My friend Sun and I took the train down to see the coliseum in El Jem. Okay, technically it's an amphitheater but we'll call it a coliseum just to make the purists mad. It's second to the one in Rome in size and better preserved. El Jem is about 130 miles from here and I thought the landscape would vary a little since we were headed so far south, but no, it doesn't. It's 130 miles of olive groves. And more olive groves. And look over there! Another olive grove.
There were also wee villages each with their own mosque and several flocks of sheep. Some day I'll tell you of my plan to become a shephard. It just seems like such an idyllic life.
When you get into El Jem you walk about a block from the train station and the coliseum is right there. It is pretty spectacular.
They held chariot races and gladiator fights here. And now they hold music festivals. Which seems a bit like a let down.
They had a few signs saying things like "Stairs" and "Chairs" and "Toilets" but what we really wanted was a sign that said, "This way to the underground tunnels where they used to house lions and slaves." We found them without it.
Here is Sun going towards the lights
After the coliseum we followed the one sign to the museum which ended up being across town. They have some really impressive mosaics that were found in the area. All the signs for the pieces said things like "Found on the land of So and So." Can you imagine being an olive farmer and one day you're out pruning and you stumble across an ancient Roman mosiac?
Here are some killer ducks and dolphins.
And here's a tiger eating the face off of a slave.
Or, translated into modern times, a feral cat eating the face off of a tourist.