Jennifer

JenniferInternational

Jennifer



I'm a progressive vegetarian feminist currently residing in San Francisco and I live to travel. So far I've been around the United States and Canada; traveled briefly in Mexico and the Caribbean; done the tour of Western Europe; visited parts of South, East and Southeast Asia; and seen a bit of the Middle East and North Africa. The short list of places I'd like to go next is long. I hope those reading this blog will find themselves inspired towards their own explorations of this fascinating world.

Voyager c'est vivre!



Middle East » Iran March 14th 2017

In the sea there are countless treasures, but if you desire safety, it is on the shore. – Sa’adi After the Islamic Revolution in 1979 the country became the Islamic Republic of Iran, and this brought about many of the changes that people currently associate with the country, with bearded men and women covered in long black chadors, and concerns about anti-American sentiments and Iran’s nuclear program. Yet the nation is actually one of the oldest major continuous civilizations, and has as much history and culture as any traveler could desire, as well as amazingly friendly and inquisitive people. The US travel ban affected Iran the most, with nearly half the banned visitors of the original seven countries coming from this particular Middle Eastern nation. Living in California, I’ve been fortunate to meet many Iranians and ... read more

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran March 13th 2017

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.– Sa’adi Uneventful six-hour bus ride to Tehran. Arrived late afternoon and took a long taxi drive to the Markazi Hotel in central Tehran – fine rooms but an uninspired breakfast. One of the first things we noticed about the city, in addition to its size and the traffic, was the way that shops were set up in different parts of town by specialty, like a gigantic bazaar, with shop after shop selling similar items. We were staying the in the indoor lighting area ourselves. We were within walking distance to many of the sights – brave souls! – and thus didn’t have an opportunity to take the metro, reportedly very busy at all hours. We were also fortunate to have some good cafes in the area, and ... read more
National Archeological Museum
National Archeological Museum
National Archeological Museum

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan March 10th 2017

Roam abroad in the world, and take your fill of its enjoyments before the day shall come when you must quit it for good. – Sa’adi Arrived in glorious Isfahan, only a four-hour bus ride from Yazd, in the early evening. The jewel of ancient Persia and one of the finest cities in the Islamic world, according to the guidebook, and famous for its Persian-Islamic architecture. The most well-known Persian saying about Isfahan is “Esfahan nesf-e jahan,” or Isfahan is half the world. A wonderful city to explore at leisure, drinking tea and wandering the bazaars, if you can manage it. Amazing mosques, fabulous palaces and elegant bridges, and shopping which will empty both your days and your pocketbook. We stayed at the lovely and atmospheric Sunrise Traditional Hotel, a bit far from the Naqsh-e-Jahan Square ... read more
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Imam Mosque
Bazaar

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd March 7th 2017

My soul is from elsewhere, I'm sure of that, and I intend to end up there. - Rumi Passenger trains in Iran generally run overnight between major cities, a perfect travel solution when you’re on an independent journey because you save the expense of a hotel while getting to experience the best way humanity has invented to travel overland. When you’re on a tour you spend the day taking the bus, like we did – six hours to Yazd with one stop to stretch our legs. No tea for me, please. To be fair, the journey was lovely, passing through the eastern section of the Zagros mountain range where we experienced snow flurries, flocks of goats and sheep and distant snow-covered peaks on our way towards Yazd, the driest major city in Iran as well as ... read more
Bus Ride to Yazd
Bus Ride to Yazd
Tekiye Amir

Middle East » Iran » South » Persepolis March 5th 2017

Drink wine and look at the moon and think of all the civilizations the moon has seen passing by. - Omar Khayyam Our second day in Iran began a bit earlier, and we were picked up by our guide and his driver to make the journey outside the city to several ancient historical sights – particular highlights for Clement. We began at the Necropolis, the dynastic burial place of four Achaemenid kings, Darius II, Artaxerxes I, Darius I and Xerxes I (from left to right). There are bas-relief renderings of their palace facades carved above the tombs, and the openings lead to funerary chambers, where bones were stored after vultures had picked them clean. All the tombs had been ransacked by the Greeks – a common practice at the time for invading powers – but the ... read more
Necropolis
Necropolis
Necropolis

