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Visit Essaouira – Morocco: 2-Day City Guide to the Wind City

Visit Essaouira - Morocco: 2-day Travel Guide to the Wind City

Visit Essaouira Mogador. That remote port on the Moroccan coast, founded around a fort built by the Portuguese, in the yesteryear of 1506. The Portuguese Expansion was taking its first steps, the dream of Morocco filled the Portuguese imagination, eager to control and explore the wealth of the commercial and trade routes that went by. The tragedy of Alcácer Quibir that in 1580 would take the life of King Sebastião and the independence of the Kingdom of Portugal was still years ahead. In 1525, just nine years after its foundation, the Moors conquered that fortress. The Portuguese never regained control over it and, in time, it began to be known as Essaouira. Introduction to Essaouira Despite the fact the city was founded in the 16th century, it only began to take shape from 1760 onward. Before that, it was just a fortress. But as the walls were built around the medina,…

Tiraspol, the capital of a country that doesn’t exist: Transnistria

Tiraspol, the capital of a country that doesn't exist: Transnistria

Did you know that some countries don’t exist? Well, they do exist, but they are not recognized by the United Nations. This doesn’t prevent those “self-proclaimed” countries from being ruled and have a governmental administration. This is the case of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic – PMR. Have you ever heard of it? How about Transnistria? Does it ring the bell now? Pridnestrovie is a small territory on the right side of Moldova and southwest of Ukraine, close to Odessa. Although this country is not officially recognized, there are actually land borders with police and passport control. Flag of Pridnestrovie – Transnistria The Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic is a de-facto constitutional independent republic located between Ukraine and Moldova. This breakaway state is internationally known as Transnistria, and it has its own currency, its own parliament and politicians, its own police force and army (in fact Russian military). On this page you have a…

The Greco-Roman city of Ephesus: a magnificent return to the past

EPHESUS

In the summer of 2003, I had the opportunity to visit Turkey for the first time. In possession of an Interrail ticket across Europe and during my train trip, I secured a rental car along with two Polish guys I had met previously at a hostel. Later, we drove from Istanbul down the west coast of Turkey to explore several of its noted historical sites. As time passed and memories faded, Ephesus became like many other places – a victim of my forgetfulness due to the recent years’ extreme traveling. Greco-Roman city of Ephesus “HOWEVER, ONE THOUGHT WAS ALWAYS CONSCIOUS: ONE DAY I WOULD RETURN TO EPHESUS.” So, this is what happened. Thanks to Blogger Casting, and an invitation from the City of Izmir via the Izmir Development Agency, I had the recent opportunity to return to Ephesus. After three days of touring Izmir Province, I must admit I was amazed…

Visit Marrakesh – Morocco: 3-day Travel Guide to the Red City

Visit Marrakesh - Morocco: 3-day Travel Guide to the Red City

Visit Marrakesh Called as the Red City – Al Hamra – because all its reddish buildings, Marrakesh is one of the most exciting cities in the world. To visit Marrakesh is a once on a lifetime experience. If you are looking for a 3-day Marrakesh travel guide, you came to the right place. Marrakesh attracts many tourists, so it is easy to confuse its history and culture with its strong touristic aspect. On this page, I will try to demystify this fantastic city, and compile a few great places so that when you travel to Marrakesh, you already have something organized. Introduction to Marrakesh History books say that Marrakesh was founded in the year 1071 in the Almoravid dynasty and was the most important metropolis of North Africa for many centuries. But, we can consider that it is Ali Ben Youssef who founded Marrakesh in 1126. The first 9 km wall…

Beautiful Pyongyang – A different look at North Korea’s capital

Beautiful Pyongyang - A different look at North Korea's capital

Visit Pyongyang Pyongyang is the capital city of North Korea. Hundreds of beautifully crafted monuments and memorial murals showing off political leaders and party workers are scattered throughout the city. Pyongyang is a lovely city for those who love Socialist Classicism architecture. NOTE: this page is not politically biased nor am I writing on behalf of someone or any government. This page is about DPRK traveling and tourism. The reasons why I enjoyed my time in North Korea are immense – the same way I have many reasons to enjoy all the other more than 120 countries I have visited. Visit Pyongyang – City Guide Pyongyang was heavily bombed and turned to rubble by USA during the Korean War, so most of the infrastructure in the city is built with a mix of socialist Soviet architecture style and Korean architecture. Like in all socialist influenced cities around the world, Pyongyang has…

Timbuktu the Mysterious – Deep inside the Malian desert

Timbuktu the Mysterious - Deep inside the Malian desert

Visit Timbuktu Timbuktu is located deep inside the Malian desert. During many centuries, Timbuktu was off-limits for foreigners and non-Muslims. Its geographic location and complicated political, religion and ethnic conflicts make Timbuktu a very hard place to get in or come out from still today. If you visit Timbuktu, you can add this to your list of personal travel life achievements. Visit Timbuktu – City Guide Timbuktu – “The meeting-place of all who travel by camel or canoe” in old Sudanese 16th century chronicles Timbuktu is one of Africa’s ultimate travel destinations and a dream come true for hardcore/off the beaten path travelers. Timbuktu, also spelled Timbuctoo, Timbuktoo or Tombouctou was founded back in the year 1100. It started as a Tuareg nomad seasonal camp, but during a couple of centuries it came up to be one of the most important commercial and religious outposts in all West Africa. Timbuktu is…

