Exploring the scents and sounds of Sidon, Lebanon

6 soap shoes - Travel Images

It’s easy to be seduced by the Middle East. A cluster of cultures and civilizations that followed one another, this region of the world never fails to evoke ancestral traditions, romantic tales and out-of-reach places. Overloaded with its cargo of historical and biblical reminiscences, the legendary city of Sidon today is the largest city of …

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Emirates Palace: A 5-Star Luxury Hotel in Abu Dhabi

Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi

As soon as you land at Abu Dhabi airport, you will be surrounded by luxury. Immediately showing love for tall buildings, shiny decorations, and luxurious shopping malls and hotels, Abu Dhabi knows how to treat its tourists. I have visited the Emirates Palace Hotel twice and it’s always an adventure. Government-owned Emirates Palace Hotel in …

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Categories UAE

My visit to the former US embassy in Tehran

forgery room

It’s recent news the diplomatic crisis between Iran and the UK, and when I visited the former US embassy in Tehran there was no sign it was going to happen. Following the protests of Iranian students in Tehran who claimed to have “occupied” the British embassy, the obvious consequence have been sending back to the …

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Desert safari in Abu Dhabi to discover the nomad roots

Abu Dahabi Safari

The hustle and bustle of our modern life little allow us to establish a true contact with Nature. This is why sometimes we desperately feel the need for that something ancestral that we know exists but can hardly catch. I found a desert safari in Abu Dhabi showed me just that. I would suggest you …

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Categories UAE

Al Ain – A great day trip from Abu Dhabi

Garden - Travel Images

One of the best day trips from Abu Dhabi you can arrange while in the UAE is to Al Ain. Obviously, the first stop of your Al Ain tour must be Sheikh Zayed house. Read on and find out why! What to do in Al Ain – One of the best day trips from Abu …

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Categories UAE

Grab a 9-day Iran tour for just 369€ including hotels

Places to visit in Iran, the ultimate guide

Home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations and masterpieces such as Isfahan’s Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and Ali Qapu Palace, and important archaeological sites like Persepolis and Pasargadae, this Iran tour is the perfect deal for art and history lovers. If you are looking for affordable holidays in Iran, we found the perfect deal for …

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10 reasons why you should travel to Lebanon

Reasons why you should travel to Lebanon

An absolutely enchanted corner of the Mediterranean, there are many reasons why you should travel to Lebanon. The food is legendary, its stormy past, too. There are countless things to do in Lebanon, many places to visit, people to meet and stories to tell. For now, keep reading for some inspiration on why visit Lebanon …

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9 Iranian artists challenge mainstream image of Iran

iran

[grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=SGyov&webforms_id=10824305″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/] Take a few Iranian friends, a decent dose of Persian pride and the urge to introduce Iran to the world and you will witness the latest challenge to the image Western mainstream media want to give of the Islamic Republic. Nine young Iranian artists behind the project Iran Unveiled, Mahya Jaberiansari, Saeid Moridi, Neda …

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Hijab in Islam, why we don’t understand it

hijab in islam

Something strange happens to the human mind when a person is exposed to a culture different from his/her own. A mix of skepticism, suspicion, and fear can prevail preventing us from welcoming the stranger. The controversial topic of hijab in Islam is one of those sensitive issues that I feel we are not grabbing in Europe …

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Caravanserai as cultural crossroads along the Silk Roads: Iran’s Izadkhast

silk road izadkhast caravanserai

There is a place in Iran that, in my opinion, is not capturing the attention it should. Nestled in the very heart of Persia’s segment of the ancient Silk Road, Izadkhast caravanserai is worth stopping, visiting and photographing at any time of the day, with the highlights being early morning and just before sunset. Located in Fars province on …

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The open wounds of Iran’s Khuzestan

khuzestan

Known as one of Iran’s most polluted provinces, southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan, bordering with Iraq and the Persian Gulf, encompasses a collection of contrasting social mores, different ethnic minorities and an appetizing wealth of natural resources, especially oil, making it one of the provinces on which the national economy largely depends on. Having mainly …

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Humans of Iran

humans of iran

Here is my little tribute to the humans of Iran who crossed my path and their stories, some real some that I imagined looking at them, their different ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. I’ve been reading an outrageous amount of information on Iran, from books to poetry, epic poems, essays, novels, articles and news, yet, …

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Things to do in Lebanon, enchanted corner of the Mediterranean

4 travel to lebanon tyre ruins - Travel Images

Fascinating, controversial and enchanting corner of the Mediterranean, despite its small size, there are countless things to do in Lebanon. Explore its ancient history in the perfectly kept archaeological sites, experience the life of the capital, Beirut, get a sensory overload in Sidon’s souqs and enjoy the Lebanese exquisite cuisine. As a marigold sun prepared …

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Under the spell of the old Tehran

4 old tehran bath roof min - Travel Images

Between palaces, gardens and mansions, Iran’s capital is as glamorous as it gets, but if you ask me, the most fascinating bits are right in the back alleys, the old Tehran, the narrow streets that so much reveal of the city’s daily life. Often overshadowed by the more touristy Shiraz, Isfahan, and Yazd, the Iranian capital offers …

