Tunisia
Gouvernorat de Mahdia

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  • Day3

    El Jem (El Mehdia)

    August 17 in Tunisia

    Bsisa at breakfast.

    Feiza opens her hands and says “dix” and she means in the delicious spread called Bsisa there are at least ten different ingredients. Barley, cumin, dates, olive oil, sugar, anis, coriander and who knows what else. The result is excellent, I spread Bsisa on the freshly baked bread with a drop of honey and everyone looks at me thinking I am strange.

    Shall we go to El Jem today? I say yes, though I know they need to sleep. They want me to be happy, to take the best from my staying with them, I feel I’m a special guest.
    El Jem is a real gem. It is the second largest amphitheatre of Roman times after the Coliseum and it was built in the city of the Roman Empire then called Thysdrus. Big quantities of olive oil were produced here when the climate was less dry than today. Thysdrus and Sousse competed for the second place after the very well known city of Carthage.
    The oval monument in the blinding sun is astonisting and I feel like home thinking of Cuma, Pompei and all the Roman ruins contemporary to El Jem. On the way back home we try to reach the huge salt pans (Salines) but the road conditions discourage us and we drive home safely.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gouvernorat de Mahdia, Mahdia

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