Mazar-i-Sharif – Afghan city of the Noble Shrine

Mazar-i-Sharif - Afghan city of the Noble Shrine

Mazar-i-Sharif is a Shiite Muslim holy city located in northern Afghanistan. Without a doubt that Mazar holds its international recognition due to the famous Shrine of Ali – also known as the Blue Mosque. The population of Mazar-i-Sharif is a mix of ethnic Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, Turkmen and Uzbek, combined to establish Afghanistan fourth largest city. People, in general, are very welcoming, curious and friendly. I had a great time exploring the city. If you visit Mazar-i-Sharif, this city will stay on top of your travel achievements. Apart from visiting the Blue Mosque, one can explore the city center, the various gardens, the local Bazaar (market), buy some fabulous Afghan rugs in the endless carpet shops, and hang out with Afghans as they consecutively invite foreigners to drink fruit juices and Afghan tea. Afghans are indeed one of the most hospitable people I’ve ever had the chance of meeting. In front…

This is why Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh is worth a visit

This is why Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh is worth a visit

Visit Dhaka Undoubtedly the most underrated country in whole Asia, Bangladesh is also the least touristy destination on the planet. Being the 8th most populous country in the world with 160 million people, it only receives around 120.000 international arrivals annually. Unsurprisingly, it has the lowest number of tourists compared to its population. Visit Dhaka – City Guide Bangladeshi history reveals the country has maintained human presence since the year 700 BC. In the Middle Ages, it adhered to Islam and became one of the richest territories of the Mongolian Empire while Dhaka became one of the wealthiest and most prosperous cities in the world. Europeans, particularly the Portuguese, arrived in Bangladesh in the fifteenth century and, only three centuries later, the British East India Company took over its land. When Pakistan failed to administer Bangladesh, independence finally arrived after conflicts between East and West Pakistan, from 1947 until 1971, when…

Visit Baghdad – City Adventure Guide to the capital of Iraq

VISIT BAGHDAD

Visit Baghdad There are places to which all travelers dream of venturing at least once in their lifetime. Some of my close friends have repeatedly informed me they’ve noticed I’m drawn towards unusual travel destinations, perhaps because of my affinity towards places most people usually don’t go. My truth is, having the opportunity to find and explore the lesser known, less touristic sites and talking with its people, is what truly captivates me and draws my attention. Then, having the possibility to report these journeys to you through my adventure travel blog, is really rewarding. Today I take you to Baghdad, unable to be described without first mentioning a bit of its history. The capital of Iraq, a country rooted in civilizations dating from the year 3000 BC, namely the Sumerians, Acadians, Babylonians and the Assyrians. Between the 8th-9th centuries AD, the region became influential under the Arab rule after the…

Visit Fez – Morocco: 2-day Travel Guide to the Mecca of the West

Visit Fez: 2-day Travel Guide to the Mecca of the West

Visit Fez Fez (also spelled Fes) is one of the four imperial cities of Morocco, alongside Rabat, Meknes, and Marrakesh. It’s located on the north side of the country, far away from the coast, with a population of a little over one million people. They say Fez is the most Moroccan city in Morocco, where you’ll find the best-preserved historic center of the Arab world, with a lot to attract tourists, quality-, quantity-, and diversity-wise. One more remarkable fact about Fez: it’s the biggest urban place in the world without car traffic. Introduction to Fez The year of Fez’s foundation is uncertain, but it’s estimated somewhere between the 8th and the 9th centuries. Shortly after, refugees arriving from al Andalus (Islamic Iberia) and migrants coming from Tunisia, boosted the city growth. However, tensions between these two communities were a source of constant conflicts, some of them violent, that only ended with…

Visit Chefchaouen: 2-day Travel Guide to the blue city of Morocco

Visit Chefchaouen: 2-day Travel Guide to the blue city of Morocco

Visit Chefchaouen Chefchaouen is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque and photogenic cities in Morocco. Somehow, this blue painted old city stands out with a peculiar charm. Chefchaouen was founded back in 1471 and hosted a population composed mainly of Andalusian Moors. There’s a small fortress called La Kasbah that was built to fight the Portuguese invasions of northern Morocco. Chefchaouen, known as the blue city, is considered by many the most picturesque place in Morocco. It’s located on the North side of the country, not too far from Tetouan, and close to the Talassemtane National Park. Around 40,000 people live there, mostly part of Berber tribes, now that the times of the bustling mellah are long gone. When you go to Morocco, you have to visit Chefchaouen! Its popular nickname says a lot about the city: Most of the buildings in the medina are painted blue, as are their doors…

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