"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Tunisia Update

Photo I took of a ceiling in the Bardo Museum 2012

Protesters from Tunisia against the attack at Bardo Museum
courtesy of Demotix
I started thinking about my day trip to Tunisia on a Holland America ship in 2012 last week when my niece announced she was going to Djerba Island, Tunisia, for her honeymoon. I was happy for her but extremely nervous. I had not been to Djerba, but I visited the capital of Tunisia, Tunis. For all its good, even in 2012, there was a lot of bad. I thought the people I met were lovely, cultured, kind and smiling. They are a beautiful group, the Tunisians. 

People taking photographs at the Bardo Museum in 2012
This is the way I remember the Bardo, with lovely groups of people strolling and taking photographs. We were a small group and the museum is huge. Part was closed off and I do remember it was really a hassle to get in. We had a group reservation but the place was locked down tight with padlocks. They only let in small groups at a time and we had to wait our turn. There was a lot of military presence everywhere.

Hostages being held at the Bardo Museum
This is how it looked a few days ago, when 19 people, mostly tourist lost their lives to a group of terrorists.

I remember really enjoying our day in Tunisia. I did the full-day tour "Best of Tunisia" from the ship. It was intensive, with a visit to the Bardo Museum, a visit to the Souk (market), Carthage, lunch and a visit to Sidi Bou Said. It was a long day but a great day. Our guide was very educated and kind. He was worldly and had just visited Cozumel, the island where I live, a few weeks before. But at the end of the day, I was glad to go back to the safety of the ship. It just didn't feel like a place I would feel comfortable spending the night. 

Shop in Sidi Bou Said

I had told my niece last week I thought she should really reconsider going to Djerba Island, due to the unrest in Tunisia, and this was before the killlings. Now she is contacting her travel agent and we will see. I am sorry for the lovely people of Tunisia. I am so sad for the people and their families who lost their lives in this tragic event. My niece even brought up how could the people on the ships even go on the rest of their holiday after having this happen to others on their ship. Good point. Prayers sent out. Stay safe and let's keep our eye on Tunisia and hope it improves. 

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