Monday, June 28, 2004

Monastir

Yesterday my husband and I went to Monastir (around 3 hours driving from Tunis) to meet my Bulgarian friend Iva. I met her while I was in Mannheim-Germany back in year 1999. Ever since then we met twice, where? In TUNISIA :) yes, it was so un expected for us to meet again after Germany, but we did and it was really strange to meet here in Tunisia. This girl has been a true friend, although the time we spent together was only one month. She never stopped emailing me and sending me post cards from everywhere she goes. A real good friend. Only 30 days together, and she never stopped offering me help and support. She got a job in a tourism agency, and lucky me, she dropped by last year and stayed for few months in Monastir. We met once last year, and this year she’s back, again in Monastir and we met yesterday. She’ll be staying till September, hope we’ll meet more often :)
Monastir happened to be the city from which the former Tunisian President Habib Bourgiba comes. It’s quite a big city, with lovely blue sea, and tidy wide streets. It’s so calm, and compared to Tunis, Monastir has more hills. Just like Hammamet, Monastir has a wide range of lovely hotels, almost most of them are in a part of Monastir called : Skanes.
Tunisia just amazes me with the many weird and strange names they have, most of the names are strange because they are Phoenicians.
Monastir also has a lovely port for yachts :) And what we have noticed is that the Germans are the majority of the yacht owners. In this port, like in “Yasmine Hammamet” and “Qantaoui Port” of Sousse, the yacht owners could stay at beautiful apartments and small villas with a range of restaurants, cafés and little shops surrounding them.
It was around 38 degrees in Monastir yesterday, and around 35 in Tunis. “Luckily” the A.C. in our car didn’t work, so my husband had to drive 3 hours in the heat, with windows open for some air. The noise was unbelievable, and my dear husband had his left arm (the one getting more sunlight) burned. So now he has a red-brown arm and another white one :P but still we enjoyed the trip and had fun.
The funniest part was when we were at a restaurant and Iva sang along with an Arabic song, she doesn’t speak Arabic, but she’s been listening to Arabic music in the Hotel all the time, that she finally was able to sing along with it, it was really funny.
In her first visit, she was still not used to the heat and the Arab culture, but now she’s happier, enjoys her time more, knows the Tunisian food, says: aslema (hi), shbeek (what’s wrong), tosbeh ala kheer (nighty) and stuff like that :)
As for the heat, she still suffers a bit, even Tunisians do :P but she’s managing I guess ;)
After spending 4 hours with her, we got back to Tunis. On our way, there was this beautiful Gas Station called: Sidi Khleefa. Our poor car was so damn thirsty, and we stepped out to rest from the long time drive. The station had EVERYTHING. Oh, no, not only for cars, but also humans :) From drinks, to nutritious products, to newspapers, magazines, tapes, toys, skin care products, car tools, swimming stuff, they even had a food court for smokers and another one for non-smokers, and a small café & desert corner. It was BEAUTIFUL, the view was so nice and all people who are on long trips in their cars or busses stopped there. It reminded me of the stop at the free zone between Jordan and Syria :) The place was so great and cooooooooooooooooooool, it was really refreshing. :)
The only terrible part about yesterday was that I felt like eating, I mean I really ate too much, that I got my stomach looking like I was 3 months pregnant :P It was hurting me like hell and I was scared I’d die. But thank God today it was somehow back to normal, but I’ve decided to eat very light stuff to make sure everything will be fine.
Anyway, if you haven’t been to Monastir then follow my advice and waste no more time. The place is really beautiful :) If you don’t want to drive your car then you have other options like the train or the airplane :) Oh, one more thing, don’t forget your sun-glasses so that you wont wake up next day with burning red eyes :PPPP