Continue reading My Andalusian Stories Author: naim Date: 01 Jun 2014 Filed under: Spain

My Andalusian Stories

The fabulous palace-fortress of Alhambra in Granada, Andalusian Spain, epitomises the peak of Islamic civilisation. Built in the mid-10th century at the site of a former hill fortress, it fluorished under the Nasrid Dynasty, till the late 15th century. May 2009.

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PLEASE READ THIS ENTRY FIRST. IT’S MY “TABLE OF CONTENTS”. THANKS!

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Continue reading The Nuri Pyramids and the Wondrous Nile Author: naim Date: 06 May 2014 Filed under: Sudan, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Nuri Pyramids and the Wondrous Nile

We have stayed in Marawi for two nights and today we have to leave our cosy, modern hotel on the bank of the Nile for three destinations — the Pyramids of Nuri, a Nile orchard and our lodging in Dongola, some 180km northwest of here, which means another desert-crossing before the day ends.

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Continue reading The Pyramids of the Royal Cemeteries of Meroe Author: naim Date: 30 Apr 2014 Filed under: Sudan, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Pyramids of the Royal Cemeteries of Meroe

From the ruins of Musawarrat es-Sufra, it’s a 25km dirt track to get back onto the sealed Khartoum-Atbara road, and another 50km northwards before we get to this icon of Sudan — the Pyramids of Meroe, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the largest archaeological sites in the world, comprising three large zones of pyramids (royal tombs) built between 8th century BC and 350 AD.

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Continue reading Crossing the Bayuda Desert to Musawwarat es-Sufra Ruins in Meroe Author: naim Date: 27 Apr 2014 Filed under: Sudan, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Crossing the Bayuda Desert to Musawwarat es-Sufra Ruins in Meroe

Today we travel 450km to the ruins of Musawwarat es-Sufra in Meroe, on the other side of the Bayuda desert. The Kingdom of Kush started on this side of the desert in 11th century BC, with its capital at Jebel Barkal. In 300 BC, the capital was shifted 280km southeast to Meroe, and it lasted till the kingdom ended in 350 AD — this is called the Meroitic period of the Kingdom of Kush.

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Continue reading The Ruins of Jebel Barkal in Northern Sudan Author: naim Date: 20 Apr 2014 Filed under: Sudan, UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Ruins of Jebel Barkal in Northern Sudan

We visit the crown jewel of ancient Nubian history, the ‘holy mountain’ of Jebel Barkal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once made capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kush (11th century BC to 350 AD), it is surrounded by amazing ruins of temples, palaces and pyramids.

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Continue reading Khartoum to Marawi, a Desert Crossing Author: naim Date: 17 Apr 2014 Filed under: Sudan

Khartoum to Marawi, a Desert Crossing

We do a 450km drive from Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, to Marawi, a town to north on the banks of the Nile river. We cross the Nubian desert, which in turn forms the extreme eastern portion of the colossal Sahara desert of northern Africa. March 2014.

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Continue reading Our Turkey Tales Author: naim Date: 17 Feb 2014 Filed under: Turkey, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Our Turkey Tales

A collection of stories from Turkey. February, 2013.

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Continue reading Fascinating Harran and Gobekli Tepe in Southeastern Anatolia Author: naim Date: 14 Feb 2014 Filed under: Turkey

Fascinating Harran and Gobekli Tepe in Southeastern Anatolia

We visit the cave and well of Prophet Job (Ayub), the famed Biblical city of Harran — home of Prophet Abraham — and the mysteriously fascinating 11,000-year-old archaeological site of Gobekli Tepe. February 2013.

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Continue reading New York City Walkabout Author: naim Date: 23 Jan 2014 Filed under: USA

New York City Walkabout

We spend a few days in New York City, exploring Manhattan by foot. It’s a sure way of discovering this diverse and wonderful city. November 2013.

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Continue reading Kuala Lumpur KUL to New York JFK, with Kuwait Airways Author: naim Date: 19 Dec 2013 Filed under: USA

Kuala Lumpur KUL to New York JFK, with Kuwait Airways

We start our 3-week visit of the USA with a long plane ride from Kuala Lumpur to New York City, via Kuwait and London. Thanks to Kuwait Airways interesting routing. November 2013.

