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Tunisia - the sights (2012 - 2013)

We spent 2012-2013 in Tunisia, after a mere ...33 year absence (notwithstanding yearly visits). In addition to rediscovering the beauty of the place, across the various seasons, the country was in turmoil politically, and some of the watercolours reflected that. Hence, the choice to separate the two aspects: 1) the purely visual, and 2) the political/social commentary.

Natures mortes


Rather lousy attempts at capturing the variety of sights. What you have to realize is that the plants that manage to stay green let alone alive, are real fighters, given the arid climate. There are, however islands of greenery corresponding to assiduously watered little patches of terra used as flower beds or little gardens, where entire ecosystems, teeming with life, develop. Nature is amazing!



My in-laws live about 50 metres away (line of sight) from the sea, in an area where there are lots of houses on the edge of the water. To prevent erosion, the authorities have erected stone levees. Thus, at the end of a hot summer day, I would go for a dip while the sun is setting inland/behind the buildings. It is not a particularly beautiful or striking scene, but its familiarity and homeliness contrasts wildly with the dilettante ambiance of tourist beaches. Technically, I was going for the combination of watercolour and pen, but the results aren't convincing.

Too close for comfort


Between the levees and the first row of houses, there is a walkway that is separated from the levee--and the sea--by a short wall ("muret"). If you are in the water looking inland, you will only see the upper half of the passerby. If you pay attention, you are in for interesting sights...

El Jem Roman Amphitheater


El Jem is a small city of 22,000 people, about 220 kms south of Tunis, and 25 kms inland (about 20 kms south and 25 kms east of Mahdia), which includes a roman amphitheater dating from the first century AD. It is a tourist destination, and it hosts a classical music festival in the summer. Took my boys and a nephew there for the day.

Takrouna - cabin


A Small village  nestled in "a rock" about 7 kms inland, at the same latitude as Enfidha, about 80 kms south of the capital. Surprisingly authentic, so close to the big tourist destinations and the major thoroughfares.

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