Längerer Beitrag – schneller Überblick:
We decide to visit Tunis when we have a little more Tunisian experience and a better feeling for the country and its people. We want to get out into the countryside first.
Aquae Carpitane, Korbous
The path and my 1995 old guidebook (Gerd laughs every single time I take it out) lead us to a healing spring that can cure all rheumatism ailments and also cracked feet. Stinking water with a temperature of almost 60 degrees bubbles out of the rocks, directly into the sea.
We take a look, but because we don't have cracked feet or rheumatism, we just stroll by, don't let anyone smear us in the face or anywhere else, and don't go swimming. We realise that we first have to arrive.
In the café next door I get my first "café arabe", it reminds me of the Greek coffee with sugar and lots of coffee grounds that I learned to love in Koroni 2020 and have been drinking ever since, although without sugar, in Felix.
But the best thing about this café are the cats. We order extra fish, which we feed to the cats at almost 80%. They also eat fries, by the way. Later, a goat joins us, it's keen on the salad. And we? We are happy! We are finally back in a country with cats. When we leave the table, it doesn't take a second and the cats take care of disposing of our table scraps.
Grottoes of El Haouaria
Further on our way we come to the grottoes of El Haouaria. These are actually historically valuable, but for lack of money they cannot be maintained and are therefore closed. What attracts us here more than the caves is the possibility of standing directly by the sea and spending the night.
"Le patron" of the restaurant lets us spend the night directly on his car park with the best view of the sea, and as a thank you we have dinner with him. We learn from him that he has countless grandchildren in Switzerland, Germany and France. He proudly tells us about them. He says nothing about the number of his grandchildren in Tunisia, just smiles and remains silent. And here we are again being asked how many children we have. Not whether we have children, no, they want to know how many. Our answer, two, is in the lower third of the rating, we feel. Maybe we will soon think of a few more children to gain respect....
Tunisia wouldn't be Tunisia if they didn't have a solution for the grotto: We can visit it, of course. The barrier fence? It doesn't matter, you can get around it. Najim, who is waiting for visitors in front of the grottoes, takes us along, explains, shows, inspires us. He speaks incessantly in French, English and German. It's a mess, but still easy to understand. We hear about 3500 slaves, black African slaves, as he points out, who mined sandstones here in the 7th century BC, which were then brought to Carthage by ship.
We learn that Generalfeldmarschall Rommel brought down the caves in 1942 with a bombardment. He beams at the name Rommel, I am confused, I had in my memories that it was a Nazi commander. Later I read something else about it, and yes, Rommel was commander of the German Africa Corps under Hitler. His further history is more than contradictory, but I won't be able to clarify that here, sitting in Felix, looking out to sea.
The day draws to a close, the sun sets romantically and we hole up in our cottage, only to be woken up several times during the night by heavy storms and rain. But we are safe, we feel good and are slowly arriving in Tunisia.
News #1 On 24 June we will give a talk about our trip in the van in Konolfingen, Bern, Switzerland. All info and the possibility to Registration here. We look forward to seeing you!
News #2 I am currently writing a book about the encounters on our journey. If you would like to test-read a chapter or two this summer, please contact me by email.
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