Blogs from Middle East - page 8


Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai May 24th 2019

Today we are flying from Singapore back to Dubai - About 3500 miles - About seven hours in the air. We had a leisurely last breakfast. Thankfully, not too many people in there today. At Changi Airport, we had a lounge booked to start off the journey. This gave us a chance to have a light lunch and for Theresa to have a free glass of wine. Our Emirates flight, call sign EK353, left about 20 minutes late. The food on the flight is as good as it normally is. The drinks service was very slow though. Tonight, we are staying at Millennium Dubai Airport Hotel. It is a five star hotel, but they offer a free shuttle to the airport so no need to pay for taxis. With our arrival back in Dubai, we have ... read more

Middle East » Turkey » Mediterranean » Patara May 23rd 2019

I can only think of one word, a chemical element, P, number 15, Phosphorus, never found as a free element on earth. But Bosporus, the strategic waterway, is the strait between the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara. With the Dardanelles, it separates Europe form Asia. Or should I say, it connects Asia and Europe? It is only 19 miles long, and from 2.3 miles wide at the west, and only 2450 feet at its narrowest. The current here flows from north to south, but with a strong subsurface undercurrent, making navigation difficult for beginners. The strait is busy with oil tankers, and commercial ships (over 48,000 annually), along with local fishing and sightseeing boats. One hundred and forty ships take the 90 minute voyage daily. In addition, the Bosphorus has two tunnels that run underneath: ... read more
Great views
Bosporus is here!
 a bridge

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Kadıköy May 22nd 2019

I have mixed thoughts about visiting Turkey. Not just the current political turmoil, but their past history with the genocide of the Armenians. We grew up with so many Armenian families and friends in the area. They are among my best friends. And the greater Fresno area is home to a large number of Armenian Americans. But I have been anxious to visit, despite all of the issues, even the danger. Last year, as you may remember, I had one of the last visas issued to an American, and was told by the State Department NOT to go! This time, unless another war breaks out, or open hostility to tourists, namely Americans, becomes unbearable, I am going. I plan to pick and choose my spots, and most likely avoid tour groups, which seem to be an ... read more
7 hills
The sultan

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Kadıköy May 22nd 2019

We have all enjoyed kebabs of various sorts back home, including lamb (shish), beef, and chicken. I have even had fish, cheese, fruit, vegetable, and tofu kebabs in some places around the world. But what really is a kebab? In the Middle East, Asia, and the Muslim world, a kebab is any variety of grilled meats, usually on a skewer, but not always. The meat on the kebab can be ground, cut, or cubed, and may include anything that can be grilled. But rarely pork due to religious reasons. One of my favorites is the doner kebab, available throughout the world, but particularly good in this part of the world. The "Adana" kebab is quite popular here. It is made of ground beef or a combination of ground beef and lamb. Quite commonly, onion, garlic and ... read more
Lovely and tasty kebabs
kebabs and sides

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Beyoglu May 21st 2019

Istanbul has been Constantinople, and Byzantium long before becoming Istanbul. There is even a song about it: So, Take me back to Constantinople... read more
A great story
And some changes

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Sultanahmet May 20th 2019

President Erdogan is opening what he claims will eventually become the world's largest air transport hub on the 95th anniversary of Turkey's establishment as a republic. It's a symbolic launch, as only limited flights will begin days later and a full move won't take place until the end of the year. Tens of thousands of workers have been scrambling to finish the airport to meet Erdogan's Oct. 29 deadline. Protests in September over poor working conditions and dozens of construction deaths have highlighted the human cost of the project. Istanbul New Airport, on shores of the Black Sea, will serve 90 million passengers annually in its first phase. At its completion in ten years, it will occupy nearly 19,000 acres and serve up to 200 million travelers a year with six runways. That's almost double the ... read more
Pretty snazzy!
Istanbul will continue to grow!

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara » Istanbul » Kadıköy May 20th 2019

I have been waiting for many years to visit. The visit is upon me. What to see and do? How about these for a start? I want to try the famous street food, particularly the Döner kabab, which is famous throughout Europe, and parts of Asia. A few I have tasted in Europe were quite tasty, and go quite well with a cold beer. Some other dishes to try: dolmas, koftas, and of course, the ubiquitous baklava. The Hagia Sophia is the only place in the world to serve three religions. Uniquely, have breakfast in Europe with a view of Asia, then lunch in Asia with a view of Europe. In other words, a trip on the Bosphorus, often called the heart of the city. Witness a unique form of meditation, the whirling dervishes with their ... read more
Kumpir looks great!
The famous 7 hills

Middle East » Turkey » Marmara May 19th 2019

Turkey; Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy and Canakkale We had left Australia on a daytime flight, staying at KL overnight before a daytime flight to Oman for a few days. After Oman, we headed to Jordan and then onto Israel. Our commentaries on these destinations can be found Israel, Jordan and Oman. When planning this trip, we thought we'd stay in the (sort of) Middle East and hence visit Istanbul (it had been on the bucket list for a while). We also felt compelled to go visit Gallipoli. As always, if you want to see the picture in a larger size, just click on it. Day 1 - 19 May; Arrival When booking our flight, the destination was Attaturk (the international airpo... read more
Mosaics Istanbul
Blue Mosque Infadel entry
Hagia Sophia complex

Middle East » Israel May 12th 2019

Israel: a taste of the biblical trail This trip with Peregrine Tours gave us a taste of the important Christian biblical attributes, with a heap of enjoyment on the side. Day 0.1 - 12 May - From Jordan Our last ‘blog’ had us finishing the tour in Jordon on Day 6. The following day (today) Peregrine Tours transported us to Israel. We had wanted to visit the Jordan River where Christ had been baptised. Despite much email ‘conversation’ before we left and a few requests along the way while in Jordan, this was not to be. We’d departed the Amman hotel early so as to get to the border in a reasonable time. We were advised the border is bedlam and every minute ‘counts’. Imagine our dismay as our bus passed the turnoff to the site, ... read more

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