Blogs from Middle East - page 915

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Middle East » Iran April 23rd 2006

Salam aleikom! It's been a while since I posted my last travelblog. I hope everybody is doing well and is having lots of fun wherever he or she is. Right now I prepare myself for the upcoming semester in Munich. But before that I had a 5 week trip to my family in Iran. The last time I was there was in 2001 and I couldn't do any sightseeing. Besides, I didn't have a camera with me and there was no travelblog. But this time I took one with me to share some of my experiences there with you. My first destination was Teheran. I stayed only few days and I was hanging around with my cousin Ali. Then I flew to Mashad where most of my family is still living. From there we went by ... read more
Teheran
From Above
Teheran styling

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai April 23rd 2006

Back to reality, been back in England for just over a week now and my tan is peeling.. Sigh... Planning next trip abroad already! Dubai really was an eye opener.. It started with stepping off the plane and instantly feeling the intense heat of Dubai hit your face! It was like nothing I'd ever seen before.. So many buildings and sky scrapers, cars and traffic all in a desert backdrop! Seriously the motorway on the way to The Green Community (where we stayed for 10 days) was built directly on the desert. It seemed to stretch on uninterupted for miles. The sand was travelling in the wind over the road beneath the car and it was very dusty! WOW!! I was in the desert! The villas over at the Green Community were so spacious and beautiful ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Gallipoli April 23rd 2006

23rd April. Said bye to Rachel and joined my ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corp) Tour. On the way out of Istanbul I saw dolphins again in the Bosphorus while the tour leader gave us some interesting facts like 3% of Turkey is European, leaving 97% Asian, The population is 70million and 14million live in Istanbul (Holland population!), and There are 35,000 historical sites in the country. For those of you who are not Aussie or Kiwi and don’t know anything about ANZAC day or Gallipoli here is some background: "Anzac day is held in both Australia and New Zealand on the anniversary of the first major offensive to use ANZAC troops on the shores of Gallipoli in Turkey in 1915. When World War I began nine months earlier, 4th August 1914, Australia committed 20,000 ... read more
With Lauren and Emma
Gidee up
The streets in Canakkale

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 23rd 2006

I have arrived at the very edge of Europe, the heart of the old Ottoman Empire, Istanbul... From my hostel I have views across the Bosporus to Asia and if I look the other way a fantastic view of the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque! The people are friendly the atmosphere fun and the weather consistently good... And I am surrounded by Australians... Because Anzac day is coming up (for those of you who are not Australian or from New Zealand, ANZAC day is when the Commonwealth forces attacked at Gallipoli in the First World War and died in their thousands) so I was almost the only non-Australian around.. Although two Brazilians I had met in Sofia were also at the hostel and they had their flag with them compensating for the overload of Aussie ... read more
Edirne
Edirne
Edirne

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 23rd 2006

We all slept well that night….ready for another day. It was Children’s Day in Turkey on Sunday so all of Istanbul was out on the street. We even saw women out which was a first for the trip! We went to a fascinating church/museum called Kariye Muzesi. It had some magnificent mosaics of the Virgin Mary and dated back to the 12th Century. We jagged a great taxi driver who spoke great English and didn’t rip us off. He gave us a guided tour on our way back which was great. We were getting a little jaded by now..tried to get into the Blue Mosque but it had closed for prayer so we decided to call it quits for the day! Mark and I decided to do some exercise..I went the easy route of the gym ... read more
Kariye Muzesi  1

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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Sharjah April 23rd 2006

This has been a long time in coming I know, and yes I am alive and well. Sharjah is the third largest of the Emirates after Dubai and Abu Dhabi and doesnt have the huge oil wealth of these but there are 4 others that are quite poor in comparison, more about them later. I arrived in Sharjah around 7am and alighted from the bus in the middle of town at Rolla Square. I then grabbed a taxi it took a while because I couldnt get the first few drivers to understand me. Finally however I was on my way and searching for the Sharjah Youth Hostel, an hour later I was still searching and beginning to run out of patience so I headed for a cheap central hotel which turned out to be more expensive ... read more
Islamic Architecture
The Grand Mosque
Pearl Monument

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 23rd 2006

Walking tour of Istanbul with the full Tour Group. Visited the Cistern, Bascillica, Hippodrome and Topkapi Palace. We were told that legend has it that the Medusa heads in the Cistern are upside down because a worker got the shits with his boss and laid them incorrectly as pay back. You really come to appreciate the history of this place when you wonder around Topkapi Palace and see how worn the granite steps are - you can only imagine how long they’ve been around to be so worn down. Highlight of the day was a decision to go and watch the ANZAC Fanatics play a local soccer team in their annual ANZAC game. The tour guide wasn’t keen to go, but as the tour had technically finished I offered to take a group with me - ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 22nd 2006

Had my first experience with a Turkish / Continental breakfast - cheese, olives, cold meat (not sure exactly what) and cay (tea). A few of the tour participants who had booked in Australia (9 day tour - those who booked in Europe were on an 8 day tour) were taken on a bus tour of Istanbul today. Tour consisted of a visit to overlook the Golden Horn, to look around Mini-Ataturk (a miniature display of historic and significant Turkish sites) and the Transport Museum. In the afternoon, after much bugging of the Tour Guide (Cengis) we visit the Grand Bazaar for a short time (about 40 minutes). An interesting experience, one you have to do, but not something I really enjoyed. Hard sellers and very demanding - certainly not somewhere you just think you’re going to ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul April 22nd 2006

Day 17: April 22 - ENGLAND - London, TURKEY - Istanbul Accommodation: Hotel Eris, Istanbul After my short stay in London and seeing nothing but the hostel and whatever I could from my Tube ride, I was back to Heathrow for a third visit already, and all set for my flight to Turkey. This was a strange flight as I was travelling for 4 hours but going over 2 time zones and ultimately losing 2 hours in the process, but staying in Europe. Istanbul airport was an interesting experience. Seeing this was the Anzac period, there were Aussies and Kiwis arriving from everywhere and all at the same time. All of us had to line up to pay for our visa on arrival which meant hundreds of us were lining up at only three open service ... read more

Middle East » Israel » Haifa District » Haifa April 22nd 2006

Early in the morning today I went back to routine. Classes are up and running. It might be a bit difficult to adjust back to school after a wonderful Passover vacation. For the first few days of break, I had a seminar with the Carmel group in Jerusalem that focused on tensions, or clashes, that are woven into and throughout this country. The goal was to visit places that represented challenges in Israel and to experience those challenges head-on. Our first stop was at a village called Neveh Shalom in Hebrew, Wahat AlSalaam in Arabic, or Oasis of Peace in English. It was established jointly by Jews and Palestinian Arabs of Israeli citizenship and engages in a bilingual lifestyle of education and work towards peace, equality, and understanding between the two peoples. From there we visited ... read more
Kibbutz Lotan
Kibbutz Lotan
Kibbutz Lotan




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