April 9-18, 2009

Oct. 24, 2014: I recreated the Tunisia trip pages; if you find a problem let me know!

This was a one-week Andante Travels tour, with only Margaret and myself coming from the States this time.

The photos are "geotagged".  This adds GPS data (latitude, longitude, elevation, etc.) to the photo metadata, just as the camera brand and model, date and time, exposure info, etc. are automatically recorded by the camera itself.  Therefore, you can see exactly where each photo was taken, usually to within a few meters.  Unfortunately, the MobileMe web site will only display the GPS info, it doesn't actually map it directly at this time.

The photos here are not edited, except for the GPS info, though some would benefit from some adjustments.  They’re size-reduced for the web, but I’d be happy to send you individual photos or a DVD with the full-resolution photos.

Note: Originally the photos were showing incorrect times, but I believe this has now been corrected, as long as you ignore “PDT.”  (Something switched from Tunisia time to Fort Collins time, introducing a 7-hour discrepancy!)

If you have Google Earth installed, the “Day N.kmz” links will let you see the journey for each day, small but viewable copies of the photos, etc.  Depending on your web browser and OS, you may need to unzip the file, then open the folder and double-click on the .kml file.

Similarly, the “Day N (GMap).zip” links will show a Google Maps-based view of each day.  Depending on the browser and OS, you may need to unzip the file, then open the folder and double-click on the “index.html” file.  There’s no special software needed here, just a web browser.

UPDATE: I’ve also uploaded my pictures to the Picasa site, which does an excellent job of map integration, maybe even better than the above links.

This is the first time I’ve played with geotagging, or with Google Earth/Maps.  If you have problems, or suggestions, let me know!

The following itinerary is from the Andante website, with the “Day N” graphics replaced by text, one typo corrected, a few comments added in [brackets], and the addition of the “photos,” “Day N.kmz,” and “Day N (GMap).zip” links to the photo galleries, Google Earth files, and Google Maps files, respectively, for each day.


Day One    photos

[For Margaret and myself, day zero was riding from Fort Collins to Denver, then flying to London.  We spent most of the day in Heathrow Terminal 2; an already long layover was extended by our inbound flight arriving early and the flight to Tunis departing late!]  Arrive Tunis and drive to hotel.

[Photo IMG_0003 was manually geotagged for Heathrow.]

Day Two    photos    Day 2.kmz    Day 2 (GMap).zip

The Bardo Museum, in a former Royal Palace, houses one of the best

collections of Roman mosaics in the world. Afternoon in Carthage; although

the ancient city has now been absorbed into the suburbs of Tunis, the

international ‘Save Carthage’ campaign has revealed many pieces of the

jigsaw, and a good glimpse can be gained of how it looked in Punic and Roman

times. At the Byrsa Hill site, where Princess Dido is said to have first founded

her city, a good section of late Punic housing can be seen. The foundation

levels of the enormous Roman Antonine Baths still dominate the sea-front by

the current Presidential Palace; the Punic and Roman harbour is visible

between the modern houses and the sacrificial tophet site, where the

cremated remains of thousands of children have been found, still retains a

sombre atmosphere.

[Photos IMG_0004 - IMG_0039 were manually geotagged to match IMG_0040.]

Day Three    photos    Day 3.kmz    Day 3 (GMap).zip

The Cap Bon peninsula, including the ruinous town of Kerkouane, the only

Phoenician town so far found in Tunisia which was not built over in Roman

times. Fascinating details of everyday life have been revealed, including

houses with slipper baths, a temple and walls. This is one of the most fertile

regions of Tunisia, and the drive is particularly beautiful. Nabeul has a small

museum with some very fine mosaics, as well as the remains of garum tanks

where fermented fish sauce was made.

Day Four    photos    Day 4.kmz    Day 4 (GMap).zip

Dougga, possibly the most famous site of Roman Tunisia, stands majestically

against a steep hillside, with sweeping views out over the surrounding

countryside. The capitol is one of the most aesthetically pleasing ruins in the

world, and many of the houses still have mosaics in situ.

Day Five    photos    Day 5.kmz    Day 5 (GMap).zip

Bulla Regia, a unique Roman town with houses with major rooms

underground, some of them still with their beautiful figurative mosaic floors.

With walls and ceilings still complete you can get a very good idea of the

space used by the Roman occupants to get away from the heat of the African

sun. Chemtou, Roman settlement, with famous red marble quarries,

exploited by Numidians and Romans. The slave camp used by the workers is

visible from the hill-top sanctuary, and there is also an extensive but very

ruinous nearby town, with a bridge across the Medjerda River. An excellent

site museum tells the story of the settlement.

Day Six    photos    Day 6.kmz    Day 6 (GMap).zip

Across the plains to Thuburbo Maius, a Roman city lying untouched amidst

the fields, in a plain surrounded by distant hills and mountains - a

particularly beautiful setting. Zaghouan’s Nymphaeum was built by order of

Hadrian at the source of the spring which feeds the great aqueduct of

Carthage. Part of the aqueduct channel is still visible as it heads off down

the hill on a remarkably steep gradient, to be carried on arches over the

valley of the Oued Meliane, and then on to Carthage - a total distance of 56


[Photos IMG_0547 - IMG_0570 were manually geotagged to match IMG_0546.]

Day Seven    photos    Day 7.kmz    Day 7 (GMap).zip

The spectacular amphitheatre at El Djem and the site museum of Roman

Thysdrus, with excavated wealthy Roman townhouses in the gardens beyond.

One of these, the Africa House, called after a mosaic showing the head of the

personification of the province, has been rebuilt to show what it would once

have looked like. The museum and medina in Sousse. Both these museums

have some of the finest mosaics in Tunisia.

Day Eight    photos    Day 8.kmz    Day 8 (GMap).zip

[Our local guide was nice enough to give us a one-hour tour of the local medina (“old city”) before leaving Kairouan for the airport in Tunis.]  Depart from Tunis.

Day Nine    photos

[The Tunis flight arrives way too late to let us connect back to the States on Friday, so Margaret and I had booked hotel rooms near Heathrow.  The whole return trip was one of those things best forgotten as soon as possible, but in the end we made it home late Saturday afternoon, intact and with our luggage.]

Africa Proconsularis - 2009