Travel to the Middle and Near East

As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, is definitely a significant plus an integral a part of my life. Some 400 trips to each and every portion on the globe, by way of road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article is targeted on those from the Middle and Near East.


Turkey, which lies in Europe and Asia, offered a glimpse into its rich antiquity using a tour through Ephesus, the original Greek city situated on the Ionian coast. Constructed inside the 10th century BC on the website of the previous Arzawan capital by Attic and Ionian Greek colonists, it became one with the twelve cities in the Ionian League in the Classical Greek Era and flourished under control from the Roman Republic in 129 BC.

Extensively canvased on foot, it progressively revealed the elements of its past, like the House from the Virgin Mary, the Temple of Hadrianm, the Library of Celsus, plus the Commercial Agora in the ancient section.

The Live Ephesus using the Ephesians show brought its past to life from the present.

A buffet lunch in Restaurant Le Wagon, a wooden, A-framed building with tree branch support beams, brick and wooden walls, along with a red tile roof, featured potato and bean salad, eggplant, stuffed grape leaves, black olives, pickles, phyllo dough cheese rolls, grilled meatballs with tomato sauce, grilled chicken, yellow rice, and baklava.

Post-meal attractions encompassed the Ephesus Museum along with the St. John Monument, along with the immersion into Turkey’s ancient past was capped that has a Turkish carpet making demonstration in Kusadasi.


Surrounded by Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, Jordan, home country of some other one of my airlines, offered a way to experience and be aware of the history, culture, cuisine, and individuals behind the carrier I partially represented, initially through its modern capital, Amman, built on seven hills or “Jebels.

Mohammed, a colleague I chance-met upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport, immediately displayed the Jordanians’ signature hospitality by volunteering in order to meet me within hotel everyday and escort me for the significant sights.

Offered local confectionaries in bakeries, including delicate cookies or cream- and cheese-filled Kanafa, I walked within his shadow once we entered the Golden Souk, perusing local wares and handicrafts, after which visited Citadel Hill, located 850 meters above sea level on Jebel Al Qala’a and one on the original seven to possess served as Amman’s foundation.

The Roman Amphitheater, in the foot of Jabal Al-Jofah over a hill opposite the Citadel, would be a 6,000-seat, second-century Roman theater, dating back to your era when Amman was generally known as Philadelphia.

Other sights included the single-dome, four-minaret King Hussein Mosque, the largest inside country.

North in the city was Jerash, one in the ten cities in the Decapolis, where splendors of Rome’s frontier provinces were preserved through theaters, colonnaded streets, baths, and temples. A knife, gyrating around when inserted between column joints, established that no cement or some other binding substance ended up used at their juncture.

“Jerash could very well be the best preserved and many complete provincial Roman cities anywhere inside world,” in line with its description. “To walk through the standard city would be to step back in to the world from the second century across the southeastern frontier from the Roman Empire. It is the most spectacular of those towns, ten ones were loosely allied in a association of cities referred to as the ‘Decapolis.’

“Called ‘Gerasa’ in Roman times, it was vital not only because of its individual monuments, but also for the strict and well-preserved town plan, built across the colonnaded main street and lots of intersecting side ones. Its most noteworthy monuments included the Cardo, the South Theatre, the Temple of Zeus, the Oval Piazza, or Forum, Hadrian’s Arch, the Nymphaeum, the Artemis Temple Complex, and also the smaller North Theatre, or Odeon.

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Travel to Africa

As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, happens to be a significant as well as an integral portion of my life. Some 400 trips to every one portion in the globe, with road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article specializes in those in Africa.


The land in the Nile plus the pyramids came alive throughout a flawlessly blue trip one December.

Cairo-accessed sights, almost without saying, included those very pyramids, whose construction commenced in 2550 B. C. due to Pharaoh Khufu’s order and that had been negotiated by camel. Towering some 481 feet, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the most important, contains some 2.3 million stone blocks, each weighing 2.5 to 15 tons and is also considered the oldest from the Seven Wonders with the Ancient World as well as the only one to be largely intact.

Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, built the next pyramid in 2520 B.C. and it is a part of a complex that features the Sphinx, a mysterious limestone monument while using body of any lion as well as a pharaoh’s head, which itself may stand sentinel for your pharaoh’s entire expanse of tombs.

The third such pyramid-shaped structure, that’s considerably less space-consuming than the first two, was built by Pharaoh Menkaure in 2490 B.C. and comes with a much more complex mortuary temple.

Additional attractions included the temple from the Great God Ptah in Memphis, a 5,000-year-old symmetrical, alabaster sphinx, as well as the original statue of Ramses II. The Necropolis in Sakkara afforded to be able to inspect its tombs as well as own step pyramid.

The immersion into Egyptology was capped which has a visit on the Papyrus and Egyptian museums, aforementioned built through the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani and constituting one in the largest such repositories with 120,000 items, not all of which are on display for a single time. But some of the company’s most significant were Tutankhamun’s Mask, the Grave Mask of King Amenemope, the Narmer Palette, the Mummy Mask of Psusennes I, the Statue of Khufu, the Statue of Khafra, the Statue of Menkaure, along with the Merneptah Stele.


Two multi-mode trips to Arabic- and French-speaking Morocco facilitated considerable country coverage.

Significant Casablanca sights included its Medina, the Royal Palace, the Hassan II Mosque, our planet’s second largest next in Mecca, Mohammed V Square, plus a Moroccan handicrafts store.

A drive to Rabat encompassed a unique Royal Palace, the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, the Hassan Tower, along with the Kasbah of Oudaya, evoking images on the Humphrey Boggart movie, Casablanca.

Morocco’s famous and wonderful couscous, sometimes enjoyed with live entertainment, was consumed in a number of restaurants. Lunch within the Golden Tulip Rabat, as an illustration, featured eggplant salad; olive chicken, couscous, and carrots; and thin chocolate pastries and custard-flan with fruit. A later sip of Moroccan mint tea in Rick’s Café from the Kasbah of Oudaya really generated movie memories. Its French influence was expressed rolling around in its crispy baguettes.

Marked by Moorish minarets in the 12th-century, Koutoubia Mosque, in Marrakech, was obviously a former imperial city inside western section of the country, but is today described as palaces, gardens, and also the densely packed, walled medina dating towards the Berber Empire. Threading my way through its maze-like alleys, I passed and perused its souks, or marketplaces, which displayed some items as textiles, pottery, and jewelry.

While a train had linked the town with Casablanca, an inside flight closed the gap between it and Tangier, a port city about the Strait of Gibraltar containing served to be a strategic gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times. Its whitewashed hillside medina was home towards the Dar el Makhzen, a palace on the sultans which had since been become a museum which has a rich assortment of Moroccan artifacts.


Although Arabic and French similarly provided the communication lines in Tunisia, my German often substituted in English-deficient areas.

Tunis, located within the Mediterranean Sea plus the country’s capital, afforded sightseeing opportunities to use Bardo Museum, Hammamet, and Nabeul.

Carthage, a seaside suburb renowned for its ancient archaeological sites and founded from the Phoenicians in the very first millennium B. C., was originally the seat with the powerful Carthaginian Empire, which fell to Rome in the other century B. C. Today it retains a grip on its history with your remnants as the Amphitheatre, Byrsa Hill plus the National Museum of Carthage, the Roman Theatre, the Baths of Antonin, and Sidi Bou Said.

A short, domestic turboprop flight to your island of Djerba varied my view with the country, which has a stay inside the seaside Hotel Hasdrubal and sightseeing of Guellala and Houmut-Souq. Its small, but elegant restaurant dripped of French cuisine along with a butter-sautéed filet mignon entrée one evening was memorable.

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