Blogs from Middle East


Middle East » Cyprus February 16th 2019

I needed it very much, and could not go too far or for too long. Besides the weather must be comfortable and not to cold. So we decided to take a very short flight to Cyprus. Forty minutes and we are landing. Or not? Water all around and no sign of land and our plane is going down lower ad lower. At the very last seconds before landed I was relieved to see a piece of land. Because our time was short and we wanted to see the best, I booked a tour guide who went with us. It was a remarkable holiday with lots of history, great food and beautiful scenary. So we saw the castle of St Hillarion, the Kyrenia fortress, The Gothic Abbey of Bellapais and Famagusta ghost city, and next day all ... read more

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut February 12th 2019

Day 74: Smooth commute back to Ashford. Really nice to catch up with Hat after a few months, and be with the grandparents at the same time. Hours sadly pass very quickly sitting around that table. Slept like a log with the comfort a non-hostel bed. Day 75: Packing skill-set truly tested with some of the acquisitions, but after a couple hours of deliberation and trial it all fitted in the 90 litre pack. Dawned on me after a couple of big 'see you laters' that the trip is very much coming to a close. Gatwick check-in was as quick as Europe even with bag. Istanbul airport is both massive and chaos, never seen so much ground support on the move. Upgrade to premium economy for the short leg to Beirut - nice one. Day 76: ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra February 1st 2019

Explore Jordan holidays and discover the best time and places to visit. · A safe haven in a region of conflict, Jordan has delighted visitors for centuries with its Because Jordan is still an emerging destination, travelling here is bound to stir up a few questions. But fear not, you've got you covered! Jordan travel guide, including map of Jordan, top Jordan experiences, tips for Jordan travel, when to visit Jordan and Jordan tips. Whether you plan to visit the countryside, float in the Dead Sea or explore Amman, here's your guide to the best time to visit Jordan Book unique trips to Jordan, customized to your needs, with the help of our network of reliable local travel specialists.The opportunity to travel to Jordan is something that you should seize. Read this guide to find out ... read more

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut January 26th 2019

A two hour taxi drive takes us from North Lebanon to South Lebanon. It's a small country but each area is different. Beirut is a cosmopolitan city; Byblos is predominantly Christian; Sidon is 80% Sunni Muslim. Sidon has large Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps on its outskirts; some were established in the ‘50s but refugees still arrive today. Our hotel is run by Palestinians and our map tells us that the border to Lebanon's south is with Palestine not Israel. Yasser Arafat's poster is everywhere. Our hotel is old, all stone arches, high ceilings and wonky doorways. The walls are made of huge stone blocks, the windows are shuttered. We are the only guests; we have breakfast in our dusty, exclusive dining room on the roof. Our room and the roof terrace overlook the port and ... read more
Sidon's sea castle
Ottoman era house

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut January 23rd 2019

We’re not supposed to be in Beirut, not even in the Lebanon, but here we are in a taxi, whizzing through Beirut’s dodgy southern suburbs into the safe downtown. We were due to travel to Sudan, organised by a UK tour company in partnership with the foremost travel company in Khartoum. Everything was arranged including visas on arrival in Sudan and we had the necessary documents to show this. Or rather, we thought we did until Epypt Air in Cairo refused to let us board the plane to Khartoum. No visa, no check in, no fly. A quick bit if replanning and here we are, unprepared and disorganised and heading for Beirut. To our west, we catch glimpses of the Med; to the east, glimpses of the snow covered Chouf mountains. Seaside and skiing in a ... read more
Place d'Etoile, Beirut
Byblos harbour
Byblos ruins

Middle East » Israel » South District » Mitzpe Ramon January 10th 2019

Di nuovo in Israele, dove ho lasciato per ultime alcune gemme nascoste nel deserto del Negev e poco piu' in la'. MITZPE RAMON: Questo piccolo villaggio sorge sul ciglio di un grande cratere che si e' formato quando, nel corso dei millenni, l'acqua di un antico mare si e' ritirata. Arrivando da Eilat a Sud, l'autobus passa a caricare e scaricare giovani militari di leva che prestano servizio nelle numerosi basi sparse nell' inospitale ed isolato deserto del Negev, lontane da sguardi indiscreti; la strada sale gradualmente fino ad arrivare ad una ampia valle contornata da quello che in termini scientifici viene definito "circo d' erosione" ma che viene piu' semplicemente chiamato il "gran canyon" d'Israele: il Makhtesh Ramon. Qualche tornante e si arriva sul suo bordo dove l'altopiano continua poi indisturbato come niente fosse; qualche ... read more
Mar Morto
Ein Gedi: Wadi David
Mar Mediterraneo