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Continue reading Italian Motorways and Cinque Terre Author: naim Date: 07 Nov 2013 Filed under: Italy, UNESCO World Heritage Site

Italian Motorways and Cinque Terre

We leave France to enter Italy via a spectacular motorway comprising tunnels and viaducts. Overnighting at a quaint village along the Mediterannean coast, we have our first taste of authentic Italian cuisine. The following day we explore Cinque Terrre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. September 2013.

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Continue reading Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 3) Author: naim Date: 11 Oct 2013 Filed under: France

Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 3)

In this final Vincent van Gogh story, we track two more of his paintings in Arles. In total we find eight of them, while altogether the trail has ten sites. We skip the other two due to accessibility and lack of time. Hopefully we can do them in our planned Winter 2014 trip. September 2013.

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Continue reading Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 2) Author: naim Date: 11 Oct 2013 Filed under: France

Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 2)

We continue with our story of Vincent van Gogh while absorbing the Roman heritage of this wonderful town of 50,000 people. September 2013.

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Continue reading Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 1) Author: naim Date: 10 Oct 2013 Filed under: France

Tracking Vincent van Gogh in Arles (Part 1)

In Arles, southern France, we go searching for Vincent van Gogh, who spent 1888-1889 here to escape the stress of Paris. It’s said that while in Arles, the man produced his best works ever. Unfortunately it was also a tragic period for him. September 2013.

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Continue reading In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Damlacik Hill Author: naim Date: 22 Sep 2013 Filed under: Turkey

In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Damlacik Hill

The ancient Urfa castle cum fortress, dating from antiquity, lies atop a rocky hill called Damlacik. It overlooks the historical precinct related to Prophet Abraham’s legend and the old market area of Gumruk Han. We climb Damlacik from the market, and descend into the gardens of Abraham. The day ends with Maghrib prayer at Hasan Padisah Mosque and a worthy dessert called sillik, a uniquely Urfa invention.

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Continue reading The Bazaars of Old Urfa Author: naim Date: 19 Sep 2013 Filed under: Turkey

The Bazaars of Old Urfa

Urfa, located in the Middle Euphrates in south-eastern Anatolia, is said to be one of the 18 settlements founded by Prophet Noah after the Big Flood, and it has flourished ever since. Located along the ancient Silk Road, the Ottomans built a major caravanserai in the 16th c. which has now become the market of old Urfa. It’s one of the best-preserved markets in Turkey, and a very delightful place to explore and observe. February 2013

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Continue reading In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Fish Lake Author: naim Date: 18 Sep 2013 Filed under: Turkey

In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Fish Lake

We continue with our Prophet Abraham quest — the legendary Pool of Sacred Fish or Fish Lake, and the accompanying Zeliha (Zulaikha) Lake. We end the morning Urfa walkabout with a visit to a beautiful church-turned-mosque dedicated to Salahaddin Al-Ayyubi, the Muslim warrior. February 2013.

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Continue reading In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Cave Author: naim Date: 13 Sep 2013 Filed under: Turkey

In Search of Prophet Abraham – the Cave

We visit the cave in Urfa, believed to be the birthplace of Prophet Abraham some 4000 years ago, whose mother fled to in order to hide her pregnancy and delivery. Evil pagan King Nimrod was at that time on a rampage, killing every male newborn, after dreaming that one of them would grow to end his rule. February 2013.

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Continue reading The City of Jeju Author: naim Date: 08 Sep 2013 Filed under: South Korea

The City of Jeju

Jeju City, with almost 450k people, has been the capital of the island of Jeju since time immemorial. It is served by an international airport and the Seoul-Jeju air route is the world’s busiest — in 2012, seven airlines served this route, carrying a total of 10.2mil passengers. Jeju Island is blessed with natural beauty and this has been exploited by building other tourism-related ventures. As such Jeju is a very popular holiday and honeymoon destinations for Koreans, and lately for foreigners as well. August 2013.

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Past Places

DIRECTORY OF PICTORIALS 2004-2009

Please click HERE for a full list of stories from 2004. Pleasant viewing, thanks!