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Archive for May, 2006

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Natural Chimneys, Manmade Caves, and so much more

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Overlooking Göreme Valley
Overlooking Göreme Valley

Cappadocia really does have it all. Well, everything except low prices, that is. The landscape here is amazing. When we arrived, we came in during a lightning storm, shortly after sunset, so the lightning was flashing behind all these rock formations. One particularly large formation, which looks a little like a castle, had a flash go off behind it just as we were going by, and looked like something out of a Dracula movie.

[read on]

100km to a Different World

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

What a difference a border makes. It is only 100km from Aleppo to Antakya, but once you cross the (very disorganised) border, all of a sudden, you enter Europe.

While we are technically still in Asia, it is a much more european atmosphere. The streets are wide, traffic is a bit calmer. Headscarves have gone from being worn by a moderately sized majority, to being worn only by a tiny minority of women, mostly older women, at that. Western brand names, which were almost non-existent in Syria, have reappeared. The stores are better stocked than anywhere we’ve been since Malta (excepting the Amman Safeway).

There are still a few things to remind us that this isn’t Europe yet. The call to prayer is still heard 5 times a day, though still soundly ignored by most people, there are still people wandering the streets to shine shoes, sell tea, and, in a new addition, weigh people.

[read on]

No News Today

Monday, May 22nd, 2006


So we haven't been blogging much from Syria. This is largely due to the general lack of excitement we've had. Syria is certainly an interesting and beautiful ... [Continue reading this entry]

By request: some general observations

Sunday, May 21st, 2006
Taxis: we weren't keen on trying the taxis in Egypt, as we were still intimated, not wanting to get taken for a ride (no pun intended!), and Cairo cabs in particular have a bad reputation for milking as much money ... [Continue reading this entry]

Damascus, Palmyra

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

Well, we've been in Syria for about 5 days now, and to be honest we haven't done a lot.

We arrived in Damascus latish at night on the 11th. Our first order of business was to get ripped off by ... [Continue reading this entry]

Exercises in Trust

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

Well, today was definately an interesting day. It didn't start out great, as we woke up to find our leftover chicken was missing from the fridge, so our breakfast was lacking in protein. But we made our way ... [Continue reading this entry]

Trips to Safeway, Madaba and the Dead Sea

Tuesday, May 9th, 2006

Something generally lacking in the Middle East has been grocery stores. Fresh produce is readily available, and there are many "supermarkets" that sell chips, chocolate bars, water, pop and maybe two or three other products. But there's still ... [Continue reading this entry]

Dana Nature Reserve

Monday, May 8th, 2006

Dana Village
Dana Village

We've just arrived in Amman, after spending 3 days on the Dana Nature Reserve. Despite how much I try to hide it, I'm just ... [Continue reading this entry]

The Ultimate Stairmaster

Thursday, May 4th, 2006

Stairway from Heaven
Stairway from Heaven

We've spent our third day in Petra now, and it was definately the hardest. We'd wanted to visit the second most ... [Continue reading this entry]


Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

The Treasury
The Treasury

We have been in Wadi Musa (the town beside Petra) for 3 days, and have been to Petra for 2 days, going back again tomorrow. ... [Continue reading this entry]