Page 2 of MaRs BaRs Travel Blog Posts


Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Abu Simbel August 21st 2018

Today, Renata and I are heading early in the morning to explore the temple of Abu Simbel. Then we are going to check out the Philae Temple and end our evening boarding a felucca to cruise along the Nile. Abu Simbel We arose early in the morning at around 3:00 a.m. to head towards Abu Simbel. Abu Simbel is an elaborate temple constructed by the ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses II. The temple is mainly cut into a solid rock cliff, and depicts the victory of Ramses II during the Hittites at Kadish battle in 1274 B.C. The Grand temple entrance has four seated colossi of King Ramses II on his throne at different ages. In the inner sanctum there are four statues: Ra, Amun, Ptah and Ramesses himself. The temple was built in such a way ... read more
Abu Simbel
Philae Temple
Abu Simbel

Africa » Egypt » Upper Egypt » Luxor August 20th 2018

Today Renata and I explored three places in Luxor: The Colossi of Memnon, the Valley of the Kings and the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. We finished the evening with a Nubian Dinner at a nearby Nubian village in Aswan. Colossi of Memnon The Colossi of Memnon are these two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III made from sandstone. The faces are a little run down but they are interesting to behold. The Valley of the Kings The Valley of the Kings was a highlight of our day in Luxor and one of the highlights of our trip to Egypt. Along with building massive pyramids, the Ancient Egyptians also built underground tombs which housed many ancient Pharaoh treasures. The most famed collection of underground tombs is located in the Valley of the Kings which ... read more
KV2
KV11
Hatshepsut Temple

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Giza August 19th 2018

Today, we set out to explore the famous pyramids in Egypt. The pyramids were tombs created by Egyptian Pharoahs. The Egyptian pharoahs believed that they would become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the afterlife they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramids tombs for themselves filled with all the things they would need in the next world. While the pyramids of Giza are the most famous in Egypt, there are more than 130 other pyramids discovered scattered throughout Egypt. One such pyramid is the step pyramid in Saqqara. The Step Pyramid in Saqqara The step pyramid in Saqqara was built by the Pharoah Djoser in 2700BC. It was planned by Imhotep, an ancient Egyptian vizier who became known for his incredible achievements. The step pyramid at Saqqara is considered the oldest complete stone ... read more
Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza
Camel Ride at the Pyramids

Africa » Egypt » Lower Egypt » Cairo August 18th 2018

We finally arrived! After a long flight Renata and I finally reached Cairo. At the airport, we were greeted by a representative for Travel Talk Tours who kindly helped us with obtaining our Visa and Luggage (which took forever). We were then on our way to our hotel, the Oasis Hotel Pyramids, which I highly recommend. Today was a day to relax as we slept and swam in the luxurious hotel pool. Later that evening we met up with our tour mates and Egyptologist guide, Sam. Sam went over the itinerary and optional excursions of the Egyptian part of our tour. Afterwards a group of us decided to go on the optional group dinner and cruise. In hindsight, the cruise was unremarkable and the food tasted bland. However, it was great getting to know the other ... read more
Dinner Cruise
Dinner Cruise
Dinner Cruise

North America » United States » Louisiana December 23rd 2017

This morning, Renata and I headed over to Louis Armstrong Park for the start of our Voodoo tour with Free Tours by Foot. We did not know much about Voodoo, except that it was misrepresented in the media. Our guide, Robi, a Plantation Voodoo Priest is very passionate about advocating and providing awareness to correct misconceptions about his religion. He was very entertaining, and also involved the group in a typical Voodoo Ritual. Like Christianity, Voodoo has one God, and saints like spirits called Ioa (intermediaries). In a Voodoo Ritual, the whole community gets involved. I was the second mama in command. I organized the meeting and made sure all the supplies were available. The ritual involved drumming, dancing and drinking (rum for the papa, for spirit possession). Spirit possession is believed to have occurred when ... read more
Antoine's
Antoine's
Antoine's

