A little getting used to in Tunisia and examined all that interested us in Monastir, we decided to move on.
To begin to move very far not necessary – just 20 km from Monastir is the most popular resort in Tunisia, the third largest (after Sfax and the country’s capital), and generally just a fun town of Sousse.
This is one of the first Phoenician colonies in Africa. Hadrumet (from Phoenician “Qadr” – fenced place) – that was the town’s name has been known since the XI century. BC Later, it is one of the largest centers of Carthage powers. Before receiving its present name, the city was renamed several times: Hadrumetum Concordia, Hunerika, Yustiniapol, Sousse and finally Sousse.
The easiest and cheapest way to get from Monastir to Sousse – suburban train (not those found in the name of “light rail”, but it is not no kind of underground, and an ordinary train). Runs regularly every 30 minutes, fare 1 dinar (it is less than $ 1), the station is located in the city center just outside the medina (the opposite side from the promenade).
Go too long – 30 minutes. and you’re in Sousse. And while you go out of the window you can watch some reservoirs of unknown purpose, but obviously artificial,
and olive groves. At the word “grove” I really always expect to see something more dense and green, but olive groves in Tunisia look exactly.
Perhaps due to the proximity and cheapness of travel, we somehow came to serious trip and clear plan of action we had. Therefore, once in Sousse, we moved randomly, aimlessly. However, they looked right, and very soon we reached the high walls of the medina.
Coming along which appeared near the Grand Mosque. It was built in 851 during the reign of the dynasty Algabidov and has a pretty unusual form more like a fortress: high thick walls, watchtowers powerful instead of slender minarets.
Under the walls are traded actively in the usual souvenir junk.
We honestly did not immediately and realized that it was a mosque. Carefully looked at her, trying to understand whether it is the continuation of interrupted earlier walls of the medina, or Ribat fortress, while standing at the entrance of a man is not said that it was a mosque and offered to go inside for 5 dinar / person.
Any architectural delights fortress mosque did not have entrance to the prayer hall for non-Muslims still banned, so go in the middle, we did not, and moved on.
In the immediate vicinity of the Grand Mosque is Ribat, built somewhat earlier mosque in 821 Like other Ribat – a fortress-monastery of guilt which in case of danger defended the city and the rest of the time spent in prayer and study of the Quran for further promotion of the population.
During the construction of Ribat Arabs actively used earlier surviving fragments of ancient buildings – and then nothing good to disappear.
Like other architectural monuments of Sousse Ribat is in excellent condition and is open for visits. Entrance fee – 7 + 1 dinar for photo / video shooting. That’s only in comparison with the previously seen Monastirsk they Ribat Ribat Sousse seemed to us, not something that would be small, but somehow it is very compact, like a toy. And we walked around and around and deciding that nothing new will not see inside, chose to dive into the tangled streets of the medina.
And do not regret. From what we have seen medinas (Monastir, Tunisia, Sousse), this was the most interesting. It was erected in the IX century. and now ranks among the UNESCO World Heritage Site. In its streets you can walk, walk and walk …
Narrow and winding streets, shopping arcades with bored sellers.
Medieval covered markets.
Clean and well maintained, especially if exposed to show tourists the streets with intricate doorways, gates and houses-museums.
And, of course, the endless maze of residential areas.
Alternately, we felt, the day trippers in the vast museum, the heroes of Mironov Diamond hands when he ran through the city in search of a stranger out of the creepy dead-end streets.
No matter how interesting the medina, but the heat and fatigue has not been canceled. It was time to get out beyond the walls. And as soon as we think about it, the legs themselves carried us to the exit. We faced a monument to the fighters for independence of Tunisia.
Escape from the heat and fatigue, would cost in some cozy cafe, but nothing we have not met the right. Take a dip in the sea – also a good option, we decided, and headed for the beach, the more authoritatively stated that Wikipedia “Sandy beaches of Sousse – one of the most popular in Tunisia.”
And here again, here you please wait / reality. Seen us … confused: dirty sand, dirty sea, dirty kids and wrap up in his rags grandmother.
Swim got sick, fever and fatigue piled with double force. I had to go back to Monastir. We decided that for the first time experience enough – so his reconnaissance. And they were sure that necessarily extirpate ourselves in Sousse again to visit the Kasbah and the catacombs “Good Shepherd” and still wander through the medina. But, as is often the case when there are so many new and interesting for reps do not have time. And this “exploration” and remains the only trip to Sousse.
Travel time – June 2013