Page 5 of D MJ Binkley Travel Blog Posts

Africa » Egypt » Western Desert » Baharia February 20th 2016

It was “Dawn Patrol” time again. Many travelers are aware of the scenario: up sinfully early and ready to go before the sun thinks about rising. It was our turn. We had many miles to travel this day and required all the sunlight possible if we were to see what the area had to offer. We were heading 600 km (350 miles) from Cairo into the desert. We were met by Mohamed and Gamel, tossed our belongings in the back of the ten passenger van and off we went, leaving early enough to avoid the morning traffic, which is a plus when you’re in Cairo and honestly we were more than ready to leave Cairo. This was the start of what was going to be a fantastic day, well two days, but at this point, frankly, ... read more
Peaceful Mountains
Nearly full moon
Stunning Sunset

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo February 18th 2016

We left Alexandria after three days and made the journey south to Cairo. It was delightfully uneventful as we motored down the wide and not crowded toll road. That alone was different, as so far our brief experiences in Lebanon and Egypt were far too many cars and far too few roads to accommodate them. Part of the reason for the somewhat empty toll road was that there was a two-lane highway to our right that all the trucks were driving on. This road did not have a toll. We wished that this was the case in the States. Now Cairo is one of the most densely populated capital cities in the world with 17 million people, ranking tenth, just behind New York City and the traffic certainly proved it. As we rode into the city ... read more
Sunset on the Nile
Grand moment
Turkish lamb shank

Africa » Egypt » Mediterranean » Alexandria February 15th 2016

In between our time in Lebanon and the excitement of a rendezvous with BV Chef in Cairo, we descended on the coastal city of Alexandria. In all fairness, we didn’t know much about this city, given our somewhat hectic schedule leading up to our departure on this latest journey about the Middle East and Europe. We knew some key points; it is on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea and looked like a good place to slow down for a bit. Our subsequent discoveries uncovered a great many things in our abbreviated time here. This is no sleepy seaside town. Alexandria has over four million citizens and is the largest city directly on the Mediterranean Sea, founded by none other than Alexander the Great (which of course, makes sense) in 331 B.C. We chuckle because this ... read more
Alexandria in background
Along the corniche
Dolmas extraordinaire

Middle East » Lebanon » Baalbek February 11th 2016

Byblos To the north of the sprawling metropolis of Beirut is a small seaside town of Byblos. It is here where we are truly learning and embracing the concept of “old.” While it is only about 40 km away, traveling by car in this nation is an undertaking that requires patience and time. Simply translated: sit back and don’t be in a hurry because you will arrive as soon as you get there due to the fact that there are lots of cars on an overtaxed system of roads. On the surface, Byblos appears to be a nice resort town of about 40,000 people, but we’ve learned that this is only a best guess, as Lebanon has not taken an official census since 1932, due to what is explained as “confessional political balance.” As the system ... read more
Our Lady of Lebanon
Castle of the Crusaders
Byblos by night

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut February 7th 2016

As we walk into the restaurant and give our name to the hostess for a table, we then move on as we always do….to the softly lit bar and grab a stool where Sami brings us a couple of libations. This place is all too familiar to us, with its fake, yet attractive grape vines hanging from the ceiling and all for that part, all around the room. It is our very favorite restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, Dave’s hometown. When we visit family we always try to spend an evening at “The Beirut.” It is one of those restaurants where you always feel at home. It is a restaurant with fantastic food. A standard that you hold all other Lebanese restaurants to…which may be unfair, but it’s our standard, after all. We’ve eaten our way around ... read more
Fresh catch
Psychedelic Walkway

There are people who feel music deep into their soul. We consider ourselves part of that collective. The melodies seep through a portal and then you experience not only the music itself, but the very emotion created by the artist. Are you one of those? Do you hear the beat? Can you feel the vibe? Do you sense the rhythm? Does music stimulate emotion in you? Are your memories tied to songs? “The history of a people is found in its songs.” – George Jellinek The lights are dim in the Showroom at the Sea theatre as we move in and take our comfortable seats inside this impressive venue on a huge ship as we watch several blues legends walk on stage to take their seats. They truly seem to enjoying joking around and being together. ... read more
Stanley, Mr. Sipp, Dave
British Virgin Islands
Yep, that's what our ship does

North America » United States » Oklahoma » Oklahoma City November 13th 2015

Located in middle America between perhaps the two better-known states of Texas and Kansas is Oklahoma. Unless you’re a American and paid some attention during history class, you most likely don’t know a lot about this part of America. The name is derived from the native Choctaw Indians words “okla” and “humma,” meaning “red people.” The territory gained statehood in 1908 and the rest as they say is history. Oklahoma is one of the Great Plains states. It lies in an area meteorologically called “tornado alley.” Oklahoma is a state full of eager storm chasers. We must admit we love thunder and lightening so living here has been exciting. We’d never want anyone to be harmed by these storms but since Oklahoma is prime for these storms due to the colliding of cold air from Canada, ... read more
Devon Tower -OKC
Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
Great View From 48th Floor

North America » United States » Oklahoma » El Reno May 2nd 2015

Every once in a while….a travel blog is going to contain a tale of a unique event. Just a glimpse of a life really , more even a blink perhaps, but nonetheless just plain smiles and fun. In pursuit of something uniquely small town America, but really an example of that fine local flavor that you get to enjoy…by just looking around. We present to you the town of El Reno, Oklahoma…….a proud community and home to the world’s largest onion burger. Yes you read that correctly. We’d never heard of El Reno, Oklahoma but someone at worked mentioned to Dave that they were having their annual Burger Festival…..and being fans of local fests, we had to go check it out. El Reno is a town of 15,000 people about 40 miles west of Oklahoma City. ... read more
350 pound bun
Hit the Road
Mr. Burger

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans March 26th 2015

Traveling about the world allows the opportunity to visit some truly unique and beautiful cities. Outside the United States are a plethora of cities with charm and their own special character. Regrettably, the States do not have that many candidates for this designation as other nations, mostly due to the fact that this nation is so much younger. But there are a handful of them like New York City, San Francisco and of course, New Orleans. New Orleans is a melting pot of cultures and tribal influences which provides a rich history and many ghost stories, tales of voodoo, black magic and a town that knows how to celebrate. Today on the surface of the French Quarter one might be overwhelmed by the bars and pub culture, the one too many strip club or gentleman’s palace ... read more
No alcohol shortage
The wedding march
Amazing architecture

We consider ourselves very fortunate, as we have been to each of the 50 states in the U.S. and 55 countries around the world. This of course makes us mere babes in the field of travel because so many of our friends have been to 75 or 100 countries. Our goal is to someday reach 100 countries but alas, we are in no hurry. It will happen. The shared goal is to enjoy the journey, each country, each experience and each new person. From time to time we chuckle when friends or fellow travelers go off on tangents about how to travel. Some, if not many can get rather condescending. We find the ego a funny thing when it comes to this subject. From reading hundreds of travel blogs on this site and in travel magazines ... read more
Wig Night
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
Coco Montoya

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