Blogs from Middle East

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Middle East » Oman December 6th 2017

Ici, pas de doute... Dame Nature s'en est donnée à coeur joie dit un voyageur dans son blog... et j'ose reprendre cette phrase car elle est bien vraie... J 3, 15 novembre : départ de Muscat en deux 4X4 vers Nakhal, Wadi Bani Awf et Al Hamra. Nos guides, Jamil et Naseer n’hésitent pas à faire quelques petits détours pour un plus. Nous découvrons des paysages somptueux que nous n’avions pas imaginés avant de partir ! Nous visitons le fort de Nakhal pour continuer vers les pistes du Wadi Ban Awf et ses eaux chaudes. Une visite aux grottes d’Al Hoota nous décevra quelque peu, mais ce n’est qu'un petit bémol à faire supprimer dans le programme de l’agence. La route oublie son macadam… nous roulons dans des chemins de terre et graviers ou « She-trouille ... read more
encore à Muscat, mais déjà un peu le désert
comme ca vous connaissez un chiffre en arabe...
direction Nakhal

Middle East » Oman » Muscat November 30th 2017

Un million d'excuses... me voila bien en retard et pour cause... On reprend presqu'à zéro et on raconte... Voici donc notre programme pour les premiers jours... Il y aura sans doute quelques photos qui se répèteront avec celles du blog précédent... mais mieux vaut un que deux tu l'auras... ce qui m'arrivait presque ! texto en castellano debajo del frances .... Oman, un coup de foudre touristique… Une expérience sortant des sentiers battus… Voilà ce que nous rêvions de vivre… et pour que ce soit possible, il nous fallait former un groupe. Marielle, Luc, Jacqueline, Jean-Claude, Véronique et Pierre en rêvaient aussi… Donc, pourquoi pas partir à nous huit ? C'est chose faite pour cette année 2017. J 1 : Vols au départ de Bruxelles ou de Luxembourg vers Zurich, le 13 novembre, petite escale ... read more
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Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah November 30th 2017

Notre visite de Muscat continue par le vieux port et le quartier de Mutrah. Nous admirons aussi le Palais du Sultan entouré par ses deux forts portugais datant du 16èm siècle, Al Jalili et Al Mirani. La visite du National Museum était prévue mais pour ne pas nous bourrer le crane, notre guide nous propose plutôt un tour de ville... Le musée peut être envisagé au retour de notre périple dans le pays... C'est ainsi que nous nous promenons dans le souk de Mutrah, que nous passons par de multiples rond-points sympas... que nous découvrons la marina et que l'ambiance de la ville nous attire car samedi 18 novembre ce sera l'anniversaire du Sultan, donc fête nationale.... Il y a des drapeaux partout... en rue, sur les maisons, sur les commerces... des photos du Sultan aussi ... read more
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Middle East » Lebanon November 26th 2017

On Wednesday, November 22, I left Belgium and I took a plane from Köln/Bonn Airport to Beyrouth via Istanbul in order to visit my 2 good JCI-friends Dolly and Firas. I parked my car at a parking a bit outside of the airport. They were really nice and cheap (30€ for 4 days) and they even took pictures from all sides of my car to make sure when I come back there are no new scratches (on my way back it would turn out their pictures were bad and you can't see if your car was scratched or not so they don't have to take responsibility unless it's a really big scratch). The only wired thing was that I had to leave them my keys, but this way I can't lose them. :-) I arrived 2 ... read more
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Middle East » Iran » North » Tabriz November 19th 2017

Saturday. Another day another castle! Some of our group decided that a day exploring Tabriz would be fun, the rest of us headed for the hills to see Babak castle. This remote site on a crag was three hours from Tabriz by bus then about 20 minutes in ancient four wheel drive jeeps followed by a 40 min walk. Not as strenuous as we thought it might be but the final steps up and across the cliff felt exposed to the drop. The views were worth it when we reached the top. After a good bumble about and picnic snacks we headed back the way we had come. Back in Tabriz we all went out for dinner, a good 40 minute walk away from the hotel - sadly the restaurant recommended in both the guidebooks had ... read more
Spice section in the Tabriz bazaar
Takht e Soleyman
Avicenna in Hamedan

