Day two in Tunis i took the train North to Carthage and Sidi Bou Said. Having mastered the medina (well, the middle bit) I walked from my hostel to the train station and bought a 2nd class ticket for Carthage.
A 2nd class ticket for the ~35 minute ride was less than a dollar. First class was 2 or 3 times more. The only difference between classes was the padding on the seats and how crowded 2nd class gets. It was an easy train ride; the stations were marked and the map made sense. I got off at Carthage Hannibal to see the ruins of Carthage.
A word of advice if you are reading this and trip planning, as the site is not at all well marked. To get to Bursa Hill and the museum and surrounding sights, walk up the hill from the train station (with your back to the water). At about the top of the hill is a road on the left heading further uphill. Take that road. If you start going downhill, you've gone too far. Do not, as I did, keep walking for another 30+ minutes only to have to turn around and go back.
It just required a bit too much imagination. Certainly it gives the history some context, which I like, but i just can't get excited about ruins anymore unless they resemble what they were, like the colosseum or Ephesus. After about two hours I was done.
Back on the train, I went to Sidi Bou Said, an impossibly picturesque town atop a hill overlooking the sea. The whole town is whitewashed with blue shutters, doors, and accents. Purple flowering vines creep over walls and orange trees fill the air with the strong scent of their blossoms.
It is definitely a tourist draw, but rightly so. It was a delight to walk the streets, at each turn another perfect sight. Around the edges shops sold pottery, dresses, paintings, and souvenirs. Cafés, ice cream stands, and sidewalk sweets vendors lured in the visitors. I had lunch at a curb side eatery: vegetarian couscous.
The fact that I was able to find my way back to my hostel in the medina in the dark without a map, was a minor victory.