August 25, 2006

Tunisia: La Marsa Beach

La Marsa, is a little town near Tunis. If you are in Tunis for a short visit, then make sure you go to Sidi Bou Said, La Marsa Beach and Carthage.

The beach looks speacially wonderful if you visit it on a holiday evening in summer.

La Marsa: A group of boys enjoying a game of handball

La Marsa: Notice the colorful beach under a setting sun

La Marsa: A walkway just close to the beach

La Marsa: Children having fun on the beach

La Marsa: This boy was kind enough to pose for me. Note the 'beach gear' he is wearing.

La Marsa: A baby, busy on the beach

Sidi bou Said: A charming town

Ever since I arrived in Tunis, my local colleague kept on asking me to visit Sidi Bou Said. Somehow, I did not want to go to a place where one has only one street to see with all houses in blue & white.

Towards the end of my stay, I was somehow convinced and then one afternoon, I decided to go and see this place, where, I was informed everyone longs to come back.

Once there, I felt trapped.


Its was nothing less than a trap.

No matter who is walking on the street, who is making loud noises, this blue and white charming town traps you in a trance. Essentially one main road, a street which ends in beautifully located cafes which offers excellent view of the Gulf of Tunis and the port.

While you take a walk, you come across many by lanes, gates and coutyards.

The houses and buildings are beautifully kept, with whitewashed walls and blue colored doors and windows with intricate metalwork. On the street there are cafes, vendors selling handicrafts or sweets.

After a walk in the street and a visit to Dar El Annabi, I relaxed in one of the cafe looking at the beautiful view of gulf of Tunis, while the sun was setting.

Amazingly this is a living village and I have read that people who are here, do not want to go out of this little village.

A colleague of mine told me that its known as an artist's paradise.
The town is worth the title.

Sidi Bou Said: An offshoot from the street. You will come across many such streets off the main street.

Sidi Bou Said: A view on the street.

Sidi Bou Said: A view of a building from the corner. The white and blue are to be seen everywhere in every house in the town.

Sidi Bou Said: An art shop which sold beautiful paintings. Could not talk with the lady inside. I did not speak her language.

Sidi Bou Said: A cafe on the street

Sidi Bou Said: A view of the street

Sidi Bou Said: The shops selling handicrafts and the traditional stuff. The shops are meant for tourists, primarily, therefore prices quoted are high

Sidi Bou Said: A beautiful main door of a house.

Sidi Bou Said: This is the street which takes you back in time, sometimes.

Sidi Bou Said: A cafe at the end of the street. This offers a beautiful view of the sea, the port and the beach. Don't forget to taste the herbal tea in the cafe.

Sidi Bou Said: A view of Gulf of Tunis from the cafe

August 23, 2006

Sidi bou Said: Dar El Annabi

On the main street, as you walk, you will come across this house.

The house was contructed in 18th century and is maintained till date. Dar El Annabi, introduces you to the spacious Arabic Islamis Architecture.

This visit was one visit which opened me to old Tunisian lifestyle. It also remided me of my ancestral house in Punjab, which we have sold off long back. I could find lot of similarities in this house and my ancestral house. The way floors were designed, the way stairs were decorated and the office with old world charm.

The library/office space took me back in time into my childhood as it was similar to my father's office as recent as around 25 years back.

Dar El Annabi: This is a place where the guests were recieved on important occasions. Shown in the picture is the wax model exhibit in the traditional costumes.

Dar El Annabi: A beautiful view of the entrance, where you buy tickets.

Dar El Annabi: In the courtyard, stairs that lead you to terrace and other rooms. Once you are on the terrace, don't forget to check the panaromic view of the Gulf of Tunis.

Dar El Annabi: A pathway inside the house

Dar El Annabi: Way to go up in one of the rooms of the house. Notice the design on the floor and the stairs against white background.

Dar El Annabi: Notice the design on the door.

Dar El Annabi: When I saw this room, I was amazed at the arrangement of colors. However, due to insufficeint light, and with no tripod, I could capture the real beauty of the colors. This room had a serene effect on me.

Dar El Annabi: Inside view of a room

Dar El Annabi: Notice the beauty of Arab Islamic style.

Dar El Annabi: This office space reminded me of the ol world charm of my father's office. You will find some well preserved copies of news papers dating back to 19th century, few old books and there was a separate room for assistants. The whole office took me back in time and I remembered childhood days when I spent most of my evenings and holidays playing in and around my father's office.

Dar El Annabi: A shop inside selling traditional handicrafts and paintings.