Tunisia - Honeymoon (and last all-in ever)
2006 – For our honeymoon holiday we decided to go to Tunisia. As our individual travelling experience was limited to choosing from a catalog in a travel agency and go to destinations like Ibiza, Majorca, … we decided to try something new. It was the time that people started to book their travels through the internet. Writing this, in May 2018, it all sounds so far away. I cannot imagine anymore to go to a travel agency in order to book a holiday.
Although we had a great travel experience and were happy at that time, this is not the type of travel we would book ever again. All-in formulas are not our thing anymore. We prefer eating in some small local restaurant, meet locals and experience the real country.
Anyway, we departed from Lille (Rijsel) in France, and when we arrived well on time, we learned our flight was delayed. The previous flight from Lille towards Monastir (I think) was still on its way. Meaning people had to leave the plane, crew had to clean the plane, embark new passengers, fly back to Lille, clean the plane and get us boarded… This caused a delay of about 8 hours. Back then, we were not experienced, did not asked for compensation and did not dare to at least go to the city for a couple of hours with a taxi on the costs of the airline. At that time, we stayed 8 hours on the airport. Everyone which has been at Lille airport, knows it’s small and nothing to do. So it were long, long hours… But hey, we were on our honeymoon…
As said, we stayed in our first (and last) all-in stay ever in Hotel El Mouradi Club Selima, with direct access to the beach. The complex exists out of plenty of small villas. From what I remember the room was good. We got some fruit basket and bottle of wine because it was our honeymoon.
You had 2 restaurants where you could eat. One was the buffet restaurant and in the other you could choose from the menu. I remember the desserts in the buffet restaurant were great 🙂 Next to that you had a general bar, a Moors pub (coffee and water pipe), a pool bar and a beach bar. We could get local drinks for free all day long.
As a day excursion we took a taxi from our resort and went to Sousse. We started with visiting the UNESCO World Heritage monument Medina of Sousse. From there we went to some local market and wandered around in the city.
In the hotel they warned us to stay in the center and not deviate too much. However, as we are curious and wanted to see everything, suddenly we were a bit outside the real center and were immediately approached by some dodgy person trying to get money from us. We said not being interested and continued to walk but he followed us. After a while the person became quite aggressive and we were not fully comfortable, so we tried to go as soon as possible back to the crowd. Once getting back in sight of other tourists he finally backed up. This is many years ago, and things probably have changed, but anyway, you might take this in mind while visiting Sousse. Well, you might keep this advise in mind no matter where you go.
For the rest we had a nice afternoon in Sousse, before heading back to our resort.
While wandering around the streets we came across a local butcher. This is one example of how different countries are from another. We could not imagine seeing this in Belgium. A butcher like this would be closed after 1 minute of business.
One evening we went for a horse riding tour on the beach, with the sun going down, it was very romantic and although Tom is not a horse man, he managed to survive 🙂
One day when we were at the pool there was a diving initiative. You could try with a bottle on your back in the swimming pool. It costed a certain amount that you got as a reduction when booking a diving trip. As this was on the bucket list of Tom, we decided to go for it.
Looking back at that experience it was one of the most stupid thing we ever did. They picked us up from the hotel to a small harbor about 1 hour drive away. We had to get in a wet suit and after they brought us with a small boat offshore. Bottle on the back, a minute of explanation and there we went, in the water. We went down to 6 – 8 meters without knowing what we were doing. All went fine, and at the end we had a great experience but this was unacceptable.
In 2013 we went for a second diving trip and what a difference. We went to a certified school, got 1 hour theory course and before starting to dive, we had to do 15 minutes exercise while not being deeper in the water than our waste. Putting off and on your diving glasses under water, learn to switch to back air hose, get air from your buddy, … In Curacao we were prepared to go down under water and we would never do it otherwise. So good advice, never go diving with a dodgy company. When we told some friends who are experienced divers about our Tunisia diving experience they could not believe what we were saying. But again, back then in 2006, we were young and not thing about the danger linked to it.
This is a large artificial harbor which was built in 1979 specially as a tourist center. You can easily reach it from Club Selima via a beach walk of approximately 30 minutes. There are some shops, bars and restaurants.