Mercian Travel

Royal Chelsea Pensioners visit to Tunisia


Port El KantaouiThursday was a relaxing day of pleasureable mixed bowling in the morning, if wanted or sight seeing around the hotel and Port El Kantaoui buying local souvenirs, leather goods, carpets, copper or pottery ornaments, whilst these can be found around the Marina of El Kantaoui, many of the shops are 'fixed price' and you need to go into Sousse to barter for goods.

Port El KantaouiThe port is a modern resort but never far away from the Tunisia of old.

A culture un-changed for centuries, with bustling bazaars and the twisting streets of the ancient town.




Golf Course imageShould you wish to play golf, the Rui Green Park Hotel is surrounded by superb golf courses where you can arrange a round or two at quite a reasonable rate. when clubs and buggies are for hire if required.


Sousse is only a short taxi ride away and at most will cost five dinars the present equivalent of £2.50 for two sharing the cost, and where you can should you wish indulge in 'bartering'.


For instance one of our ladies wanted to buy a handbag and saw one she liked and on enquiring the price was told 80 dinar (£40 approx) telling the seller that she only had 30 dinar and no more she started to walk away and the seller chased after her and offered the handbag to her for 30 dinar (£15). This lady happened to be 95 years of age! If she can barter so can you!


Monastir imageFriday arrived our final day's activities, once again the Saphir Voyage coach came for us at the reasonable hour of 9.15am. Once more Col. Nigel Gilbert had the men mustered for a photo shoot on the steps of the Rui Green Park, with instructions as to where whom was going to stand for best effect, we grinned, smiled, and bore it.


First President Habib Bourgiba TombOn the coach we headed towards Monastir and the tomb of the revered First President Habib Bourgiba.

A wonderful construction built on instructions of the President fifteen years prior to his death. President Bourgiba is credited with bringing Tunsia into the 20th century and giving his people independence from the French and ensuring that education was given freely to all children and all are given the opportunity of going on to university.

In fact most the the young people are taught at least four languages. After visiting the mausoleum we had a short trip round the harbour and then onto Sousse.

Sousse Shopping MadinaThe coach dropped us off at the main shopping thoroughfare and we all had quite a walk to a small house which is set out as a museum depicting living accommodation as it used to be. Entering a large wooden doorway into a spacious courtyard with rooms off, very ornately decorated and including a primitive bathroom.


RUI Green Park PoolSome of the men declined to visit the house as it was set up quite a steep road and preferred to stay in the heart of the town waiting for us to return. Afterwards we had a little free time for shopping but all of us were glad to be back on the coach going back to the hotel for drinks, lunch, and a bowling match set up with the Mercian group for the final game. Those who came to play enjoyed themselves and those who chose to rest caught the final afternoons sun around the pool.

Our final evening arrived and goodness knows where Gordon got to, but we enjoyed ourselves and goodnights were said in quite a raucous way.

Chelsea Pensioners in TunisiaSaturday the men were once again in their blazers and greys ready to face their return journey to good old Blighty having had we hope a different holiday and one they will remember. We know we enjoyed their company and look forward to meeting them again when we play bowls against them at Waterloo Square, Bognor Regis.

We would like to give thanks to Mercian Travel, who arranged the Pensioners travel and itenary and the Rui Green Park Hotel for their hospitality and made sure that our accommodation and facilities were first class.

Royal Chelsea Pensioners Gallery


Mercian Travel