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October - 1998

A New Look

I did some remodelling this month. I mostly re-wallpapered. The remodelling is a work in progress. Hope you enjoy the new look. Let me know what you think of the new look, or anything else about the page!
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Webrings

I joined a few webrings in October.

Africa International Travel Report Countries of The World Vegetarian Travelring

Interesting Fact

Why is the city of Kairouan important?
Thirteen centuries ago Okba Ibn Nafaa founded Kairouan. It became the first Islamic city in the Maghreb. Kairouan became the center of religious life and the site of one of Islam's most ancient and holiest mosques. It is still an important spiritual centre for Muslims.

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View from a taxi
On the drive from Tunis to Carthage, 1994

Link

The English Patient

Archaeology Information

A museum by the marble quaries of Chimtou, Jendouba province-Tunisia has been opened. It has information on geology, early Berber and Roman history of the area of the famous quarries of marmor Numidicum near ancient Simitthu (colonia Iulia Augusta Numidica Simitthensium). The displays are all trilingual: Arabic, French, German. However, no English speaking English version. Although there is a page with plans and informations in English on the web.

September - 1998

Interesting Fact

Where does the word gorilla originate?
We get our modern word "gorilla" from a Carthaginian named Hanno who, according to the elder Pliny, sailed along the west coast of Africa.
Here's an excerpt from Hanno's journal:
"Following rivers of fire for three days we came to a gulf called the Southern Horn. In this gulf was an island...This was full of savages; by far the greater number were women with hairy bodies, called by our interpreters `gorillas.' We gave chase to the men but could not catch any for they climbed steep rocks and pelted us with stones. However, we captured three women who bit and scratched their captors. We killed and flayed them and brought their skins back to Carthage. This was as far as we could sail owing to lack of provisions."

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Blossom's comments: "I motored thru Tunisia in 1974 when there were few hotels. I crossed the Djerid salt chotts across the desert. There is a wonderful Roman/Greco site, Dougga. I was disappointed in Carthage. I returned to Tunisia about 20 years later - too many tourists and tour buses going out to the Troglodyte villages. In '74 it cost me $2 to sleep in a cave on a bag of straw. I had some great adventures in Tunisia when it was off the beaten tourist track. It is a fascinating country steeped in history and culture."

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View of the Byrsa Hill from the Punic Ports in Carthage
View of the Byrsa Hill from the Punic Ports in Carthage

August - 1998

Interesting Fact

The land of the Lotos-Eaters (IX 90-103) in the Odyssey is thought to be Djerba. Some also feel that Odysseus' journey, after leaving the Lotos-Eaters, took him North along the Tunisian coast to the lagoons and the fertile lowlands of Tunisia.
"Nine days I drifted on the teeming sea before dangerous high winds. Upon the tenth we came to the coastline of the Lotos Eaters, who live upon that flower. We landed there to take on water. All ships' companies mustered alongside for the mid-day meal. Then I sent out two picked me and a runner to learn what race of men that land sustained. They fell in, soon enough, with Lotos Eaters, who showed no will to do us harm, only offering the sweet Lotos to our friends - but those who ate this honeyed plan, the Lotos, never cared to report, not to return: they longed to stay forever, browsing on that native bloom, forgetful of their homeland. I drove them, all three wailing, to the ships, tied them down under their rowing benches, and called the rest: 'All hands aboard; come, clear the beach and no one taste the Lotos, or you lose your hope of home.' Filing in to their places by the rowlocks my oarsmen dipped their long oars in the sure, and we moved out gain on our sea faring." (IX, 90-103)

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Street in Hammamet

Street in Hammamet

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The Punic Wars - A Little History Lesson

July - 1998

Interesting Fact

Where is the longest ancient aqueduct?
It is the Roman Aqueduct of Carthage. It ran 141 km (87.6 miles) from springs of Zagouan to Djebel Djougar. It was built by the Romans during the reign of Publius Aelius Hadrianus (AD 117-38). I have heard that its original capacity has been calculated at 31.8 million litres (7,000,000 gal)per day!

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Sarah Dowdall's comments: "In April 1998 I travelled with my family of seven to Tunisia. It was without doubt the best holiday that I have been on. We stayed in a hotel at an all-inclusive resort beside Port El Kantoui. I wouldn't recommend people to go to Tunisia if they are looking for a boozy holiday. There is no shortage of drink, but there aren't many pubs/clubs. The people are very nice and it's very important to respect their country and their beliefs. The men can sometimes be a bit frightening as they leer towards woman but once you keep your mouth shut you shouldn't have any problems. All in all, Tunisia is a very beautiful place and I can't wait to go back. If anyone has any questions they can e-mail me at emsltd@tinet.ie Bye!" - Sarah Dowdall

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Bulla Regia
An underground house in Bulla Regia

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FOCUS on TUNISIA - Has a wide variety of information.

June - 1998

Interesting Fact

When did the Punic Wars really end?
Well, in 1985 the mayors of Rome and Carthage (now a suburb of Tunis) got together and signed a treaty declaring the Punic Wars over.

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Bogden's Opinion: "It was really a good trip for me and my family. We entered Tunisia in Monastir and visited Sousse, Mahdia, El Jem, Leptia- Leptimus and Monastir. We met a lot of happy, interesting persons. For other trawellers i can say that Tunisia is a good destination for holidays with small children. Our son was happy. We were in a good hotels from 10 DT for a triple room with shower (EZZOHOUR- SOUSSE MEDINA). Also we found interesting archaeological places in EL JEM. In future we`d like to organize excavations there.
Last informations for travellers:
        -Hotels
                Sousse: Medina 2 with shower for 22 DT, Hotel de Paris 2
                        for 15 DT, Ezzohour 3 with shower for 10 DT !!!!
                Mahdia: Corniche 2 for 15 DT
                Daily budget for 2 person with small child (without hotel):
                        5-20 DT (1DT= 1,13$).
We think Tunisia is great, our son was happy there, he`s not happy now." -Bogden (from Poland)

Archaeology Information

"There is an archaeological team from Poland which will be starting a new excavation in Tunisia by the end of 1998. They are looking for sponsors and volunteers to work on this Polish-Tunisian excavation. The archaeological project will be taking place in El Djem. The project will be aimed at locating and excavating a lost amphitheatre and Roman Villas. If you would like more information about this project, please email Bogden at bodex@box43.gnet.pl."

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Wedding Museum
Room in a Wedding Museum

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Tunisia - another personal account

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