Can you bare it?

I stumbled upon Daphne on the rooftop of a dusky riad in Marrakech. This six-foot Canadienne with man-sized feet was the only other guest there, and she was naked. Or mostly naked, which is startling for me at the best of times, but particularly in Morocco – a conservative north-African Muslim country. “Oh, er, hello!” “Hi,” she said, blowing a…

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You can be Hadrian, virtually

This long distance footpath is unique because it follows a World Heritage Site. Hadrian built the Wall to separate the Roman Empire from the barbarians. It is a complex structure with curtain wall, milecastles, turrets, ditches and forts. Walking the Path is logistically easier if the east-west route is followed. The Path that mainly follows the Wall has cityscape, farmland,…

Beaucoup Baku

Baku has a medieval Islamic core surrounded by lavish late 19th and early 20th-century European styles and modern skyscrapers and designs. Layers of history can be unraveled by exploring the architecture in Baku as you pass through Azerbaijan’s different eras. Read more courtesy of TheCultureTrip.com  

You’re certifiable

When it comes to your time and money, signing up for an in-depth skills course shouldn’t preclude going on a dream trip. By traveling to one of the countries below, you can get world-class certification in anything from scuba diving to mountaineering. Plus, these classes offer the opportunity to connect with a destination on a much deeper level by interacting…

Modest mosque

Centrally located in the Iranian capital Tehran, the Vali-e-Asr Mosque’s most distinguishing aspect is the fact that it does not look like a mosque. Designed by Iranian architects Reza Daneshmir and Catherine Spiridonoff of Fluid Motion Architects, the building eschews the stereotypical typology of large domes and tall minarets in favour of a modest horizontality thereby making the mosque harmoniously…

Gawk like an Egyptian

The ancient Egyptian burial site of Saqqara has been studied for more than a century, due to the importance of the location for political, religious and architectural history. One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, it is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. But a new “born-digital” publication by UC Santa Cruz associate history professor Elaine Sullivan takes a…

Egyptian queens

When it comes to women’s rights, ancient Egypt was ahead of its time. Gender did play a role in Egyptian society—men, for example, commonly occupied positions of authority, while women were relegated to household duties—but women were seen as the equals of men in most other aspects of life. Ancient Egypt’s women owned property, participated in the legal system, and…

The art of coffee

Famous Saudi coffee roasters Elixir Bunn opened their new location in Riyadh, designed by Azaz Architects. After building a strong reputation for their coffee, it was time to build an atmosphere to complement their famous drinks. Coffee in Saudi Arabia is well-rooted into the local culture and could be traced back to times prior to the formation of the Kingdom. Read…

Cinéma veridad

How an Abandoned Modernist Cinema Became a Revolutionary Symbol in Lebanon The Beirut Egg is riddled with bullet holes and covered in graffiti. Protesters recently reclaimed it. The abandoned cinema—a brutalist concrete dome, missing swaths of wall and riddled with bullet holes—looks like it’s from a different universe, next to the enormous Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque and sleek high-rise apartments. On…

When thou art at Tunis, do as they do at Tunis.

Tunis is bursting with the creative energy of a generation taking full advantage of its newfound freedom of expression and fervour for preserving its heritage in unexpected ways. Tunisia has suffered a crisis of reputation over the past decade after the revolution that ousted president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 threw the country into turmoil and began the broader…

Nature is art in Saudi Arabia

When we travel, if we are paying attention we often marvel at how nature is art. Sometimes we miss it completely … and sometimes we regret that, later. This article discusses an artist in Saudi Arabia who takes the desert and the Saudi Arabian landscape and turns it into stunning art installations. Site-specific installations are on display amid sandstone cliffs…

Feeling fine and sandy

After a while, the perpetual traveller is always looking for something new. Perhaps he or she is bored with the usual suspects.  Yes, Paris is wonderful, but if you have done it for the 15th time, perhaps it has lost its allure. Or maybe the perpetual traveller is looking for something completely different in as much as it is more…

Let’s talk Turkey

There’s good news for any residents of six countries planning to vacation in Turkey, as it has decided to exempt their visa requirements from 2 March, 2020. This will make things easier for holiday-makers as well as eliminating visa charges. Read more courtesy of Lonely Planet.    

Cairo . . . it’s time.

Tourism to Cairo has dwindled since the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. But locals see the new Grand Egyptian Museum as a chance to reintroduce the world to Egypt’s bustling capital. Founded in 969AD, modern Cairo may seem young in comparison to the 4,500-year-old pyramids just across the Nile. But the city has seen its own share of history in its lifetime,…

When in Turkey, “Askıda ekmek”

In many Western countries, it has become common in recent years for people to hand over money for an extra cup of coffee or a filling meal when they pay for their own, to be held at the counter for a person in need. In Turkey, this seemingly modern idea of “paying it forward” goes back centuries. It’s called askıda ekmek, and…

Make a new plan, Stan – Tajikistan

Central Asia’s smallest nation has seen a rapid increase in travelers over the past few years. Here’s how (and why) to plan your first trip. …… The little nation of Tajikistan sits at the confluence of East Asia and the Middle East, acting as a crucible for both regions. Cultural elements from nearby China, Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan mix with…

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