Douz, Tunisia; Christmas 2006
In 2006 we were tossing up our options for how to spend Christmas and use up our annual holiday leave. We’d already done the whole white Christmas in the Austrian Alps two years previously and this year we did not feel up for the whole hoopla. So we decided to try to escape Christmas.
Tunisia seemed perfect. It is primarily a Muslim country and most Tunisians do not celebrate Christmas. (Jesus is acknowledged as a minor prophet in Islam but not as the son of God). We wanted to go and see the amazing Roman and medieval Arabic architecture, the beaches and cities, and desert culture. (I have previously written about the Roman ruins at Dougga).
We spent Christmas Day in Douz, an oasis town surrounded by date groves in the Sahara Desert. We went for the Sahara Festival, which is held over several days every December. It includes a range of entertainment – from music and dance to camel fights.
We didn’t manage to escape Christmas though. Deserts get cold at night and it was the middle of winter. Our bargain-basement hotel with cement floors was freezing and the blankets were thin. We snuggled up to one another all night and the next morning checked out early, resolved to stump up the cash for the five-star monstrosity on the edge of town.
The hotel was far more comfortable but we did have to endure an expensive and rather dreadful three-course Christmas dinner that included an omelette for my vegetarian boyfriend (now husband). There was a gingerbread cake set up outside the dining room that was prodded by children all day – and that was served up as our dessert!
The Sahara Festival was quite fun though and made for some great photographs. I also enjoyed our camel-back excursion into the desert and gorging myself on fresh dates.
This is my submission for Photo Friday, a weekly blogging feature run by Debbie of Delicious Baby. Please visit her site to see all this week’s submissions.