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Vakil mosque, stunning Zand-era example of Islamic architecture

vakil mosque6 min - Travel Images

Granted, Nasir ul-Molk mosque is stunning, especially if you go early in the morning when the sun seeps through the stained-glass windows creating gorgeous reflections on the carpet. However, Shiraz boasts yet another historical worship place that remains unfairly underrated, Vakil mosque. Vakil mosque is located close to Vakil Bazaar in their namesake historical neighbourhood developed by …

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Persepolis and Pasargadae, traveling for a glimpse into Iran’s glorious history

3 persepolis min - Travel Images

Many are the posts I’ve already written about the capital of Iran’s Fars province, describing the romance Shiraz never fails to evoke and the colours and reflections of the enchanted Nasir al-Mulk mosque from inside and outside. However, I realized I was yet to write one about one of my very favorite experiences in Iran, a visit to Persepolis, the incredible …

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Beneath Yazd tallest wind catcher in beautiful Dolat Abad Garden

1 dolat abad garden - Travel Images

The charming city of Yazd is famous for its typical desert architecture, and among the most distinguished features are by all means the badgirs, or wind catchers, as they are romantically reworded in English. In the quest for the tallest badgir, or for a green oasis in the middle of the desert, we ended up in Dolat …

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Romance in Shiraz with the blessing of Hafez and Saadi

shiraz hafez1 - Travel Images

“My beloved is brighter than the sun,Put in the heavens, my only one.Placed the hearts upon the earthTo watch the sun’s daily run.” ∼ Hafez, Rubaiyat 08 When you think of Iran many things cross your mind, the Persian empire, history, art, architecture, politics and, last but not least, sanctions. But let’s face it, how …

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Colors of Persia, culture of Iran

4 gold sheikh loftollah isfahan - Travel Images

Any trip to Iran is made more pleasant by the many aspects of the local culture, from its food to the local famous (and seemingly favourite piece of info in US travel writing) sense of hospitality, to the emotional overload built up by the burst of colours that rules everywhere no matter what. That’s why the culture …

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Tabriz Bazaar, Iran’s oldest market – a photo journey

7 tabriz bazaar - Travel Images

One of the the best things to do in Tabriz, and one of Iran’s most precious bazaars, Tabriz Grand Bazaar is a must if you are travelling around northern Iran. Here is a fascinating photo journey through its labyrinthine alleys, beautifully covered brick domes and countless shops selling any delicacy, handicraft work and refreshment you …

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Things to do in Tabriz, the City of Firsts

tabriz view - Travel Images

Known as the “city of firsts”, Tabriz is the capital of Iranian northern province of East Azerbaijan and hometown of many of the country’s pioneers. At about 1350 meters above sea level, Tabriz is usually cold in winter and cool-ish in summer, although when I went, just last May, the weather was already quite, and …

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The world in a door, nuances of Iran

door yazd1 - Travel Images

It’s a tradition that belongs to a not-so-remote past, and while now it’s not in use anymore, the traces it left are still visible and epitomized in small doors, revealing the almost imperceptible nuances of Iran. Different knobs for different guests, a heavy, sturdy and thick knob for men, the stronger gender, opposed to a …

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Pearls of travel wisdom from Shirazi poet Saadi

saadi mausoleum1 - Travel Images

“A traveller without observation is a bird without wings” Saadi Shirazi, Iranian poet. Being this one of my favourite travel quotes, could I go to Shiraz and not visit Saadi’s mausoleum? Of course not. Shiraz Saadi, poet, sage and traveller Saadi, nom de plume of Abū-Muhammad Muslih al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī, is one of the …

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10 reasons why you should visit Iran now

Chasing the unexpected travel website home page image

Should I or should I not visit Iran? You’ve been pondering, mulling over, thinking about it, even planning, yet you still haven’t booked your trip to Iran. You don’t even know why, maybe holidays for you are synonymous with beach so you head to Thailand, maybe you think spices are only available in India, or maybe …

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Iran bazaars: where are the best ones and why visit them

shiraz bazaar1 - Travel Images

One of my very favourite activities everywhere I go, be it a destination I know or a new discovery, is to visit the local markets, and Iran bazaars were just about to become my favourite photography subject in the Islamic Republic. Many studies have been carried out about Iran bazaars, and the reason why they …

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Painfully wounded Tabriz Blue Mosque

1 tabriz blue mosque - Travel Images

Tabriz Blue Mosque was built in 1465 under the rule of Muzaffar al-Din Jahan Shah, leader of the Qara Quyounlu tribal federation that ruled over a territory comprising modern Azerbaijan, north-western Iran, eastern Turkey, Armenia and Iraq. In 1779 an earthquake that took the lives of some 10,000 people heavily damaged this mosque, and today what …

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Traditional Iranian food in Lahidjan, Gilan province

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[grwebform url=”https://app.getresponse.com/view_webform_v2.js?u=SGyov&webforms_id=10824305″ css=”on” center=”off” center_margin=”200″/]After breakfast naturally comes lunch, and in Iran, every meal is a very serious business. You guessed it, after the delicacies I wrote about in my previous post, we had the nerve to seat for lunch too. Madi’s mom prepared the most delicious treats of Iranian food taken from traditional Gilaki …

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Picnicking in Iran

iranian picnic1 - Travel Images

When it comes to picnicking, Iran is the real deal. If your first thought for a Sunday picnic involves relaxing and taking it easy without the worry of cooking, setting the table and washing up, you might want to think again. During the recent two-week trip to Iran I’ve embarked on with my friend and fellow …

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