Blogs from Middle East - page 6


Middle East » Iran » East » Birjand October 19th 2018

This blog post has not just written itself and we found it hard to briefly describe our past month of travelling in Iran without using all the clichés, without sounding like a tourism promotion brochure and without sounding like we are all naive and don't see the more difficult side of the country and it is complex and difficult to understand politics. We simply love Iran and the Iranians. Travelling in Iran is an extremely positive experience. Iran has varied nature, a long interesting history, a beautiful distinct culture, architectural beauties and the most hospitable welcoming people of the world. The infrastructure and public transport is very good and comfortable, which makes travelling very easy and (currently with a very weak currency) very cheap. We have travelled from Tehran via the mountains of Qazvin and Alamut ... read more
Ramsar - Ashura ceremonie
Rasht - Kaleh Rudkhan
Rasht - Kaleh Rudkhan

Middle East » Jordan » South » Wadi Rum October 19th 2018

We'd checked out options for trips to Wadi Rum from Petra from home before we started our travels and they all came in at lots of silly $US prices. And I mean really, really silly prices. Surely it could be done cheaper once we were there? And indeed it could. Our wonderful hotel Mr Fixerman had it all sorted for us within minutes, though it all seemed a bit random - give the bus man so much, the jeep man this much and the taxi man that much and not a dinar more! OK then .... So, another early get-up (I was getting a bit fed up of these now but Steve had warned me the first few weeks of our travels would be a bit 'full on') and a 4.15 am alarm had us ready ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra October 18th 2018

We had to get up early to catch the bus to Petra. Now, I'm normally an early riser but this was early even for me and it was still the middle of the night for Steve! The alarm went off at 4.15 am and were eating breakfast at 5.30. We'd decided to travel with a couple of holdalls rather than take the suitcases so we left those behind at the hotel and wandered down to catch the bus. The place was heaving, even at that time of day! We eventually left at 6.45 rather than 6.30 but I didn't really want those extra minutes in bed anyway .... The journey was uneventful on smooth-ish roads, driving through mainly rocky, sandy countryside. We saw some sheep and goats but very little agriculture. We stopped at the Half ... read more

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman October 15th 2018

Sorry it has taken so long to post this first blog and that our silence has caused some of you some concern. We're well and having a super time but have had some difficulty getting regular, reliable internet access. I'm blaming the Himalayas for blocking the signals! So here's Blog One of this trip, in haste and without photos (because I'm struggling to upload them, hopefully they'll follow in due course) just to give reassurance that we're still alive and kicking .... There's this thing about travelling for extended periods - it takes a lot of planning. And that takes hours and hours of research before deciding where to go, how to get there, where to stay and what to see and do, followed up by all the bookings and documentation. Sensibly, I leave all of ... read more

Middle East » Qatar September 23rd 2018

Hi all. We are on the move again, allbeit a relatively small one as we will be away for only just under 7 weeks. Primarily South Africa, but with a Qatar stopover on the way out, and eSwatini (as Swaziland is now called) whilst we are there. And 2 x 2 weeks of the trip will be with our travel company of choice, Explore Travel. But enough of the teasers let's get back to real(ish) time. As is mostly the case with our longer trips we have left via Manchester to enable Simon to take care of car and cat 😊. Paul, being something of a fare tart, had booked us onto Qatar Air for the first time. It was spooky when checking in, given Pip's addiction to all things Led Zeppelin, to find the ticket ... read more
Dhows and Doha
Museum of Islamic Art
Manuscript dated December 1311/January 1312

Middle East » Iran » North » Rasht September 20th 2018

We have been in so many countries and places already during this trip where our main insight was that people are so incredibly friendly everywhere. Now again we have to admit that the people we meet are so much friendlier and welcoming to us than we would ever picture ourselves behave towards them in our own country. We experience hospitality taken to the ultimate level. Although we try to learn the local language Farsi we have a serious language challenge with the majority of the people not speaking any English but this does not really hinder us nor them in social interactions. The Persians (as the Iranians are called) are truly wonderful people. We find them joyous, having fun, very social, curious and happy. They are the contrary of the fanatic angry somber or shy persons ... read more
Tehran - Golestan Palace
Tehran - Golestan Palace
Tehran - Golestan Palace

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 17th 2018

Monday, 17th September 2018 Things started to slow down considerably as our 8pm flight to Singapore approached. Nevertheless, I started my early morning routine at the hotel pool. For my final swim in Dubai, I had the whole pool to myself which I appreciated since it wasn't so spacious to accomodate that many people. After the swim, we had breakfast at Shakespeare and Company again. This time, we occupied the table at the quiet upper level thus avoiding the transient office crowds at the busy lower level. After breakfast, it was back to the hotel to rest, to pack and to get ready for checkout at two in the afternoon. And after leaving our luggage with the concierge, we made our way to the Burjuman Centre where the Dome Cafe had a branch. Service was great ... read more
At Dome Cafe

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 16th 2018

Sunday, 16th September 2018 Here we are on Day 04 of our vacation in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Sunday is a working day in UAE. After a swim at the hotel pool in the morning, we headed to the Mall of the Emirates for brunch in order to beat the lunch crowds. Since we were rather early, we decided to pop by at the beautiful Carrefour store for some souvenirs shopping before our meals. The goods and fresh produce were so nicely displayed at their flagship store that it would be extremely difficult to go home empty-handed unless you are one determined window shopper. After shopping at Carrefour, it was time for brunch at the Cheesecake Factory located at the other end of the basement that is next to Ski Dubai. Contrary to its name, the ... read more
Ready for Brunch
My Kopi O Kosong
1 soup, 1 salad and 1 mains

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi September 15th 2018

Saturday, 15th September 2018 After breakfast at Burger King this morning, we headed to the Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to embark on our 140km journey to Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. There was a long wait for service E100 when we arrived at the bus stand and it was not a pleasant experience standing and waiting under the hot sun for over 20 minutes. Very soon, we realised that we needed to purchase the silver NOL travel card as it was not possible to pay the AED 25 bus fare by cash. We headed to the ticket window, got our travel cards and rushed back to join the queue again. Not a smooth start for the day! Things however started to pick up soon after we boarded the bus. The journey to Abu Dhabi was ... read more
The Main Prayer Hall
At Lebanese Mill Restaurant
Sunset at Abu Dhabi

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai September 14th 2018

Friday, 14th September 2018 The highlight of the day was our visit to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building at a height of 828m above ground level. Construction commenced in early 2004 and it took a mere 6 years from start to finish before it was officially inaugarated in January 2010. On Fridays, services on the Dubai Metro starts after 10am so we had to hail a taxi in order to reach our venue before 9am. Admission is via Dubai Mall, a massive shopping complex housing some 1,200 stores and a huge aquarium. Granted that the off-peak ticket costs a hefty S$50 for access to the 124th and 125th floors, this was money well-spent in my opinion. Besides the tower visit, there is a well-curated video exhibition at ground level depicting the major milestones as Burj ... read more
Dubai City View
With a great view of the city
From the Top of 125th Storey

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