Day By Day

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tunisia Trip -- Part Six

Our next stop was the Antonine Baths, constructed by the Romans in the Second Century AD. After the destruction of Carthage in 146 BC the site was rebuilt as a Roman city. Eventually it became the third largest city in the empire and these baths were famous as the largest in the Roman world. The upper levels are long gone, but the lower structures that remain are impressive enough.

The ruins overlook a gorgeous seascape.

and they lie close to the presidential estates, which explains the presence of heavily armed guards. We were warned not to point our cameras in their direction, but this guy wasn't looking so....

We were not the only visitors to the site. There were these guys -- a species of ptarmigan I was told. They seemed completely unfazed by the presence of large numbers of curious humans.

Leaving the baths we made a brief visit to a small Roman amphitheater nearby

and from there traveled to the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial. This was one of the emotional high points of the tour.

One of the members of our tour group had an uncle buried here and the administrators arranged for a brief ceremony honoring the fallen in which all the veterans in our group participated. Reading the names of those who died, touching the wreath commemorating the unknowns, and walking through the cemetery may seem trivial activities to some, but I will carry the memory for the rest of my life.

A final stop at some impressive Roman-era cisterns overlooking the city, and we were on our way back to the hotel for lunch. Quite a lot of territory to cover in just one morning.

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