Our short trip through Tunisia was a well-deserved rest after our 12-day and 4600 km blast through Libya. We had planned to visit a few places on the way to Tunis but it soon became clear to we needed a little rest and we more or less headed straight to the capital. After Libya and Egypt, distances suddenly seemed very short here ! On the map above, the black dotted line represents the Tunis to Sicily boat we had intended to take. The red dotted line is the Tunis to Naples boat we took, slicing of a trip in Sicily and southern Italy.


Queuing at the Tunisian border whilst smuggling is taking place


Our last experience of border crossing had been quite disastrous so we were unconsciously wondering what this one was going to be. Luckily, leaving Libya proved significantly easier than getting in and the only dislike we had of the Tunisian affair was cars jumping the queue. Sitting in the queue did prove interesting as we were watching a man go from car to car, pretend to fix a light or a bumper and exchange little packets with the car drivers. The waiting went on for an hour and then we were free to go ! Our 30th border crossing this trip !


On our first road in Tunisia


Our first impression of Tunisia was one of cleanliness. This seemed easy to achieve after the dirt we had seen in Libya but we noticed that the south east of the country was significantly cleaner than the north. Another difference with Libya was the influence of everything that is French. From cars to newspapers, from the quality of the bread (and croissants !) to the fact that nearly everyone speaks French. This proved quite dangerous as we were no longer able, as we had been for the last year, to speak out freely in the streets !


French influence in Tunisia. Three generations of Peugeot pick-ups in Tunisia : 304, 404 and 505 ?


Where did I leave the paint ? A house is Sfax, Eastern Tunisia


The amphitheater at El Jem


Camping in Tunisia


We settled into a small French-managed hotel in the centre of the city as soon as we arrived and immediately felt at home. We were happy to be able to walk around the city, shop for clothes and books, buy newspapers and magazines, go to the movies etc.


Street life in Tunis : all street names are in Arabic and French (left), the latest Tunis beauties (centre), "Bondin, la cafe des connaisseurs !" on a van (right)


The inside of the main mosque in Tunis has used Roman columns from Carthage



Traditional Tunisian architecture and colours (left), our first breakfast in bed for a very long time (centre), a street in Tunis (right)


The first thing we did in Tunis is buy tickets for a Tunis-to-Sicily ferry. On the day of our departure, April 12th, we were told our boat had been cancelled. The next boat for Sicily was a week later but we could take a boat to Naples two days later which is exactly what we did. Having planned to spend a month in Italy, we had had to change our plans due to the delays in Egypt and we were eager to be in Italy. 


What a delight ! Leaving Africa to cross the Mediterranean to Italy


5 am on our Italian registered "Anna Maria Lauro" nearing Naples


Here is the first of our extra pages on Tunisia :

Roman mosaics

We are going home !

Coming from Libya Back to Trip page Heading to Italy