and claimed it as her own. What a weirdo.
Today's Carthage is a museum town of Roman ruins. Baths, Amphitheatre, the whole bit. Carthage is still an attractive place, Dido was right, but my memory of it would be much better if we hadn't had to stop at a village I can't remember the name of on the way back to the ship.
See, this was one of the 2 times we went on an organised tour (the other being at Herculaneum), and this included a scheduled hour plus stop in this village.We were told that this was the best place to shop in Tunisia. If that's actually true, I never want to go shopping anywhere in Tunisia ever again. Basically the main street consisted of an uphill outdoor market, and the stereotypes of market traders in this part of the world are all true. They are pushy, unpleasant and reluctant to give you any breathing space. I very quickly learned that if you look at anything for longer than about 2 seconds, it is assumed that you want to buy it and negotiations begin. In about 5 different languages, just to make sure they've got yours. If you're not looking at anything, they will bark things at you like "HALF PRICE IF YOU ARE ENGLISH TODAY!!" (Dammit, I was English yesterday! Why oh why did today have to be Belorussian day?!)
We didn't actually have it that bad. A couple of women were literally being chased down the street by a guy trying to sell them a bracelet.
Virtually all of them sell nothing but total crap too, it's such an off puttingly obvious tourist trap. It's a shame coz once you finally negotiate yer way out the other end, it's a really nice pretty place. beautiful views and architecture, shame that in order to get back to the coach we had to run the gauntlet again.
The fact that we were in this place for over an hour when we were taken thru the places of actual interest in Carthage (especially the Roman bath ruins which were simply stunning, although a little scary as they were right next to a Tunisian army camp and soldiers were walking around with huge guns. I had to stop myself taking a couple of photos for fear I may have been shot. Apparently the army folk don't take too kindly to being photographed round here.) relatively quickly was pretty frustrating and very annoying.
That night we tried our hands at Black Jack again and were far less pleased, losing our money almost instantly. Not so fun. At least last time we'd had a decent go at it. Ah, but that's gambling I suppose. Oh, and the underage kid with his fake ID was back too. We saw him later on getting refused entry into one of the bars which was pretty funny, but I can't seem to properly explain why at the moment.

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