Oh right, I almost forgot. This is a weight loss blog. Huuummm!!! Still haven't been doing much about my weight loss goals ... just coasting along day after day eating whatever I feel like which invariably means that I eat breakfast and dinner and skip lunch. I'm going to New York on Thursday which doesn't bode well for my eating but does bode very well for my exercise.
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Accommodation - As mentioned James and I stayed in locally owned accommodations which all had their own personalities. Here are my top 6 favourites:
A troglodyte dwelling is essentially a cave. To survive the intense summer temperatures of Southern Tunisia, the Berber learnt to create dwellings under the earth where they were able to stay cool. I'm prone to claustrophobia and was a little freaked out at the idea of sleeping underground, but the troglodytes were really well designed and cozy and I actually enjoyed the experience.
These were our beds in the Bedouin tent in the oasis of Ksar Guilane in the Sahara. The tent was amazingly well insulated which was a good thing because the temperature at night felt more like the South Pole than the Sahara. I wish I'd taken a picture of the outside.
The Phoenicians (modern day Lebanese), the Romans, the Ottomans (one area of modern day Turkey), the Byzantines (another area of modern day Turkey), the Arabs, and last of all the French have all left they mark on Tunisia.
As mentioned before the Arabs are responsible for much of the wonderful architecture to be found throughout Tunisia, such as this monument to the first President of independent Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba.
and the French built all the Nouvelle Villes like this one already shown.
The tunnel Gladiators walked through on their way to meet their deaths. Gives new meaning to the saying 'I can see the light at then end of the tunnel'.
Part of a mosaic which tells the story of Ulysses. Here Ulysses is bound to the mass of his ship so he cannot respond to the call of the sirens.
These two columns to be found in the Great Mosque of Kairouan were recycled from one of the many roman ruins around the country.
Just a collection of random things I found interesting:
Okay I know how to read it and what it means, but how do I say it?
These dried chili peppers are used to make harissa, a red hot paste which is used as a condiment and/or as an ingredient in Tunisian cuisine.
I could do a whole photo essay on the benches of the world. It is incredible how much variety can be found in such a simple functional public object.
Now who knew that cork grows on trees? I didn't. Actually, I never though about it until we visited this cork forest. The cork has been removed from most of the bark of this cork oak tree, leaving some cork bark only towards the top. Apparently, a cork oak must be at least 25 years old before its bark can be harvested. Its cork can then be stripped every 8 to 14 years after that for as long as the tree lives.
Traditional Berber ankle bracelets and wooden shoes shown on a mannequin. I guess they're designed to keep women from running away.
Almost every town has some sort of sculpture at it's entrance and exit. I though this one was really lovely.
Tunisia has an amazing system of well kept roads. But the drivers are insane. Here is an example of the kind of craziness that needs to be monitored by someone.
Craftsman working patiently to embed silver in this carpet comb.
The Great Mosque of Kairouan is the oldest Muslim place of prayer in North Africa and is commonly regarded as the fourth holiest site in IslamafterMecca, Medina and Jerusalem.
This Bedouin instrument sounds a little like a bagpipe. It is made from gazelle skin and various horns.
Public transport taking the Bedouine to the oasis town of Douz 100 kilometers away.
Would also be interesting to do a series of photos on the various animals one is warned to look out for on the highways from one country to the next.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Lately, I haven't felt like blogging. Can't explain why. Every time I thought about writing it just felt like too much effort. It hasn't helped that I have been super busy.
I quickly found out though, that not blogging poses a danger to my staying on track. My food, exercise and water intake have been patchy ... sometimes disastrous and obviously I haven't been happy with that.
On the other hand, I have been feeling quite happy with my life. Last week the sun began to shine in London and the weather turned warm and balmy. London is the kind of city that needs the sun. It transforms the place ... somewhat.
James and I did some spring cleaning and spring planting on Saturday, had a friend over on Sunday and it was so beautiful we were able to have our lunch out on the patio.
This morning I did half and hour on the elliptical trainer and then lifted some free weights. Think I'll begin to post my food again starting tomorrow.
Thanks to you all for your kind words and encouragement. I will press on as must you.