Tunisia part II….
It only seems moments ago that we were touching down on African soil for the first time and now only one more Mediterranean sunset to witness from our balcony. I can now understand how Tunisia is one of Africa’s most popular holiday destinations.
The moorish styled Port el Kantaoui http://www.lastminute.com/site/travel/holidays/holiday-details.html?skin=engb.lastminute.com&sourceType=1&productId=603954531 proved to be an excellent base for our week of Tunisian adventures. Modelled on the picturesque fishing village of Sidi Bou Said ,this 340 berth marina would rival many on the Riviera.
Old fashioned cobblestone streets recreate the atmosphere of a traditional medina. The marina hosts a good selection of shops selling local crafts such as jewellery, olive wood carvings and plenty of waterside eateries. One not to miss is Neptune, a floating restaurant that specialises in sea food such as grilled prawns.
A week in El Mouradi Palace really does not do any favours for the waistline. Whatever time of the day or night it was, there would always be something to eat (all included in the price), whether it was the pizza shop at 1am or the tea and cakes (for those feeling peckish between 2 and 5am). However, with the leisure facilities that the hotel boasts there was no excuse not to burn it off as quickly as we were consuming. Tennis courts, fitness suite, water sports galore … and if all else fails you could go for a 2 hour jog to Sousse and back. My legs have still not recovered.
Our final night treat… to dine a la carte. My thoughts are if you love spicy flavours, you will certainly love Tunisian cuisine. Most dishes are flavoured with a range of spices complemented by mint, orange blossom, or rose water. Yum.
Our hotel provided an action packed activity programme from aqua aerobics to archery. Guests wanting to experience something different every night without leaving the hotel were not disappointed either. From the Ballads of Broadway to the more traditional Tunisian Folklore show, the mix of nationalities certainly came to life in the evening and some even later with ‘Le Palace nightclub’ (also included with the all inclusive package).
For a night with a difference, one spectacle truly recommended is the ‘Changing Ladies’ act. Sousse Casino proudly plays host to this two and a half hour show. A show taking you through all corners of the world from Aladdin’s Arabian Nights to a more local Shirley Bassey.
The six female impersonators will leave you not knowing where to look! Combined with reasonable drink prices and excellent table service nothing could spoil this evening of fun and laughter.
Even stepping out of the casino into a torrential downpour could not dampen our spirits and really did leave us singing in the rain (well until about 2.30am anyhow).
The next day we decided to hire a car to do some more exploration of the country. For those a little bit scared of the prospect of driving on the other side of the road, drivers/guides/best friends are available from the car rental agencies for a small additional charge. Driving in Tunisia was not a problem for me at all as drivers on the whole are quite road friendly.
Trying to cram as much in to one day as possible we opted for a visit to the northern part of the country with a journey taking us from past to present. We visited Tunis, Carthage and Sidi Bou Said and all were beautiful tourist spots brimming with history and culture. I would definitely recommend visiting all three. A beautiful end to a beautiful holiday.