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran January 6th 2019

My time in Iran wasn't quite over yet. Indeed I was on my way home but after worrying ever so slightly about getting to Shiraz International Airport on time, navigating the poorly-signed said airport, catching two a hour flight and arriving at Tehran's Mehrabad Airport, I still had about ten hours to kill in the capital before catching my (two) flight(s) back to Berlin. I had missed out on seeing the Treasury of National Jewels when I was in Tehran last and knowing the very short opening hours it had, I headed straight there from the city's domestic airport. Travelling super-light made this a feasible proposition! Locked in a steel vault of metre-thick walls inside the Central Bank Of Iran, are the Iranian crown jewels, a breathtaking collection of precious gems and jewel-encrusted objects that were ... read more
Streets Of Tehran #1
US Den Of Espionage
Exhibits At The Iranian Artists House

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai January 4th 2019

Den letzten Tag in Dubai habe ich chillend auf dem Zimmer verbracht, nachdem ich wieder ein gutes Frühstück genossen hatte. Dabei ich vor allem Computer gespielt und vor Verlassen des Hotels nochmals gebadet. Die Aussicht von meinem Zimmer auf den Creek und die gegenüber liegende Altstadt war sehr schön. Ich hatte auch ein Late-Checkout um 18:00 bevor ich mit der Metro zum Flughafen gefahren bin. Dort wollte ich eigentlich in ein nettes Restaurant, aber es gab nur einen billigen Food Court. Erst nach dem Einchecken gelangte man in bessere Etablissements. Nach langer Wartezeit war ich endlich im Flugzeug und der Nachtflug verlief problemlos. Wie so oft konnte ich dabei nicht schlafen. In Deutschland dann noch mehrere Stunden im Zug und aufgrund einer langen Verspätung meines Intercity von Hannover nach Braunschweig mit dem Regionalexpress und von da ... read more
Blick von meinem Hotelzimmer auf den Dubai Creek.
Mein Flugzeug für die Nacht.
Mein Flugzeug für die Nacht.

Middle East » Iran » South » Shiraz January 4th 2019

Just like the irony of there being no beef madras in Madras, there is no shiraz to be found in Shiraz. A place that once produced some of the finest wine in the world, Iran's 300 pre-revolution wineries have now been reduced to zero. We are in the Islamic Republic after all and as such, there is not a drop of alcohol to be (legally) found in the country, outside of the small Iranian Christian communities that live here. Not that this should put anyone off visiting Shiraz, of course - my next destination has many a sight worth seeing. Oh, does it just. Now when I think about every place I have been in on New Year's Day over the years, the list is a microcosm of all my travels; London, Dubai, Berlin (twice), url=../../Africa/Egypt/Lower ... read more
Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh, Shiraz
Pink Mosque, Shiraz

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Sharjah January 3rd 2019

Gestern bin ich mit dem Bus nach Sharjah gefahren. Diese Stadt war 1998 UNESCO Kulturhauptstadt der arabischen Welt und 2014 Hauptstadt der islamischen Kultur. Die Fahrt vom Union Square in Dubai bis nach Sharjah dauerte etwa 30 bis 45 Minuten und verlief problemlos. Vor Ort bin ich vorbei am nicht so sehenswerten Souq und haben dann die restaurierte und ummauerte Altstadt gefunden. Die Arbeiten daran sind aber noch nicht abgeschlossen. Dort bin ich etwas herum gelaufen und habe auch Kaffee getrunken, bevor ich mir ein Kombiticket für das Sharjah Heritage Museum, das restaurierte Haus Bait Al Naboodah, eine Schule, ein kleines Kalligraphiemuseum und das Fort gekauft habe. Es waren aber nur wenig Touristen zu sehen. Danach bin ich wieder zum Busbahnhof und nach Dubai zurück gefahren. Dort habe ich wieder Computer gespielt und abends auch ein ... read more
Im restaurierten Zentrum von Sharjah.
Im restaurierten Zentrum von Sharjah.
Im restaurierten Zentrum von Sharjah.

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