Kirsten T

kirstent

Kirsten T

I have always had a desire to look around the next corner. I have been lucky to have travelled to some amazing places in the world. This is my online diary for some of the adventures that I have had.



Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai November 30th 2008

Casablanca was nothing like the movie! I was staying in the Medina Ancienne which was in reality down by the port. The Medina was quite small and nothing like Fes or Chefchaouen. The location was dodgy and the hotel had no heating (which I expected) but it did have and English movie channel which was the first time I had been able to watch English movies for months. I snuggled up in bed and watched back to back movies (yay!). The Hotel also had the best breakfast. Whilst in Casablanca I heard about the siege at Bangkok airport. The first reports coming through suggested that the demonstrators were trying to interupt the return of the Thai PM from the APEC conference in Peru. Later reports tended to suggest that it was about more and that the ... read more
Dubai Airport 2
I'm so bored ... lucky they put mirrors above my head
Dubai Airport light show 1

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira November 21st 2008

After a night in Jerez which included a fantastic flamenco display we made out way to Tarifa to catch the ferry across to Tangiers in Morocco. We missed the 11am ferry by about 2 minutes due to traffic on the road so had another two hours in Tarifa that we had not planned. Tarifa is a lovely little town sitting on the coast. During the summer it is full of British tourists but it was pretty much closed up for the season. We had a good ferry crossing and landed in Tangiers. From there it was a couple of hours in a mini bus to Chefchouen. It was good to move away from the normality of Europe and on into Africa where things are not so predictable. (That is my perspective anyway ... for most of ... read more
Chefchouen 1
Tanneries in the Fes Medina
Ait Bennahadou 1

Europe » Portugal » Central » Coimbra November 4th 2008

I am now in Portugal - currently we are in the University town of Coimbra . The university has a really long history and is set in the old town. We went out to see the Roman ruins in a nearby town this morning. It is still very cold and wet here. Hopefully as we head further south it will start to warm up again. Hope that everyone made lots of money on the cup today - sounds like it was a good race. We caught the train down to Lisbon on the 5th. Yesterday we headed across to Sintra which is a Unesco site. It was quite hilly so good to have a good walk. Walked up to the Moorish Castle on the top of the hill. After that we caught the bus across ... read more
Moors Castle Sintra
Western Point of the European Mainland
The Cloisters in the Old Cathedral Coimbra

Europe » Spain » Catalonia » Barcelona October 26th 2008

I left Istanbul on the 24th and flew to Barcelona. It was sad to finish up on the overland trip and head into more mainstream tourism. I have been here for a couple of days now getting back into my artistic roots. I came here to see Gaudi and it has been great having a look at the places that I have seen in books. Today I went to the Picasso Museum which I loved. As you can see the sun was out and real T-Shirt weather. Went to visit the Olympic Stadium from the 1992 games as well as the Olympic Museum and just generally cruised around. All very relaxed. From Barcelona I caught the train across to Madrid - all very easy. It took about 3hrs to get into the middle of the country. ... read more
Gaudi
Park Guell 2
Park Guell 1

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul October 24th 2008

We caught a bus from Goreme to Istanbul. It turned out to be a long journey. We had left Dave and the truck in Goreme as he was doing an overhaul before it headed down into Africa. We had 12hrs on a comfy bus but we were ready now to be in Istanbul. The last McDonalds we had was in Xian at the start of the journey so it really was quite fitting to finish with ´Maccas´ when we got into Western Turkey (yep it still tasted the same and I don´t need any more for another 3mths.) Istanbul is a great place. It was a bit of a culture shock to be surrounded by other tourists and no-one saying ´hello´(other than the carpet salesmen) and waving at the truck. Prices were no longer central asian ... read more
The Cistern
Mosaics
Haga Sophia

Middle East » Turkey » Eastern Anatolia » Van October 20th 2008

After Esfahan we headed to Tabriz. This was basically a rest stop before making the border crossing into Turkey. It took us just over 4hrs to get to the border and then about another 2hrs leaving the Iranian border and entering Turkey. As far as border crossings go that was a good one! As soon as we entered the Turkish side = scarves were off, coats off and we went and bought an ice cold Efeas - the local beer. We drove into Dogybaizit for the night and it was quite obvious that we were in Kurdistan - the locals introduced themselves as Kurdish people rather than Turkish. I had been in Dogy 11 years before. Not much had changed. Mt Ararat was off in the distance. The palace was being renovated so we couldn't get ... read more
Dogybaizit
Lake Van
Pott tree!

Middle East » Iran » East » Yazd October 12th 2008

Since Tehran we have been travelling west across Iran . Everywhere we go the people are wonderful, usually greeting us with 'Welcome to Iran'. I have had a man stop the traffic for me and a family invite me to their home in Northern Iran if I am in the area! After Tehran (which was fantastic) we stopped in Yadz. Yadz is one of the oldest regions in Iran and we spent the day following the walking tour around the old city. Lots of little laneways so we pretty much spent the day getting lost, finding ourselves again and then getting lost again. It was a very pretty little city and I really enjoyed our time there. After Yadz we headed to Persepolis - which is the ruins of an Ancient City ruled by Darius the ... read more
Inside the Mosque in Shiraz
Old City of Yadz
Yadz Old Town

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran October 4th 2008

Well we are now in Tehran. We camped one night after crossing the border from Turkmenistan and then had an 18 hr drive to get into Tehran the following day. Tehran has been great - a very modern city where we visited the Palace, the "Den of Espionage' (the old US Embassy), the National Museum and the Jewels Museum - really enjoyed it all. We boutght black cotton in Ashgabat and borrowed long shirts from the boys to make our way over the border. Since then we have bought black headscarves and mantous (thigh length coats) to get around in. Some women are still wearing chadoors (especially in some of the small towns we visited on the way) but here in Tehran that mantous are the go (but still pretty hot). Tomorrow we head for Yadz ... read more
One of the murals on the wall of the Den of Espionage
Crossing into Iran

Asia » Turkmenistan » Ashgabat October 1st 2008

I am a bit behind with this journal as Turkmenistan was pretty tight with internet access. I couldn't get phone access as well. After Bukhara we went to Khiva - wandered around more amazing buildings and bazaars. From there we travelled across the border into Turkmenistan. The Border towns had not seen many tourists so we had a lot of attention as we were changing money and shopping in the bazaar. We had a couple of days of bush camping as we made our way through the Turkmen desert. We drank our last beers as we were just out of Ashgabat. The highlight of the Turkmen desert (seeing camels roam free is so old hat now) was jumping onto a local contractors truck and making our way further into the desert one night. We went to ... read more
Gas Crater 2
Turkmenistan Desert Driving
Ruins in the Turkmen Desert

Asia » Uzbekistan September 22nd 2008

We are now in Bukhara.... another awesome place in Uzbekistan. We had city tour yesterday and cruised around the sites. Visited the Ismail Samanid Mausoleum a 10th C Mausoleum for Ismail Samani who both the Uzbeks and the Turkmen hold in high esteem as hereos of their country. The terracotta brickwork has features from Zorastrian, Buddhism as well as Islam. The Turkmen want to relocate the tomb to Ashgabat. . . according to our Uzbek guide! The tomb was buried under sand to protect it from the Mongols and later the Russians. We also visited the Ark = 5th C to 1920s when it was bombed by the red army. We visited the Many Medressa of the city, the Death Tower, the Prison and the Chasma=Ayub Mausoleum built in the 12thC over a natural spring which ... read more
Blue Tiles 1
Death Tower and Medressa
Tomb




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