TUNISIA / October 26, 2017
Tunisia is one of the first and the longest journey in my traveling history. Maybe one day I'll write a book about it, believe me or not, it's worth telling about. Anyway, putting all the less pleasant memories aside, I will focus on one of the most interesting part of it – traveling across Tunisia. In December 2010th, two weeks before Christmas I flew out from Warsaw airport straight to Enfidha. 'S.' was waiting for me there. The "S" was the person, who was "chauffeuring me" around the most interesting, possible for touring, places at that time and for the next several months It's an amazing feeling, when you are driving from the airport to the city, you don't have GPS or the map, and through the window you can see only wilderness or orchards of olive trees, you know where you are, and how far the Sousse is. It's like the way home. So then, I felt exactly like returning to my "holiday home", especially that at Sousse I had a few good friends, who had missed me as much as I had been missing them. They were waiting for me there.Getting back on track, I was out of time. December is to himself that the days are shorter than nights, and the nights are very cold, despite of this, there was no other way - I had to go. Lust for adventures and the ordinary human curiosity did not allow me to think in a different way. New day, new opportunities and new adventures.
I had already known Sousse quite well, so when I'd been planning sightseeing I'd skipped this city (I'd visited it in September, beginning from a tourist destinations and ending with dinner at home or engagement night at the darkest corner of the Akouda). The classical Monastir, historical El-Jam with the giant walls of the historic Coliseum, seaside and calm Mahdia, the traditional Kairouan, crowded capital - Tunis and lovely views of the sea and the port of Sidi Bou Said, Bizerte and Hammamet tourist resort with a huge adventure park - Cartagheland.  Each of those places had its own charm and gave me a huge portion of knowledge of the culture and approach how to live the life and how to see the world. I found them very interesting, but one of the most interesting was awaiting, and I had dreamed about it for months - travel to the Sahara.  
First thing in the morning we set off to get to our destination and to meet with my local friend –Nejib. Along the way, I can't explain why, I asked S. several times to stop, because I wanted to have a photo with a little lamb. After a few minutes, confirming his beliefs that anything else but the photo was what I had been dreaming about he stopped and asked the man with the herd of sheep, passing by the road, to grab the little lamb to get the photo. The man looked at me with a smile and grabbed the leg of a small, fluffy sheep. With a great joy I hugged the sheep - lamb was trying to escape. I was satisfied having beautiful photo with the sheep, so we could've continue our trip. After that I felt that something stinks in the car. I was convinced that one of us had a sheep's' poo on a shoe, hence the smell. However, after a few minutes, I noticed that it wasn't a poo it was my sweater, which get soaked by the smell of the sheep -  to tell the truth not sheep but the smell of an old stinky ram. There was no other way but to remove it and for the rest of our trip my sweater was in the trunk.  
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When we reached the Kebili surroundings, we stopped at the cafe near roadside, but to me it seemed like an abandoned ruin. After two minutes, it found out that we were driving in the right direction and surprisingly we had got coffee for free too. Apparently it's a tradition: when we are guests and we are the first time in Kebili. It was very nice, but after that I wasn't surprised, why the cafe looked so poorly. With such an approach, they won't make a fortune ... :)  img_0435_01 img_0334_01 We met Nejib at the location. He took us to his family home. We were greeted there by the whole family: parents, aunts, children, brothers and sisters. Seriously, so far I did not know who is who and what about family connections. We were offered a real Arabic coffee, and it was just before midnight, I found that even I won't fall asleep for another half the night, I definitely couldn't omitted this opportunity. Coffee was definitely unusual - greasy eyes floating on the surface, showed its value. After a long time spent at Nejibs' home I decided to go to the hotel to rest before the next day.  img_1429_01 untitled-4 In the morning, after the breakfast, we met a group of musicians with a flag of Algeria, around the hotel. It was another interesting event of our journey. img_0613_01 sahara_01 Another highlight - was a trip to the oasis of Douz and to the desert. It's amazing what kind of feelings I had while I was in the desert. Such a silence and peace of mind. You can totally cut off from everything around you - from the problems of everyday life, literally from everything. Although, it seemed to me that this would be the end of the greatest adventures of our journey, it turned out quite differently. After a wonderful journey into the desert we met Nejibs' family again. This time we were dressed in traditional Arabic outfit, in which (because of my figure, and unfortunately, the huge size of my hips) I didn't feel well. However, it didn't matter to me. The worse was the clothing in all these materials and scarves at such high for me temperature – it was December, but the temperature was like a warm, pleasant spring day in Poland. Disguised, we went to the oasis, there they turned the music on and told me to dance. It was fun - definitely they could laugh at me, because an Arabic music is not my favorite one - particularly to dance. Coming back from the oasis, we passed by the nearby house to do henna on my hand. It was the home of a woman who paint the henna and the entrance to the room was only for women. img_0851_01 img_0852_01 img_1301_01 img_1166_01 img_0940_01 img_1748_01 img_2211_01 img_2458_01 Once the henna was done, I went out with one hand wrapped in a plastic bag. Any time when air enters inside the bag to the hand it began to pinch, so I tried not to remove the bag before appointed time. We returned home. We changed our clothes to "normal", and we were invited to a wonderful dining experience. The whole table was served with a huge amount of food and fruits, but at the table only 4 of us. I felt a little bit strange – like a princess. All of this was very nice and I couldn't deny that this was one of my best trip ever. We received the trunk of fresh dates, pears and other fruits on the way back home and as a souvenir I got a beautiful azure necklace.   There is nothing better than the opportunity of spending time at home with your family or friends and tasting traditional dishes. The most interesting experience is to associate with tradition and different cultures. The tourist resorts are nice and it's pleasant to visit them, but to learn about the culture and the country is to associate with people, talk, tasting traditional dishes and trying to live as they do. Definitely, it is the most important what kind of people we are meeting on our way in life, and I must admit that I have an enormous luck to meet the right people.  Unfortunately, due to cultural circumstances and to respect the family I couldn't publish all the photos from the trip. Maybe one day ;) img_0420-01