We checked out of the hotel, and got a cab for the 20 minute drive to our hotel, el Mouradi Djerba Menzel. The tourist zone was long and developed, not really my style but it would be fun and relaxing for a few days. Our 4 star hotel (which had was no more than a good budget price on the internet, due to low season), was enormous! There was a car barricade and security control, and they immediately put yellow bands on our wrists to show that we were half board clients. In this respect it felt like a holiday camp environment - a Tunisian Butlins! With all the activities and ameneties, they obviously weren't expecting clients to leave the hotel much! I find the "holiday prison camp" phenomenen a bit scary - an isolated European ghetto in the middle of a very different culture - artificial in that respect!
Well, we didn't mind a bit of luxury though, and we were of course free to come and go as we pleased.
We jumped up and down when we saw our room - more like a suite with a sitting area, large entrance with huge cupboards, fridge and personal safe, a big, tiled bathroom and king-sized bed. We also had a TV and a balcony with sea view. Man, we weren't used to this! The hotel also had buildings formed like traditional menzels - white domed houses built according to a special pattern.
Paul Eric found the TV control and was happy for a while, whilst I took a look around.
We were hungry, not having had lunch. We managed to find the hotel shop and bought biscuits, juice and crisps. We were also able to order coke and coffee outside in the sunshine.
It was quite warm against the shelter of the wall. After that we found our swimmers and enjoyed the warm, indoor pool, with its transparent dome which let in the sunshine, and pretty green plants.
It was really too cold to swim in the outside pools.
Then we changed for dinner and descended to the massive dining-room, where Germans, Italians, and French helped themselves from the wide selection. During all our trip we never met any other Brittish, and only one other Scandinavian family - Danes. The fare was ok - international with free drinks.
After dinner we took an evening trip to the nearby town of Midoun, the second largest on the island. Here we walked around, bought water and sweets, and enjoyed wonderful tea and coffee in a trendy café, full of young Tunisians enjoying coffee, shisha and a juke-box. Paul Eric was so happy with his perfume for only 2.5 dinars. The day ended with TV, where there was one English-speaking channel.
Sitting in the quiet of the pretty tiled courtyard for breakfast, with a deep pink cascade of flowers up the wall was just one of those simple pleasures that made me so happy that morning! The breakfast was also delicious! We had until 12pm to check out, so we went for another walk, used the internet and looked at the fixed-price shop for future reference! (The fixed-price shop tells you the maximum you should pay when bargaining elsewhere)! We bought a couple of souvenir mugs here. Paul Eric wanted to relax at the hotel, and meanwhile I checked out the covered market with its spices and morning fish auction. This was quite an experience, as the fish-seller perches high on a "throne" with strings of fish to show. The market was so full of buyers (mostly men) that it was difficult to see. I suppose a lot of the fish ends up at local restaurants.