Blogs from Middle East - page 871


Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 23rd 2006

Shabbat has ended, very full day. It began at Ben Gurion airport in Lod (near Tel Aviv). I arrived first, and then waited for the two other families from Temple Beth El. They flew from Newark; me -- from JFK. Won't bore you with flight details, suffice it to say that I made it along with 4 duffels of stuffed bears and children's clothes which are donations for children in Israel. The bears were collected by Amanda B., the clothes by temple members (thanks Nursery School!) And in spite of some last minute fooling around by Continental Airlines, the whole Paster family made it on the plane! As I waited for the Beth El folks to arrive (I was an hour earlier), Chanukah began -- last night. Some airport workers pulled out a chanukiah (menorah) and ... read more

Middle East » Turkey December 23rd 2006

Another day on the bike. In agreeing to do this trip I was always a bit worried that I wouldnt really be into the bike riding side of things. Sure it sounded good, riding from town to town having adventures and solving mysteries but from other experiences I also knew it would be a hard slog. Constantly getting up each day and riding for long periods of time, eating basic food and covering in one day what, on a bus, would take about 1 hour to do. But I think it was sometime during this day I started to find my groove. My legs were much stronger, I was feeling more energised and the hospitality and general interest shown towards us was much greater and more welcomming than that shown to the tourist cruising through on ... read more

Middle East » Turkey December 22nd 2006

We woke after a good nights hotel sleep. And made a great discovery. The breakfast at the hotel was a buffet. Well didnt we take that little horse to town! We waiked out of there with a copius quantity of butters, jams, boiled eggs and cheese, it was litterally falling from our pockets. Busted out of Adana city and headed towards Ceylan. To be greeted by the kind of headwind that would scupper a Sydney to Hobart yaht! This belting headwind was total punishment and forced us to about 8 km/h, crap pace! The only good thought was that as we turned towards Ceylan it would become more of a tailwind. And thats what happend. İn the arvo we made great time assisted by a sweet tailwind. We made camp on the side of a hill ... read more

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Ras Al Khaimah December 22nd 2006

what has happened since my last blog? well I went to the Christmas party, was not underdressed, had loads of fun went and got henna done on my hands and then tried to do my own feet to not much success and it's gonna last a while, ugh. Getting the henna done was cool though, we went to a ladie's saloon (yes, I do realise there is an extra 'o' there but I don't think they realise that and besides, if everyone makes the same spelling error there is a language agreement there and it means that it's the right spelling, at least for here-I *heart* linguistics nerds that taught me that) I wanted to post pics but my cord is at Anna's pad so you'll all have to wait for the amazingness that is the ... read more
bohemian rhapsody at the nakheel
beautiful Arabic henna designs
Sharjah Blue Souk

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai December 22nd 2006

Back in Cairo again. Coming back to the King Hotel was like coming home again - the place was so familiar, even though we had only been there three times. We had two nights here before our flight to Dubai. The first night was our final night together as a group so we went out to dinner at a restaurant/pub recommended by our guide. The food was ok but the prices and atmosphere were not so great. Most of us drifted back to the hotel well before 10pm. The morning saw various members of our group head their separate ways - some to further travel or other hotels in Cairo or Alexandria, others to Europe to meet up with friends and family while the rest of us stayed on at the King for our final night. ... read more
Fountain in Courtyard at Mohammed Ali Mosque
Alleyway in Khan el Khalili


Middle East » Qatar » Doha December 21st 2006

Well my work is done at the undisclosed location that is not a US Air Force base. l have to say it's a bit disorienting to spend so much time on a military base, I mean secret place, that is in full expansion mode and then to return to a boomtown in the Middle East that is also in full expansion mode, but in a very different way. I have to say that Doha is a pretty mellow place. Maybe it's because we're all foreigners here. It's hard to find the Qataris. They're out there somewhere, but the majority of people I see are from South Asia or Philippines. Some quick details about my stay: My hotel is nice and not outrageously expensive for a western hotel: the Mercure Grand something. There's free wireless in all ... read more

Middle East » Turkey December 21st 2006

I woke early to try and get on the road to catch Spider. I sent him an email with the story. With a hand-drawn map of how to get to Adana I set off for Nidge. I rode along the realtively flat ground making good time. But at the same time I was racked with thoughts of where the hell Spider was, how did we loose each other, and how hard had we stuffed up to get in this position so early in the game. My words of a few days ago echoed in my head 'if we can get the first few days through with plain sailing we'll be laughing' well things dont always work out the way one hopes. After a long day of riding and thinikng each sign post, tree, barrell, turkish person ... read more

Middle East » Qatar » Doha December 20th 2006

MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! A few pics from the last 6 months in the Middle East...time has simply flown! Asian Games came and went and were a real treat. We're excitedly awaiting the arrival of Dave, Brennie and Nome Newnham for Chrissy here in the desert! Then we're off to India to see in the New Year, celebrate our wedding anniversary and learn a few Bollywood dancefloor moves! Hope everyone has a festive silly season and all the best for 2007... Loads of Love, Sal & Gav... read more
InterContinental Hotel
Michelle, Sal & Gav
Die Nuenhamen beim Oktoberfest

Middle East » Syria December 20th 2006

Ah Syria. The mecca of the backpacker and the nemesis of our friend W. Everybody I met who went in the country raved about it so I was excited to finally get in. The day started badly though. In Antakya I was dropped by the bus' station servis (van that takes you the bus station when it is on the outskirts of town) in the middle of nowhere and I had to wait for 2 hours in a disgusting pit without any restaurant, stores or places where I could change my remaining syrian currency. Not a great place to be when you're starving and have too much turkish currency. But anyway a bus eventually did pull up and reached the frontier fairly quickly. The frontier was funny on both sides. On the turkish side I saw ... read more
Umayyad Mosque
Bedouin man in front of Damascus wall
Dinner in Aleppo

Middle East » Turkey December 20th 2006

I woke early with one thing in mind. To find the freak. I sent a quick email to him, telling him what my story was. Armed with a hand-drawn map of how to get to Adana I said goodbye to my new best friends and headed into the fray. The terrain was pretty easy going but I was racked with terrible thoughts of what could have happened to Spider. I was also pissed at the apparent communication breakdown and that we had stuffed up so hard, so early on. My words of a few days earlier were ecohing in my head 'it would be sweet if the first few days are fair sailing, that would be a great start to the ride'. I punched out about 40km's and after thinking every distant sign post or human ... read more

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