Blogs from Middle East - page 871


Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 20th 2006

Well it's that time of year when one pigs out and gets merrily pissed. I'd like to wish a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year to all my family, friends, workmates, fellow travellers and bloggers. It kind of felt appropriate that I spent the lead-up to the holiday season in the Holy Land. I loved walking around the different quarters (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Armenian) in the Old City of Jerusalem. Most of the religious activity centres around the Temple Mount area where the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock are located. Also took a trip into Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. It was eerily quiet with nary a tourist in sight. Normally there would be heaps at this time of year. Possibly people have been scared away by the huge security fence ... read more
Wilsons Arch
Western Wall tunnels

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

Middle East » Syria » South » Damascus December 20th 2006

Our pre-honeymoon in Egypt.... read more
Sunset over Egypt
Our Guides


Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia December 19th 2006

Having been in Istanbul for a week, we needed a break. It wasn't a break from Istanbul that we needed so much as a break from cities in general. So we marched down to the travel agency near our hotel and told him to send us away. Where to? Cappadocia. He had a two day tour with a night in a cave hotel he could offer, so we figured we might as well. The only hang-up was that for what we were wanting to pay, he could only do bus tickets instead of a flight. Julie and I both hated the idea of 12 hour overnight bus rides, but thriftiness prevailed, and we accepted. Actually, the bus ride was much better than we expected, and we both slept a fair amount. When we got to Urgup, ... read more
Cave cities
The fellowship

Middle East » Turkey December 19th 2006

We woke early to a great little day. The sun was out, we werent too spanked from yesterday and had had a good sleep. The morning ride greeted us with a smashing 5km or so downhill run. We belted down it with the mountain on our left coming out to play in the sun, and stretching ahead and below us vast fertile plains. The bike and trailer worked really well on the downhill run, wıth both rolling together as one unit. I was pretty happy with this as it was the first time id got any kind of pace up on the bike with the trailer attached. we scooted onto the plains and started to make some good headway. But here i'm sad to say it all gets a little bit murky. Spider rode off ahead ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul December 19th 2006

Istanbul Mystique The last truely exotic city... Istanbul’s exotic skyline is the stuff of dreams. It has always been the gateway to the Orient, Middle East, Europe and, thanks to the Bosphorous, has a natural split between Western and Eastern influence. The Western ‘half’, essentially the majority of Istanbul is also divided into the Old and New Towns by the ‘Golden Horn’, a 7km inlet from the Bosphorous. It’s along this that you’ll find the major historical sites of interest; the Palace of Sultans - Topkapi Palace, the Hippodrome, Aya Sofya, the famous Blue Mosque and the Old city Walls. The heart of modern Istanbul is Taksim Square and the area of Beyoglu. It’s home to a lot of restaurants, theatres, shops and of cours... read more
The Hippodrome
Blue Mosque

Middle East » Qatar » Doha December 19th 2006

Arrival in Doha was very uneventful. The plane ride was great and I got to watch Psycho for the very first time. I got picked up on schedule and had the whole day to relax while I waited for my pass. I did check out the Souqs which were cool but didn't offer a huge selection of tourist stuff. As far as a middle eastern place, it's very relaxing here. Doha appears to be a bit of a boom town with bad traffic and lots of construction. At least the food is great. In the souqs, a Qatari man invited me to have some fresh flat bread with egg and cheese (velveeta or vache-qui-rit). He paid the vendor and told me that he wanted me to experience some local food. This kind of experience tells me ... read more

Middle East » Israel December 18th 2006

Just a few days to go and another group from Temple Beth El will be heading off to Israel for a tour. As we did back in February of 2005, we hope to have access to internet and post entries so friends and family can follow us on this journey. We will arrive just in time on Friday, December 22, for the last night of Chanukah! There are 9 of us from here in New Jersey; we are meeting up with three other families - a couple from Baltimore, a mother/daughter from Alexandria, VA, and a family of four from Prince Edward Island in Canada. There will be 6 young people in the group -- from ages 8 to 15, but mostly 12-13 year olds. We are taking some special items on the journey: baby/children's clothes ... read more

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