Travel Experience #1 – Tunisia (Tunis / Ras Jebel)

As I’ve written it in previous article, this week I had the opportunity to go to Tunisia for work.
I’m working for fashion industry so generally, when you are traveling, you don’t have the chance to really see the country itself.
This time was different ! I didn’t took pictures personally because I didn’t want to make “the tourist” during lunch you know, business first, and my lovely hosts took me for a little tour only at night, so pictures wouldn’t have been good (I’ll try to search some on internet anyway).

So, I spent 2 days in Tunis at night, working hours in Ras Jebel. It’s a small town at 60km from Tunis, very typical and not touristic at all -even if it’s close to the sea-, my host told me that there was no hotel in Ras Jebel and people like it like that !

For my first lunch, we went to a very small restaurant, just next to a road which was next to the sea, I think it was not in Ras Jebel (but I didn’t get well how the town and neighborhoods works here). Concept was to choose the fish you want to eat and they cook it for you. There was daurade and loup de mer.  I let them choose for me and I had daurade I guess !
Before having the fish, we had some harissa with olive oil to eat with Tabouna, the typical tunisian bread (loved it !), and some pimentos with olives and olive oil, mashed, to also eat with the bread.
We ate outside and weather was really pleasant, even if it was cloudy !
The road to go to Ras Jebel to Tunis was also interesting, with a lot of fields, potato is the main vegetable cultivated here. There was also wind turbines. We passed by small roads and one thing shocked me: there was cows and sheeps on the street (I even saw camels!), but right in front of where the were selling the meet (I guess), there was dead animal heads hanging, like “hey, we sell fresh meet here !”… Maybe it’s some kind of tradition here but I’m happy that it’s not like this in France ! Driving is also… messy ! Roads are in good shape but drivers… They don’t respect each other at all and I even wonder how we manage to have no accident! This night I ate at my hotel so nothing fancy. My host asked me if I was going to visit the city center but I’m just a big baby when it comes to hanging out alone at night (safety first !). So the day after, he offered to take me to Tunis for a small visit !

Day 2, second lunch, this time we went to Rafraf, small town near Ras Jebel, typical dish was also fish, Zmimra more precisely at this time of the year a fish which only comes here from Andalusia, and at the end of the season, there are celebrations. We ate a tuna pizza made with the tabouna, the place was again very simple, but dishes were good !

At night, my host came with his wife and the tour began. Both were very friendly and nice, I spent delightful moment.
In the car, I saw Le Parc du Belvédère, and l’avenue Habib Bourguiba. Also had an history lesson about this president and General De Gaulle, and saw were the people went for the arab revolution. It was very interesting !
We went to a restaurant called Le Café Vert, in the jewish neighborhood of La Goulette and we ate… Fish again !
We drank a good white wine. As an entry, we had the smashed pimentos, the harissa but not the good bread, only defrost french baguette (not very good by the way), and carrot smashed with harissa, tunisian tortilla, and some potato salad. We also had fried calamar rings and small shrimps with spicy sauce. All was good and my hosts were happy that I liked spicy food ! Then, we had the big plates ! Big grilled shrimps, big grilled médaillons de daurade, and big plate of an entire daurabe with spicy pastas ! I was so full ! It was very nice to have all those plates to share, very convivial ! We should do this more often in France.
After this good diner, they took me to the Café des délices in Sidi Bou Said…  This is very typical old town where all the house are white, with doors and windows painted in blue, like in greek islands ! Very beautiful. From there you have very nice view of the city of Tunis, with the sea, too bad it was at night !
But I definitely want to come back to see this by day !

(All pictures in this article not taken by me, just Googled it!)

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