The Medina – April 4, 2018 – Tunis, Tunisia
The Tunis Medina is the old city portion of Tunis and was founded in 698 AD. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. I spent two half days exploring a small section of the Medina. I say a small section because the Medina is roughly 650 acres with over a hundred thousand inhabitants.
On the second day Nancy and I explored together and had lunch at a restaurant I had found on the first day – food was very good but no wine or any other alcohol was available. Ahh, the advantage of traveling in Catholic Italy versus Muslim Tunisia is wine is available almost everywhere in Italy and not so much in Tunisia. As interesting as the narrow pedestrian streets, shops, doors, and everything else were, it was the people I found most interesting.
The Bar el Bhar, the Gate to the Sea, was about a block away from our hotel and is one of the primary entrances to the Medina.
In the photograph above the Medina is behind me and our hotel is about a block down on the other side of the Bar el Bhar. I didn’t bother to investigate but I am guessing the fountain is new – the pumps and the use of electricity for the pumps weren’t available to the builders of the Bar el Bhar in 1848.
Not everything is sold from a shop or stall. This guy has a mobile bakery.
Tunisia is a majority Muslim country. A number of women but not all women wear headscarves. This couple is very western in clothing down to the sunglasses.
But not everyone or everyone’s clothes have a western look. This is especially true for those women in my age bracket.
A group of guys probably discussing football (or soccer for those living in the U.S.)
More guys – the strong silent type.
There are three or four main entrance streets leading into the Medina and they are all crowded.
However, the deeper you wander into the medina the less crowded the streets become.
A large majority of Tunisians are younger than me. No headscarf for her.
Multiple generations of ladies shopping.
These three ladies appeared to be a daughter with no headscarf, a mother nearest to me, and maybe a grandmother or aunt on the far side of the daughter.
I looked but didn’t buy.
Again, I looked but didn’t buy.
No hard selling at this stall.
And everyone seems to have time for a conversation.
May your next shopping expedition be as much fun as walking and shopping in the Tunis Medina.