Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More Roman Ruins, and a Comb-over

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.

Hi Mom!

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.

It was so nice to have someone to see the sights with.  I do a lot of things on my own here and while I'm a pretty solitary creature it's refreshing having someone to talk to.  Sun was great to have along.  And bonus, she speaks French.  I did zero pantomiming today.  I forget how much easier it is when you can actually communicate with people.  Thanks Sun!

And finally, I saw a lot of impressive things today, but probably the most impressive was this comb-over.  You can't tell from the picture but it sparkled in the setting sun.


Mom said...

Hi, Beautiful Rachel. Thanks for the pictures. They are awesome! Glad you had someone to roam with.

Camille said...

What a cool place. Is that where Mika is playing? Because that would be incredible. Love your pictures too. The one of Sun at the end of the tunnel is so rad.

Rach said...

That place is AMAZING!!! I'm glad someone got to come along with you. It's nice to have a picture of you at an awesome place. I LOVE the comb over. It reminds me of grandpa laycock.

Stephanie said...

A comb over in Africa? I didn't think they existed outside the walls of nursing homes and corporate America! How Americentric is that?

Sounds like a fantastic trip. So glad you were able to spend it with someone lovely.

colleeeen said...

That mosaic makes me super nostalgic for the Days of Yore. Assuming I wouldn't be a slave, that is.

The Katzbox said...

So happy my face is intact.

I was transfixed by the photos of arches. That would make a stunning collage of photos. Beautiful.

Krii said...

My favorite comment: Or, translated into modern times, a feral cat eating the face off of a tourist.

Hahahaha. Thanks for the photo's, too. I feel like I'm there with you. But, no, that is Sun. Darn.