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans December 22nd 2017

Today, Renata and I are heading out to a swamp and plantation with Cajun Pride tours. Our first stop was the swamp tour where Renata and I saw various alligators, turtles, birds and raccoons. We even got to hold a baby alligator! After the swamp tour, Renata and I headed to Oak Valley Plantation. Known for its beautiful alley of Oak Trees, Oak Alley Plantation was previously a sugar plantation; now a historical site. During our visit to Oak Alley Plantation, Renata and I learned about the history of the plantation and visited the slave quarters. We also tried a delicious non-alcoholic mint julep while exploring the grounds. A lot of film productions have been filmed at Oak Alley plantation, including a scene from the movie Interview with the Vampire. After the plantation tour, we headed ... read more
Swamp Tour
Swamp Tour
Swamp Tour

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans December 21st 2017

Mardi Gras, the famous carnival celebration that occurs in New Orleans takes place on the Tuesday before Lent; or so Renata and I thought. Actually, Marti Gras is a month long celebration that starts just after New Year’s and ends before the beginning of Lent. Renata and I learned this news when we visited Mardi Gras World. Mardi Gras World is a working facility that makes over 500 floats per year for the Mardi Gras season. On the Mardi Gras World tour, Renata and I learned about the history of Mardi Gras. There are no corporate sponsorships or media involved in Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. The money involved in making the various floats come from membership fees from the various Krewe members. Krewes are organizations that host Mardi Gras balls, ride on parade floats ... read more
Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World
Mardi Gras World

North America » United States » Louisiana » New Orleans December 20th 2017

New Orleans, a melting pot of French, American and African culture, is known for its decadent cuisine, vibrant live music and party atmosphere. New Orleans is also home to the famous and colourful Mardi Gras Festival. Renata and I spent a few days during the Christmas holidays exploring this incredible city. We arrived in New Orleans early evening and checked into our hotel, the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. After settling into our rooms, Renata and I headed over to Drago’s seafood restaurant, located in front lobby of our hotel. We had our first taste of New Orleans cuisine, charbroiled oysters and fried gator bites. Delicious! Then it was time to check out the Christmas scenery! New Orleans during the Christmas season was breathtaking. There were dancing alligators and (a “Who Dat?” sign) a slogan for the ... read more
Fried Gator Bites
Christmas Who Dat?
Christmas Alligators


On our last day in Costa Rica, we headed over to the local supermarket to buy a couple of snacks and souvenirs for the plane ride back to Toronto. We also bought some Salsa Lizano, to try our hands at making Gallo Pinto at home. When we walked out of the supermarket, we were surprised to see a parade of people marching down the street. We asked our hotel concierge, what the parade was all about. Apparently, today was Juan Santamaria Day, a National Holiday in Costa Rica. Juan Santamaria, was a poor drummer boy from Alajuela who helped prevent the U.S citizen William Walker and his mercenary army from turning Central America into a slave-trade empire. After Walker conquered Nicaragua, Costa Rica sent troops to Nicaragua to fight the growing threat. The battle, turned in ... read more


Today, we are traveling from Manuel Antonio to Alajuela to relax before our flight tomorrow afternoon. We learned yesterday, that the bus that goes to San Jose from Quepos stops at the Juan Santamaria International Airport in Alajuela. This was great news, as we didn’t have to take an expensive shuttle to Alajuela. We reached Alajuela in the afternoon. After storing our luggage at our Hotel, Hostel Cala, we headed off to one of the many cafes for lunch. Alajuela, felt more laid back than the busy capital city of San Jose. In the center of Alajuela is a grand church and a lush green park to relax. There are also a lot of interesting architectural buildings, statues, and smaller parks around. After chilling around downtown, Alajuela we headed back to our hotel for the night. ... read more
Alajuela
Alajuela
Alajuela




Tot: 2.2s; Tpl: 0.039s; cc: 19; qc: 66; dbt: 0.0466s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb