Page 3 of JenniferInternational Travel Blog Posts

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

Europe » Sweden » Stockholm County » Stockholm June 3rd 2015

My first day in Stockholm - Venice of the North - was also my first day in Scandinavia and the furthest north I'd ever traveled. I'd been so excited about my first visit to this city, where I have distant and unknown relations, a place I've wanted to visit for years. Once I finally arrived, I was pleasantly surprised by the familiarity of the foreign, as well as the greenness and vibrancy of the flat landscape. Everywhere I looked was brilliant green, or watery blue, or grey clouds or stone. Not unexpected was the orderliness and efficiency of the city and the kindness of its people, the beauty of old city, and the embrace of the natural and the well-designed. After dropping our luggage at the Old Town Lodge, where we were offered an early breakfast, ... read more
Gamla Stan
Fountain in Gamla Stan
Old Town Lodge

Asia » Macau » Macau October 29th 2013

Macau has a long and intriguing history. Administered by the Portuguese from the mid-16th century until late 1999, when it was the last remaining European colony in Asia, currently Macau may be best known for its gambling industry, the largest in the world, with many famous casinos as major tourist draws. Disregarding the promises of glitter and gold that exist for most tourists to Macau today, I spent my time there exploring its past glory during one very busy day. Highlights for me weren’t the museums (Macau Museum of Art, Macau Museum), gardens or historic homes as much as the beautiful architecture, churches and temples and witnessing some of the visible fruits of centuries of cultural exchanges in terms of food, shopping and street life. The temples – Kun Ian Temple, A-Ma Temple, Na Tcha Temple ... read more
Kun Iam Temple
Guia Fort
Guia Lighthouse

Asia » Hong Kong » Hong Kong Island October 28th 2013

Hong Kong, one of the most densely populated areas in the world and currently a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, has a convoluted and romantic history. After growing from a small fishing village to a military outpost and trading port, Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War until it was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control and then, in 1997, China resumed sovereignty. These days the city-state is well-known as a cultural and economic powerhouse, and during my busy week there I was overwhelmed by choices of sights, restaurants and shopping. Hong Kong was also the perfect city to end our trip to China: accessible, easy to navigate, full of things to see and ways to spend any ... read more
Rooftop patio of Hop Inn on Carnarvan
Artwork in our room
Room/Bathroom at Hop Inn on Carnarvan

Asia » China » Shanghai October 23rd 2013

Shanghai was a favorite stop on our tour of China, a beautiful and lively metropolis with accessibly delicious food, good shopping and a much pleasanter population than up north. China's most international city is a wonderful place to rest after experiencing the history-rich but trying cities of Beijing and, to a lesser extent, Xi'an. Of particular interest was the Bund, without which a visit to Shanghai would be incomplete, the Shanghai Museum, perhaps the best in China, and the shops and restaurants in the French Concession and Yuyuan Bazaar. Unlike in many of the cities we visited, it was easy to find great food, including some outstanding Yunnanese cuisine. We should have planned for more time here, but spread ourselves thin visiting other important cities in the area: Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou. These cities we visited ... read more
Mingtown Etour Youth Hostel in Shanghai
Mingtown Etour Youth Hostel in Shanghai
Mingtown Etour Youth Hostel in Shanghai

Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an October 21st 2013

A trip to Xi’an necessarily revolves around a visit to the Army of the Terracotta Warriors, although there are many other fascinating sights in the area, notably the Tomb of Emperor Jingdi, the Shannxi History Museum, the Big Goose Pagoda, the Great Mosque and the Muslim Quarter - fantastic street food at the night market! – in addition to some wonderful temples and historical buildings. Do not be deterred by the terrible pollution! Xi'an offered even more enjoyment than I had expected of it, and I would leave an additional few days in your itinerary to enjoy this intriguing city. On a personal level, my traveling partner and I really enjoyed visiting the Taoist Temple of the Eight Immortals. The monks alone were worth the visit, and the temple itself was a treat. Highly recommended. The ... read more
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army
Terracotta Army

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