Tales of Tunisia

Tunisian marketIn May 2011 I visited Tunisia and found a country still reeling from its revolution.

It’s a complex place, Tunisia – a country where the locals describe themselves as Mediterranean, yet the main religion is Muslim, and as many farmers keep camels as sheep. Tourism has overtaken agriculture as the main earner in recent years, transforming many coastal areas, particularly those in popular Hammamet, into spa and bar hotspots that could almost be anywhere on the Med, if it wasn’t for the elegant curling Tunisian script adorning street signs and shop fronts.

Tourism is often accused of diluting local flavour, but in the case of Hammamet, the dearth of visitors following the 2011 revolution may have helped restore it, to an extent. There’s enough exotic flavour here to bring to mind the stories of the Arabian Nights, with restaurants serving up meals while belly dancers perform like flocks of chiming butterflies. Continue reading