The Islamic Republic of Iran

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The last time I visited was in the days of the Shah of Persia, about two years before the ayatollahs took over, and I have little recollection of anything that long ago! The Air Arabia flight left, appropriately, from Sharjah, one of […]

Dubai ~ Abu Dhabi

  Ibn Batuta shopping mall    Exotic car showroom which doubles as the Dubai agent for Nepal Airways  The fountains at Dubai Mall – by the same guys who did Bellagio in Vegas  View from Dubai Mall  Date palm grove near the Omani border  Dunes for buggying on  Ski Dubai; slope and bobsled run in […]

Tunisia

 Residence L’Oued, Tozeur  Lunch for 5.5TD, or about $3.50 Tozeur and the 10square km palm grove fed by desert springs        Dates ready to fall!  Chott el Djerid, the largest salt pan of the Sahara with a surface area of over 7,000 km2 [otw_is sidebar=otw-sidebar-2]

Istanbul

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Tourists

“The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.” G.K. Chesterton         I know that every foreigner who comes here influences the place (just think of Mark Anthony), but there are foreigners and then there are tourists. I couldn’t figure why the only international flights I […]

Albania via Greece to Cairo

      As I write this, with the green fields of the Nile Valley flashing by the train window, it is extremely hard to conceive that just one week ago I was taking a similarly long trip in what now seems a different world. The only similarity is that I am the only foreigner […]

Cultural disconnects

What a culture shock; Sri Lanka to Dubai. But even before leaving Sri Lanka, on the way out of Trincomalee, I saw the last of three fancy-looking children’s playground with very colourful and carefully constructed equipment (lord forbid the little angels should learn to take care). Now there are plenty of things the children of […]

Beirut

      Beirut is a fascinating city of huge contrasts.Poverty and wealth.Religions juxtaposed.Evidence of a great street-wise hussling culture. Where you can find a cafe worthy of St Germain opposite totally derelict land.    Where there is the latest Mercedes gullwing sports on show at the airport and a Ferrari dealership in the city […]

Syria

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