The best of Alexandria, Egypt

Only a 3 hour drive from Cairo sits Alexandria, the second largest city in Egypt, carrying the name of the man who built it to rule the world thousands of years ago, Alexandria the Great. The city has definitely lost some of the magnificence of its past and today’s Alexandria is filled with concrete apartment buildings and offices. However, with a bit of searching you can still find bits of Alexandria’s glorious past.

I discovered that having the names of places you want to go written down in Arabic as well as English can make it easier for locals to point you in the right direction. Also note that numbers are often written in Arabic, so having a table of Arabic numbers with you is a very smart idea.

A stroll around Corniche in Alexandria should not be missed. It has a worldly appeal for those looking for history, and entertainment value for those looking for a good time. The waterfront is one side and civilization with a lot of restaurants and cafes on the other.

The National Museum of Alexandria is a must visit for anyone who is interested in Egyptian antiquities and history. The museum gives a total comprehensive picture of not only Alexandrian history, but the history of Egypt as a whole and spans across three floors providing wonderful insight into former times. It covers everything from the Pharaonic era to the Byzantine and Islamic periods. I found the section that displays antiquities that were found under the sea in Alexandria with live pictures particularly amusing.

I also got to visit the Montaza Palace which is the best place to enjoy a nice relaxing day out in beautifully manicured botanical gardens and the ‘Bibliotheca Alexandrina‘ great library, which is considered the archive of ancient knowledge.

Alexandria’s cultural and historical experiences are the reasons why we recommend this trip. Let’s get you started by sending us an email on [email protected].

 

One O’clock Gun at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

One O Clock gun at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Strolling through Edinburgh’s cobbled streets, I heard a booming gunshot at precisely 1 pm. Unlike many other visitors to Scotland’s capital, who may have been startled, I anticipated this.

The Edinburgh Castle has been around since way back into the 12th century, and has been built on a former volcano. It has served all nature of purposes, from being the home of monarchs to a prison, a military garrison to a fortress.

It’s now 158 years since the first one o’clock gun was fired in Scotland’s capital. Today it’s fired to keep a time-honored tradition, but in the 19th century, it was fired for more important reasons – as a time signal to help sailors set their chronometers.

In the castle’s Royal Palace, I saw rooms where former Scotland royals resided and there are articles which are very important to Scotland’s history, including prized gifts exchanged between ancient kings and popes. The most intriguing to me was the plain-looking stone called Stone of Destiny, whose origin is unknown and is used to swear in royals this very day!

After spending the better part of my day at the castle marveling its unique history, I sneaked into sets of orchestras and live performances at open places and also theaters in the city.

Edinburgh castle is the focal point of incredible history, and the city is outstanding in its unique beauty. Book a trip by contacting us at [email protected] today!

 

The best of Marrakech, Morocco

Tourists in Marrakech, Morocco

Steeped in history and culture, vibrant and colorful, and a mixture of old and new is what we first noticed as we arrived from our 3 hour train ride from Casablanca. The locals call it old & new Marrakech – each having their own distinct personality. For us the best way to experience the ‘authentic’ Moroccan culture was to stay in a Riad, a traditional Moroccan house normally with 2 or more stories around a courtyard that contain a fountain/garden.

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the market place in Marrakech. Here you find a mix of ancient customs and modern tourist experiences. The Square is occupied by youths with chained Barbary apes and snake charmers (this was not my cup of tea). Jemaa el-Fnaa can be a fun experience, but it can be overwhelming too with vendors being polite to downright aggressive. Be sure to brush up on your bargaining skills before going shopping!

The new Marrakech is a place you go back to after exploring the hustle & bustle of the Medina. Let’s just say new Marrakesh is the LA of Morocco. It is definitely the place to be for a good night out.

The most common cuisine is Couscous, usually eaten with tagine served with a meat of your choice and a selection of vegetables. Mint tea is also popular. Most restaurants also have plenty of vegetarian options.

Other places worth visiting are Le Jardin Majorelle – Garden with exotic plants, water features & a museum of Berber culture. We also treated ourselves with a Hammam spa. You can relax with a drink and enjoy the sunset at the rooftop terraces all over Marrakech.

To be honest the culture here infected our personality. I left with incredible things on my mind that I believe are worth exploring. To book your Moroccan tour, email us on [email protected]

Photo of the week – Budhist monk meditating at Lion’s Rock summit – Sigiriya Sri lanka

On my visit to Sri Lanka, everyone from the Taxi drivers to the locals kept asking me if I have visited Sigiriya. I couldn’t stop wondering why a rock could be worth visiting. What was so important about this rock? Anyway, I decided to satisfy my curiosity and once I got there, I understood why this place was a site to behold. Why hadn’t I visited this place earlier?

The term Sigiriya originates from the word Sihagri, i.e. Lion Rock and is one of the most valuable historical monuments of Sri Lanka, mostly referred to by the locals as the Eighth Wonder of the World and is one of the most visited tourist destination of Sri Lanka. It is an ancient palace that has significant archaeological importance.

Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you’ll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. 1200 steps to be precise. The rock satisfies both adrenaline freaks, the history buffs, art people and those who are looking for a great view. Whatever attitude you bring to the rock, you won`t be disappointed!

The main entrance is located in the northern side of the rock and was designed in the form of a huge stone lion, whose feet have survived up to today but the upper parts of the body were destroyed. The stairway used to enter his mouth.

I suggest arriving early in the morning and climbing as soon as possible. The site opens by 7:30am, and you should aim to get there as early as you can. Not only does it get busier as the day goes on, but the weather gets hotter and hotter. Pack lots of water, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. If you can’t make it in the morning, aim to go in the late afternoon. Just try not to visit when the sun is at its brightest and hottest.

The best reward is when you get to the top. The view astonishes the visitors with the unique harmony between the nature and human imagination. Every angle showcased the natural beauty Sri Lanka’s landscapes. From the countryside to the jungle, everything was so green. Definitely a must visit place in Sri Lanka.

Book your Sri Lanka package on [email protected]