Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Palermo & Tunisia

Palermo was great, the guy I stayed with, Carlo, was a terrific host and in 24 hours I managed to go out with his friends to a champagne bar to celebrate the first birthday of one of their kids right in the heart of the old city; go on to a spectacular outdoor club till the early hours; take in the Royal Palaces and cathedral and still have time just to bimble around the old city, have a great lunch in a square and enjoy the roof terrace at Carlos place before he helped me with my luggage to the port where I got the ferry to Tunis.

I lucked out sitting next to a nice couple from Greece who had driven down from Athens and with whom Ive been going to all the places I wanted to visit. The night on deck was a bit uncomfortable, choppy seas and people chucking their guts up overboard, yards from where we slept. Luckily ive got a cabin on the return journey.

Ive nerded out on loads of Roman and Carthiginian history, visiting the spectacular Bardo museum which houses possibly the finest collection of Mosaics in the World from different eras and been to the ancient ruins at Carthage. Rather touchingly the main museum there is housed next to the Cathedral and is in the Seminary where my Great Uncle received his order of commendation from the Pope (which I have framed at home in London).

In the last few days we have been camping under olive trees in the grounds of a really nice hotel in the seaside town of Nabuel. Just spent time reading, going to the beach and relaxing. I finally managed to complete not just 1 but 6 lengths in the hotel pool. My heavily pregnant swimming coach said by text how proud she was of her protege - though I have to thank Vangelis (the guy of the couple) for helping me with my technique.

Went for an early morning run today. I managed 4.5 miles in 40 minutes which was a minor miracle in the heat. Needless to say it is hot as anything out here. In the mid 30s. Im back down the beach to sit in the shade, paddle and take onboard loads of water. Off to Sousse and Kairouan before I head back to take the ferry to Rome on Saturday night.

In a bit. S x

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