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Middle East » Turkey » Central Anatolia » Cappadocia September 3rd 2020

Cappadocia has been on our bucket list for a long time but a lot of people have told me they have no clue what or where it is. So, here is a bit of a backgrounder:Thousands of years ago, people carved a tunnel and chamber complex into the soft rock and in the 4thcentury, an underground urbanisation was created in central Turkey. The landscape is a honeycomb of man made caves, places to live, work, and worship. Entire towns were formed by tunnel complexes. Here is a lengthy video of our visit to Cappadocia We climbed through tunnels in underground cities... read more

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem September 1st 2020

A large number of Persian Jews who came to Jerusalem at the end of the 19th century arrived in vain, and the lowliness of their situation led to an attempt to expel them from the country. The writer of the newspaper "Havatzelet" 12 Shevet 1894: "A spectacle of terror we saw on Wednesday of this week in our city, a play that irritates the heart and soul. Many of our brothers, the children of Israel, residents of Persia, came this month to seize our city, to escape it from the heavy exile that rests on our people in the cities of Persia. The public will love them, and the alms that were collected from us - the residents of Jerusalem, revived their lives. Suddenly a decree was issued against them by the exalted government to leave ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman July 18th 2020

Today is about nothing, much like "Seinfeld" which was a show about nothing, according to George Costanza and Jerry. How did google get its name? The world's top search engine takes its name from the mathematical expression of 100 zeros trailing after the number 1. This name is especially apt since binary code, which is used for all computer processors, uses ones and zeros. Google’s goal was to rank pages on the World Wide Web according to importance using Google metrics, with the ultimate mission being “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Who knows if Google would have caught on if its founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had stuck with its original name: Backrub. How many bones in the human ear? There are three small bones in the human ... read more
Show about nothing
Coca cola secrets

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem July 14th 2020

There are many cities in the world, big and small, noisy and quiet, for business and leisure, but there is not a single city in the world that looks like Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the cradle of three religions – Jewish, Christian and Muslim. Its atmosphere is saturated with the rich and ancient history of the universe and the birth of humanity. Only in Jerusalem can you feel the power of history and the vulnerability of man to time. In this city, you can see how the ancient past and the turbulent present touch. "Jerusalem, you are a city built to unite all» This is what king David called the capital of the Jewish people and their state in Psalm 122. What makes Jerusalem so special in our eyes?Bible researchers have counted 70 names of Jerusalem: The ... read more

Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Dammam May 9th 2020

What makes something valuable? This question is long debated by the economists and traders throughout the world. Marx would say my mother’s rhubarb crumble should be valued at the sum of the ingredients plus the effort of the chef. And given that Mum can whip one up in minutes and the rhubarb grew in the garden, Marx and I may disagree on the value. Keynes might argue value is defined by scarcity and demand for the pudding. Truly, everyone knows that my mother is singular in perfecting this treat, whilst demand is from all the family. Thus, Mum could drive a high price yet it is provided freely! You should however “Mind your Ps & Qs” as Val would have said – the cost of a lack of politeness will weigh heavy on your heart. Both ... read more
Twizzle Chimneys
Sunset over Indusrty
Dinner at Home

Middle East » Jordan April 21st 2020

31st May – 16th June 2019 This is our first blog post since coming back from a year-long trip in 2012. Since then we have visited many amazing places, but our trip to Jordan is the first one which we decided to blog about, we loved it so much. Since I was a kid I always wanted to see Petra – I read about it in books, I have seen it on TV and there was just something about it that made me say: “When I am old enough, I will travel all the way there (as a kid it seemed at the other side of the world :)) and see it for myself.” And this year I did! As we were organising our holiday for this year we decided we will travel to Jordan (we ... read more
Roman Theatre Amman
Roman Theatre Amman
Roman Theatre

Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran April 12th 2020

Horror stories abound these days, due to the corona virus. For example: A recent article by url=https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/treated-worse-than-criminals-australian-arrivals-put-into-quarantine-lament-conditionsThe Guardian revealed the terrible conditions that Australian citizens who are reentering the country are facing as they are placed at the Sydney InterContinental, a five-star hotel that’s been turned into a government quarantine center. Instead of hand-crafted, Instagram-worthy meals for in-room dining, citizens are receiving meals that are barely edible and that don’t take their dietary restrictions into consideration. Instead of being able to, at the very least, enjoy the stunning views of Sydney that the hotel is known for, those in quarantine aren’t allowed to leave rooms with windows that don’t open. Other Australian citizens being quarant... read more
Stranded?
On Wings

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai April 10th 2020

This is a challenging time for everyone. But nothing is as challenging as being trapped in another country...literally. I was planning to fly home for a week at the end of March. I was so convinced I would be there that I extended by a week so I could run the 6X Dunkin' Donut Half Marathon which was finally scheduled for the beginning of April after being talked about for a number of years. As the month of March rolled on I was still convinced I was going. Jen didn't want me to go...she even canceled her own trip, but I was insistent. It took a text from my sister and mother saying they would prefer if I didn't come. So I gave in and canceled my trip. Seeing what was going on in the US, ... read more
Social Distancing on a delivery
Virtual coffee with fellow runners
Empty streets of Dubai

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman April 4th 2020

31 mars (Toujours au Marriott Petra, Chambre 811) 10h00Am. Debout devant ma fenêtre, je tire une gorgée de mon éternel Earl Grey en observant des chèvres brouter de la brindille dans les collines inertes et recourbées de Petra. Dès que mon regard s'attarde sur quelques mouvements à l'extérieur de ma capsule, je souris, prenant soudainement conscience que le paysage à l'extérieur de la chambre 811 n'est pas qu'un simple décor photographique fixé dans le temps. Le téléphone de ma chambre sonne soudainement, me sortant d'un coup de mon ennuyante routine de prisonnier. Il n'est pourtant pas l'heure du lunch. Au bout de la ligne, l'ambassade canadienne m'annonce de bonnes nouvelles: une entente entre le Qatar et la Jordanie permet le décollage d'un avion le 2 avril à 1h15AM, à partir de l'aéroport international d'Amman (Queen Allia), ... read more
Isolement au Dove Hotel
Repas à 20$cad, Dove Hotel
Aéroport en quarantaine 1

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 28th 2020

21 mars à …. Je travaille en hôtellerie depuis longtemps, et des chambres de grands hôtels, j'en ai vu et revu souvent. Mais jamais j'aurais cru qu'un jour, je passerai autant de temps confiné à l'une d'entre-elles: la chambre 811 de Marriott Petra en Jordanie. Rideaux fermés, je pourrais tout autant me trouver à Melbourne qu'à Ouagadougou. Au centre de la pièce se trouve un lit king pour m'échouer en ange et devant, un téléviseur plus long qu'à la maison où tournera sans s'arrêter CNN ou Al Jazeera en bruit de fond. J'accroche ma casquette, mon masque et mes gants de caoutchouc refoulés sur le coin d'un cadre présentant le trésor de Petra au loin, en sépia. J'ouvre mes sacs-poubelle contenant mes affaires personnelles et reclasse par terre mon butin. Mélangé à mon linge, les cannages, ... read more
Chambre 811
Repas 1
Repas 2




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