Caves, Ferries, and Beaches, Oh My!

Trip Start Sep 23, 2009
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Trip End Oct 05, 2009


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Flag of Tunisia  ,
Monday, September 28, 2009

We continue driving south this morning to the seaside oasis of Gabes. The lovely view of palm trees is somewhat marred by the drive along a row of shops where sheep have recently been slaughtered, and are being drained of blood and having their hides removed.

The terrain begins to change dramatically now into the barren, otherworldly landscape that first attracted George Lucas to this area for his Star Wars locations. Our first stop in Matmata is at a cave dwelling to see an example of how such people live. Our hostess demonstrates how to mill grains using a stone wheel, shows us around her well decorated holes, and then serves us mint tea with fresh bread we could dip in a mixture of olive oil and honey. Delicious!

Next stop is the Sidi Dris Hotel, which is one of the old sets from the Star Wars franchise. It was the exterior shot for the cantina on Mos Isley. We eat an interesting lunch in one of the caves, then continue on to the island of Djerba, which we reach via a ferry crossing.

Today is the Jewish Holy Day of Yom Kippur, and we think it would be an appropriate day to visit the famous El Ghriba Synagogue. Unfortunately, because this place was the site of a terrorist attack in 2002, it is closed to visitors today. We will make time to return another day.

We arrive at our wonderful beachfront hotel and enjoy a couple of hours to swim and explore the area before dinner. We're all delighted to be parking ourselves here for a couple of days!
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Where I stayed
Sofitel Palm Beach Hotel

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