A few kilometers off the coast from Maputo lies Xefina, a tantalizing and enigmatic island best described as a combination of eerie and bizarre. Ruins of an old Portuguese jail and enormous batteries built by the Portuguese to defend Maputo Bay during WW 1 and 2 engulf the Island with an air of history, tragedy, and death… Continue reading “Xefina island, where nature and history play at magic realism”
Chinese people avoid the sun like the plague. For them the beauty standard ideal is to be as pale as possible thus getting a tan is obviously something to be avoided at all costs. This is valid for both men and women – perhaps a bit more for women but during my years living in China I saw plenty of men using parasols. Why is pale skin considered prettier? Well, I’ll let Wikipedia explain the historical reasons for it and leave it at that because if I start on the connotations derived from this…. well, it would be one very long post.
Anyway, back when I was living in Xian – China I missed the sea terribly so on one of my holidays I decided to go to Hainan and spend a week in Sanya (Hainan is China’s southernmost province and it happens to be a tropical island). Knowing that the Chinese abhor being under the sun did not prepare me for what I experienced there. Continue reading “A Chinese style beach holiday”
Spain has so many stunning beaches I never even considered Ibiza as a destination. You see, Ibiza is so famous for its party scene that I just wasn’t interested. However when I saw a return flight to Ibiza going for 20euros it didn’t take long for my love of bargains to overrun my aversion to what I pictured Ibiza to be. And wow was I in for a surprise!
Going to markets in every country I visit has become a routine (evidenced here, here, and here). Not only is it a simple and pleasant way to gain insight into the local culture but hopefully I’ll also discover a new type of fruit. Plus it’s always a cheap way to get fresh fruit and veggies. However, when I visited Georgia the focus shifted from the produce to the people selling it. For the first time ever the vendors where the highlight of my visits. Not just once, but in every single market I went to in Georgia it was always the vendors that stood out. Continue reading “Why I will always have a soft spot for Georgian markets.”
Sublime. The only word I need to express what I think of Georgian food. As to how I feel about it, is there a word stronger than love?
I’m not a foodie, gastronome, epicure, food critic, etc. I’m a simple person that like most other humans out there enjoys eating good food. Consuming food, after all, is an essential part of our existence so we might as well enjoy it. Having said that I must now admit it’s not always easy doing so. Particularly when you are traveling and the options in front of you are not your cup of tea. Other times though you arrive somewhere where the food is so superb it blows your mind. Georgia was the latter. Continue reading “Irresistible Georgian Food”
I’m sure I’m not the only one that read a million other blog posts and sites about blogging before starting to blog myself. It’s not so much that I didn’t know what a blog was about but that I wanted to do it right. I guess that’s just my modus operandi; I’ll read everything possible before making a decision (you should see me when I’m thinking about buying a new piece equipment).
Anyways, back to blogging, Continue reading “Find a niche they say, its important they say”
That I love markets is no secret. Why I love fresh produce ones even has a post all of its own. So it should come as no surprise that when I arrived in Yerevan I was delighted to hear there was an amazing one close by.
Actually, amazing doesn’t quite do it. A better word would be extraordinary or maybe spectacular? Anyways, it blew my mind. From the outside the building is nothing special but once you step through those front doors you enter a different world. One where dried fruits reign supreme. Continue reading “GUM Market in Yerevan”
The world is made up of all types of people: there are train geeks, airplane aficionados, car enthusiasts and boat admirers. I’ve never considered myself any of them. Ok, yes, given the choice I’ll take the train over a plane or car but that’s only because I like traveling slowly – and they are more environmentally friendly – not because trains are special. My point is I’ve never cared much for the method of transport. Instead its always been about the journey and the destination.
That all changed in 2016 when I went from Mozambique Island to a beach near Nacala by Dhow. Whats a Dhow? Dhows are the traditional sailboat of all fishermen and merchants in the Indian Ocean. Its been around for centuries. They are so emblematic of the Indian Ocean that the Dubai opera house is designed to look like one. Continue reading “An ode to dhows”
Seeing as I’m picking up the pieces and reactivating this dormant blog it only seems fair that I reblog my first post. Plus, its still as true today as it was back in 2014. 🙂
Over the years I’ve stayed in countless hostels. – Yes, I’ve stayed in guesthouses, home stays, airbnbs, and the house of a cousin of a friend of a friend too but this post is about hostels so bear with me. I’ve stayed in hostels so chic and dignified they would have given your average hotel a run for its money. Others so basic they were the definition of spartan. And one so vile I only spent a night there because I had absolutely no other option.
But mainly most hostels around the world are alright, whether you stay in a dorm or in private room they cater to what you really need when traveling: a place to put your things down and sleep.
So, if most hostels do a fine job of catering to the basic needs of any traveller why then are there some that years later I still remember fondly and when occasion has arisen have returned to, whereas others are quickly forgotten?