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz March 4th 2017

This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you. - Hafez Within moments of entering the Islamic Republic of Iran, the secret police were on our trail. A man stopped our guide, whom we had only just met, before we had gone more than ten paces from passport control, and asked him in Farsi for his credentials and for details about our trip. It was a routine inquiry; American, Canadian and British tourists must be accompanied by a guide at all times while in the country, and even taking oneself to one’s hotel from the airport unaccompanied is illegal. I was so pleased to be waived into the country after weeks of nail-biting about potential visa retaliation against US citizens, given Trump’s executive order banning Iranian visitors to the US, that ... read more
Karim Khan Citadel
Karim Khan Citadel
Karim Khan Citadel


I've been interested in visiting Iran for nearly a decade, ever since I interned at Global Exchange, which runs tours to various exciting locales including Iran. Since then I've spoken to many Iranians and to Americans who have traveled there, who always give it rave reviews for its beautiful architecture, fascinating bazaars and wonderfully friendly people. With thousands of years of history, twenty-one world heritage sights and a complex and fascinating culture, there really isn't any reason not to go. Issues have arisen for nontraditional travelers, journalists and Iranian-Americans attempting to visit Iran. Those situations, though unfortunate, do not reflect the experiences of the vast majority of Iran’s five million international visitors each year. There are additional screening and tour requirements for American, British and Canadian visitors but they are still welcomed (unt... read more

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London June 15th 2015

London wasn't as beautiful as Stockholm, Amsterdam or Paris, but the museums and cultural activities were incredible, as expected. I could have bounced from museums to meals to plays for days on end, and nearly did. The gardens, too, were impressive - although I had to save Kew Gardens for my next trip - and, of course, the historical monuments are a top draw for any visitor. We only had a few short days on this return trip, and I'm looking forward to a longer visit the next time around. We did the best we could and managed to make it through the National Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Courtauld Gallery and the Tate Britain, and it was indeed time well spent. Each museum was better than the last, no mean feat considering I ... read more
The Man in Seat Sixty-One
The Woman in Seat Sixty-One
The Walrus Bar & Hostel

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris June 12th 2015

No matter has wonderful the cities on your journey have been, once you arrive in Paris everything else melts away, and you're left wondering why you've ever gone elsewhere. Every glance is perfection, every bite and sip a delight, every moment an opportunity to admire the most beautiful city in the world. I'm always prepared to return to Paris, drawn by an immense desire to see and experience everything that the city has to offer. While I can leave other cities believing that I've seen something of them, I always feel like I've barely scratched the surface of Paris; every museum, park, church and cafe can be visited again with the guarantee of further delight and discovery. London and New York are overflowing with events and exhibitions, San Francisco is at the Pacific cusp of culture, ... read more
Notre Dame
Brasserie le Nesle
Hôtel de Nesle

Europe » Netherlands » North Holland » Amsterdam June 8th 2015

While I was aware and prepared for the aspects of Amsterdam’s reputation that had kept me away from the city thus far, I was not prepared for its overwhelming beauty, richly interactive history and patient hospitality. Amsterdam is a city filled with historic cafes, picturesque canals, beautiful architecture and surprisingly reasonable food and drink, particularly after Stockholm. Although we tried to explore the various neighborhoods we spent quite a bit of time in the Medieval Center, as it was close to where we were staying, and which ended up being my favorite part of town, always lively and quite beautiful. Le Maroxidien, a small houseboat bed & breakfast not far from Central Station, comes highly recommended for its location, lovely décor, reasonable tariff, delicious organic breakfast and of course the kindness and conviviality of its owner, ... read more
Amsterdam canal
B&B Le Maroxidien
B&B Le Maroxidien




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