"Life is like a puff of smoke, a wonderful seductive illusion..."
Sometimes when I look up to the sky, it happens that a plane is flying by... taking off to a far away destination somewhere over the rainbow and beyond the horizon... So now and then I ask myself where is the plane heading for... and what would the pilot say if I asked him whether or not he could fly me to the moon!? Maybe he would just smile and think: "What a silly request and what a silly boy"...
Every place of this world's got different colours, different people with different stories to tell... so if you feel like listening to some of my "travel" stories, feel free to click on the 'Subscribe' button below... and join me on my journeys! All comments are cordially welcome... :-)
Chi - raised and lives in Hamburg, Germany - Not native in English, but trying my best - No fancy camera equipment, but a keen eye...
May 15th 2009
Years ago, long before I first visited a desert, I used to have an impression in my mind that deserts are just dusty, hot and dry, nothing more than a vast ocean of sand and mere emptiness - that was about all I could come up with when thinking of deserts. To my surprise, I later found out that deserts are much more than that and of an unique magnificent beauty. Now, when I think of deserts, I can't help but to think of them as one of the most magical and mystical regions of this green blue planet of ours...! - From Amman towards south right into the Valley of the Moon - After some days in Petra we decided to head farther south and took the public bus to Wadi Rum which runs every ... read more
May 10th 2008
Somewhere in the Middle East, south of the Dead Sea, on the edge of the Jordanian desert, hidden and surrounded by a ring of mountains, is a place unique and bizarre, a city carved into the rocks, a wonderland of temples, tombs and caves. Even though its life, colours and structure are long fallen to dust, its magic stayed alive throughout the centuries and legend became mystery, and one of the strangest, most fascinating places in the world... or how a poet once said: "Match me such a marvel, save in Eastern clime, a rose-red city, half as old as time...!" ...Petra! - The Kingdom of Jordan or the land of wonders - All travellers on the popular landroute Istanbul-Cairo or the other way around will have to pass through the Kingdom of Jordan. Coming from ... read more
February 1st 2008
Do you remember the time when you were a little kid and loved listening to fairy-tales or reading books full of adventures from places somewhere beyond the horizon and far far away. Tales of powerful kings and queens and beautiful princesses? Tales of brave heroes and conquerors, tales of unbeatable armies in their shining armors, tales of the everlasting battle between good and evil? Do you remember the time...? The time when one side was good and the other side was evil? But as time does not stand still and as everything changes, even the good and the evil will change...! Like back the time when mankind was still living in caves, it was pretty clear who was evil... - the mighty Saber Tooth Tiger, it could bite a man's head off with just a single ... read more
August 15th 2007
Go back the timeline for a thousand years or more and imagine a caravan in the Syrian Desert, coming all the way from the far East, travelling along the silkroad from oasis to oasis, through a seemingly endless landscape of sand, rocks and stones, and then out of the sudden, somewhere in the middle of nowhere, one of the most graceful and splendid ancient cities of the Middle East with green palms, great Colonnades and temples for the gods... rises from the sands, rises right in front of your eyes.... like the Fata Morgana of a seductive beautiful woman, a Queen... a powerful, majestic Queen of the Desert: "Palmyra" or "the City of Palms"... There is no doubt that back then Palmyra must seemed to be like a pearl in the heart of the Syrian Desert, ... read more
August 10th 2007
The city of Damascus wakes up every day and opens its arms to touch you softly like the fabric of damask and bloom in front of you in its entire splendor like a damask rose. Walking through its streets you will soon find yourself intoxicated by the magic of this ancient city and the magic of the Middle East. T.E. Lawrence once wrote about Damascus: "The silent gardens blurred green with river mist, in whose setting shimmered the city, beautiful as ever, like a pearl in the morning sun. No wonder that they call it - The Pearl of the East..." Historically, Syria included Jordan, Israel and Lebanon as well as the area now known as Syria. Syria played an incomparable role in the history of mankind. It is often described as the Cradle of Civilizations, ... read more
August 8th 2007
Approximately 90 kilometers northeast of the city of Beirut in eastern Lebanon stands the magnificent temple complex of Baalbek, the ruins are one of the holiest places of ancient times. Before the Romans conquered the site and built their enormous temple of Jupiter, long even before the Phoenicians constructed a temple to the god Baal, there stood at Baalbek the largest stone block construction found in the entire world. The Phoenician word Baalbek means "God of the Bekaa valley". Ancient legends assert that Baalbek was the birthplace of Baal, later the town became known as Heliopolis, the "City of the Sun"... - Beirut - The day after our roadtrip up north to Byblos and Tripoli, Omar left in the morning by plane to Cairo. We drove him to the airport and had a minor car accident ... read more
August 6th 2007
If you take a look at the map of Lebanon, which is situated at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea, bordering Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, you will realize that Lebanon is pretty small. Most people will be surprised that there are, unlike most other countries in the Middle East, no deserts in Lebanon. The landscape varies from beaches at the coast to mountain ranges with snow white peaks. It sounds amazing but it's possible to swim in the Mediterranean Sea in the morning and to ski down 3000m high peaks in the afternoon! So, shame on me that I have to admit that I neither spent some time at sandy beaches nor did I ski down one of the snowhite Lebanese mountain peaks - not that I ever ... read more
August 3rd 2007
Once known as the Paris of the Middle East, Beirut was long considered the most liberal and "laissez-faire" city in the region - the "joie de vivre" is evident. Without a map telling me that I was in the Middle East, I could be at any coastal city in Southern Europe. Despite the recent troubles the country has been facing, and the political instability which adds to the uncertainties about the future, Lebanon is a country with a lot to offer. Due to its unique geographical position at the western edge of the Arab world and the eastern edge of Europe... and the many cultural influences left by the various conquerors throughout its history, it has always been a melting pot of different cultures and ideas - be it religious, cultural and even culinary... Until the ... read more
August 1st 2007
They say: „Never say never!“ After my last trip to the Middle East back in 1999, one of my first backpacking trips ever, to Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel, I returned home and said to myself: "Islamic countries?! Never ever again!" So it took me four more years before I finally dared to venture into an Islamic country (Morocco) again. But deep inside, I always felt like that the chapter "Middle East" was still open and my travel bug kept nagging me to close it. In fact, there were still some countries which I really wanted to see: Syria and Lebanon... So I’ve just booked a flight to Turkey… finally ready for chasing down another nasty nagging travel bug called "The Middle-East". The Middle East is, without a doubt one of the most impressive parts of ... read more
June 12th 2007
There is something magical about the Nile, the longest river in the world and the source of life for many great civilizations throughout the ages. For centuries the Nile's source remained unknown. Today we might ask, "How hard can it be? Why not just go up the river?" But the quest became fascination, fascination became mystery and mystery became legend. Hundreds of explorers and adventurers died seeking to solve the big mystery. Ancient Egyptian pharaos sent armies in search of the source of the great river and the Greek philosopher Ptolemy held that the source was the "Mountains of the Moon"... The source of the Blue Nile, in Lake Tana, Ethiopia, was not found until 1770 and the source of the Nile was not found until 1861 at Lake Victoria in Uganda. So, being in Africa ... read more