I flew to Tunis, Tunisia on March 5th and returned on March 17th. I drove about two-thirds of the way to the southern border, then turned west to near the Algerian border. Then I drove north through the battlefields where Patton was first badly defeated at Kasserine Pass, as well as where he finally had success farther east. Then I continued north to near the Mediterranean Sea, finding the landscape surprisingly very beautiful, with expanses of winter wheat and rape (the source of canola oil) in mountain valleys. Finally I turned east to return to Tunis, visiting the ancient, famous site of Carthage.
If you visit Tunisia and have heart problems, I do not recommend driving a car. I have never, ever, seen worse drivers! And pedestrians are even worse, constantly walking in front of cars without looking first. However, it was quite exciting driving, so I had little danger of falling asleep. Oh, and it was also exciting driving through a sandstorm with 50 MPH winds, creating "brownout" conditions. Yet, it took until the ninth day of driving before I saw an accident. Drivers there all know everyone is dangerous, so they are on constant alert.
Tunisia fell to the Muslim armies in the eighth century. Many very old buildings constructed shortly thereafter remain today, often
Many of the scenes in the Star Wars movies were filmed in southern Tunisia. I visited four of those locations. I actually stayed in a "hotel" where the first movie (from 1978) in which Hans Solo and Chewbacca first appeared in the bar filled with weirdos. The scene was filmed in one of five caves dug vertically 25 feet deep, which was then connected by tunnels. My room was in another of those caves.
The area now called Tunisia was part of the Phoenician Empire, starting in the 9th Century, B.C. It was based in the city of Tyre, now part of Lebanon. In 146 B.C. the Romans conquered the Phoenicians and ruled the area until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th Century A.D. Lots of history, lots of towns dotting present-day Tunisia--so I just had to see it.
Most of the people living in Tunisia today are ethnic Berbers. They are actually a mix of ancient Africans and Europeans who migrated there thousands of year ago by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Most people speak both the Berber language and Arabic, but those living in remote areas only speak Berber.
I could post dozens of photos of interesting, unusual, and beautiful scenes in Tunisia. Here are just a few.
Why visit Tunisia? Because it is interesting, it is beautiful, and it is cheap. Dinners in nice restaurants, with a beer, cost $5-6, 3-star hotels $20-30, and fuel costs about the same as here. An English man told me he lives in a 5-star hotel for $1000 a month, including breakfast and dinner. So, why would anyone spend winter in Arizona, Texas, or Florida for $3000-$6000 a month, with relatively fewer things of interest to see? I can't think of any reason other than that is it convenient and a bit safer. But, hey, get intrepid like Alfred E. Neuman and say, "What, me worry? I read Mad."