Middle East » Iran » West » Esfahan November 19th 2017

Wednesday 1 November We arrived in time to relax for a while before going out to start exploring this amazing city. For a start we walked down to the Se-o-e Pol (33 arch bridge), a fabulous sight and popular with tourists and locals alike. We realised that we were going to start seeing other European tourist groups for the first time. Luckily the city is big enough and the numbers small enough so that this is not a problem. After this some of us went to the Shahrzad restaurant and had possibly the best ever plate of lamb chops followed by a shared dish of the local speciality, khoresht-e mast (google it). At the end of the dinner the waiters plied us with local nougat (gaz). Thursday 2 November Esfahan A day of sightseeing in this ... read more
The 33 arch bridge in Esfahan
Women's mosque
Masjad e Imam

Middle East » Iran » North » Tabriz November 18th 2017

Tuesday. To Qazvin via Alamut Looking back I can’t work out whether I enjoyed this day. We spent quite some time getting out of Tehran and driving to the outskirts of Qazvin where we changed to a smaller bus to tackle the mountain roads. One of the odd, but nerdily interesting, events was realising, when the driver filled up, that petrol/diesel costs about 6p a litre (compared to around £1.20 in London). Our objective for the day was the Assassin sect’s castle of Alamut. Three hours or so from leaving the motorway we arrived at the foot of an outcrop which seemed to be crowned with scaffolding and corrugated iron….the castle. The surrounding countryside was either bleached by the summer into a pale brown dustiness or covered in trees that were turning beautiful shades of gold ... read more
Alamut
autumn colours near Alamut
Most of the gang at Alamut

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Alanya November 14th 2017

Woolly says – It’s been a hectic few weeks with little time to put paws to the keyboard. As we started to pack up our possessions and I checked my pistachio levels which were running dangerously low I made the most of the drizzle and celebrated my burpday. The kind owners of the Plassey laid on an incredible firework display in my honour on the Saturday followed by food and drinks on the big day itself, well I couldn’t ask for more really…..although more presents would have been good! The humans took my party as a goodbye affair and having exchanged addresses and contact details I spent my last morning playing golf. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that not everything was just for him! Woolly says – I will miss my daily round ... read more
New finds at the castle
Who can beat a sunny day by the sea
Checking out the shipyards

Middle East » Oman » Muscat November 14th 2017

castellano debajo del frances.... Une petite mise a jour de dernière minute avant que vous ne lisiez la suite ! Nous sommes le 15 novembre... VOYAGE EXCELLENT mais tellement intense que pas beaucoup d'heures devant moi pour allumer l'ordinateur ! Venons de passer une soirée extraordinaire, dans un hotel extraordinaire pour feter les 75 ans de JJ.... difficultés d'envoyer ce blog car mise a jour idiote de Windows 10 qui m'a bloqué l'ordinateur pendant toute la soirée.... Vous laisse lire ce qui suit et deja MERCI a tous ceux qui ont envoyé un petite message par n'importe quel biais pour souhaiter tout ce qui a de mieux aujourd'hui a JJ... .... Nous voici bien arrivés... et pourtant pour nous deux il s'en est fallut de peu !!! Luxembourg passe comme une lettre à la poste jusqu'au ... read more
petit sejour dans  l'avion pour 40 minutes
Dubai de nuit
Notre premier jour de visite sera  en tout premier lieu la Mosquée du Sultan

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran November 14th 2017

Preamble: I can’t really remember when the idea of visiting Iran first made its way into my head. It might have been over ten years ago when I bought a book on Islamic architecture and gazed at photographs of amazing tilework at mosques in Esfahan. In late 2016 we started thinking of where to go for our next sabbatical and Iran had by then made it to the shortlist. When we started looking at the practicalities we realised that this wasn’t as simple as buying a plane ticket and making it up from there. Politics raised its inconvenient head and as Brits we needed to go on an organised trip. Finding that a visa would cost £165 meant that we wanted a trip that would last a few weeks and found the Explore “Iran in depth” ... read more
Tehran from 12th floor hotel balcony
National Museum
Bowl in museum




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