Another day, another country, although it was only a very short stop in this north African city. After disembarking, we found ourselves a driver (Neno—he was Italian), dodged the mafia and headed to the markets right in the centre of the city. This area reminded Terry and I of the Africa we visited 12 yeas ago. We had to keep a good eye on the kids and our wallets, and had to barter for everything. God forbid you should actually point to something or pick it up. The salesmen and women were typically pushy. The boys were lured to a stall by, much to their delight, a chameleon and I was surprised when I didn’t have to pay for taking the photos. Poor bloody chameleon though. After finding Neno again we had a quick look at a part of Carthage, St Louis Cathedral and a mosque before heading to the fishing town of Sidi Bou Said…where the local hardware store must do a roaring trade on white and blue paint. It was very picturesque and had a slower pace than the city. Then it was back to the ship.
Villefranche (technically Villefranche-sur-Mer) in France was our first port of call and, when we woke after steaming through the night, the sun was just rising over a nearby mountain and starting to shine on the town. After breakfast we were transported by tender to shore where we had a few hours to explore the town and the nearby fort. The covered street, Rue Obscura, was partially closed for repairs but still pretty cool. The fort had beautiful gardens…and the boys even found some wildlife!