30th May 2012
29.05.2012 - 30.05.2012
Our call to the land of nod had been speedily answered. Our heads had disappeared into (semi-sweet) scented feather pillows and we had lain snug beneath our open sleeping bags; we slept soundly until the locals began screaming for God again. The first Muslim call to prayer came from somewhere distant in the town at around three thirty of four o’clock. The second came from what felt like three inches outside of the canvas of our tent. Fortunately it was more tuneful than most, we’d heard our fair share and we relaxed a little in the knowledge it wouldn’t last long. As it turned out, God must have been home because the call was answered, the singing stopped and we slipped back into unconsciousness.
We drove to yet another Roman city of El Djem. There we found a most magnificent amphitheatre. It was the fourth largest in all the Roman Empire and whilst it is not as big as the ones in Rome, Carthage or Capua it is easily the best preserved. We climbed into the tiers of what was essentially a two thousand year old sports stadium. In the centre of the arena a hole led to where the gladiators, criminals and wild animals had been kept. In its day there had been a lift that brought those men and beast from below and up to the arena, there men fought and killed each other in the name of entertainment. The view was rather nice and the building quite dramatic.
The museum was open too and in it we were treated to exquisite mosaics of the highest order. Gods, animals, seasons and food all depicted in surprising detail on floors that were now hung from the museums walls.
We wrote more postcards and bought another teapot from a chap who swore it was solid silver, a lie, and then swore it was from 1925, probably a lie, and then swore we couldn’t have it for less than a hundred dinars, the last one was definitely a lie.
We elected to stop short of Tunis in the seaside town of Hammamat; and we celebrated our journey with our first beer for two and a half thousand kilometres.