Blogs of the World
This is what our contributors have written on their personal blogs. Go have a look!
DeeBee, our contributor from France, published an article about the Bayeux Tapestry, in which she explains the historical background, how it was made and its fascinating history.
When talking about Normandy one immediately thinks of the WWII Landing Beaches and the Tapestry of Bayeux! Two different types of invasions 950 years or so apart! The Tapestry de Bayeux is in fact not a tapestry but a long embroidered linen cloth depicting the Conquest of England by William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy. The impressive hanging is embroidered with coloured woollen yarns depicting around fifty scenes with captions of the Conquest.
LeX, our contributor from Malaysia, wrote about a charity campaign called “Inspire Travel Young” that aims to provide eye-care to disadvantaged people in poor countries.
For that reason, I decided to be part of the charity campaign called “Inspire Travel Young” “Enabling Other Seeing” as to help other seeing especially for those that still fighting for it. Seeing is Believing, Non profit organization doing a great job by helping other seeing.People that live in the poorer countries have difficulty to access eye-care and prevention program due to the financial constrain and not always given the attention it deserves. Statistically, 80% of blindness being avoidable, and 60% of children dying within a year of going blind, that’s one of the strong reason why we should support this charity campaign.
Anu, our contributor from India, wrote about a visit to Daulatabad fort, a once impregnable fort, in the state of Maharashtra.
As the passage curves yet again and the guide disappears from view, there is a sudden rush to catch up with him….. The passage still fulfills the purpose it was built for, all those centuries ago – to scare and confuse the enemy caught within its walls. We are at the Daulatabad fort, in the passage known as the Andheri – literally, the dark passage.
We welcome 2013 with some interesting writing from our contributors‘ personal blogs. Happy New Year!
Celia, our contributor from Kazakhstan, explains how to catch a taxi in Astana.
“YOU’RE RUNNING LATE to meet with a friend – you’re always running late. So you tromp through the snow to the edge of the road, stuffing your woolen gloves into the pocket of your giant parka.
“You’ve learned that a street taxi (aka gypsy cab) is the quickest way across the city. Astana is the new and icy capital of Kazakhstan, built ten years ago on the south-Siberian steppe. Someone here with a car is looking to make some money, and you’re looking for a ride; it’s a perfect match. So you hold out your hand towards the road… “
LeX, our contributor from Malaysia, describes the Korea travel highlights.
2012 is another unforgettable year and for sure was a great travel year especially in South Korea! Let me present you Korea Travel Highlights, Best of the Year 2012.
Liz, our contributor from Australia, writes about her trip to Hoi An, Vietnam.
It already feels like a lifetime ago, but a few weeks back I was sunning myself in beautiful Hoi An, hitting up An Bang Beach’s bars at happy hour, indulging in massages at Na Spa (how I wish there was one in Sydney – with the same prices!) and feasting on bo la lot, banh xeo and fresh spring rolls galore.Hoi An is like the ultimate happy holiday land – it’s bright and colourful, there are long stretches of beach dotted with traditional round fishing boats, street vendors hawking delicious eats and a stunning mix of architectural gems spanning centuries of French, Chinese and Japanese influence. There are patisseries, cafes, wine bars and restaurants serving up amazing yet cheap Vietnamese food, and of course, there’s the shopping.
The long central area, with the Stupa right at the end, allowing some space for pradakshina, sculptures or paintings adorning every wall or pillar, the ribbed roof – it all added to an impressive sight, especially since most of the structure is intact, even after all these centuries!
East of Málaga is a blog written by Marianne, who defines herself as a “recovering’ lawyer, EFL teacher, neophyte blogger, petrol-head, amateur photographer, traveller, English woman and shameless arctophile (yeah, go ahead – look it up!).” Marianne’s good sense of humour is present throughout her writing.
East of Málaga provides useful information about living and travelling in that neck of the woods. Whether readers want to know everything about the AVE (high-speed train) from Madrid to Málaga , or what to have for breakfast in Spain (those churros con chocolate look so tempting!) or even the cost of living in Spain, Marianne has spot-on information.
The travel photos on this blog are a feast for one’s eyes. Beside, every month, East of Málaga organizes a photo challenge where everyone can participate (I do!)
Head over there and read all about Marianne and Málaga.
An annual competition has been launched for the public to vote for the seven best natural wonders of Africa, with the voting currently underway. The competition is organized by global grassroots endeavor Seven Natural Wonders and at this point includes 12 sites from across the African continent.
Discover the shortlist and other suggested contenders which didn’t make the cut this year.
The Okavango Delta, Botswana
Hippos bathing in the Okavango Delta, Botswana, the world’s largest inland delta by John on Wikipedia CC-license-by
The Okavango Delta is the world’s largest inland delta, created from the rains that fill the Okavango River. The Namibian government has plans to build a hydropower station which would regulate the Okavango’s flow, but environmentalists fear that this project could destroy most of the fauna and flora in the Delta.
The Red Sea Reef, Egypt, Sudan and Eritrea
The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. Its Reef stretches over 1,240 miles along the coast of Egypt, Sudan, and Eritrea and contains more than 1,100 species of fish.
Mount Kenya, Kenya
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. It was covered by an ice cap for thousands of years. The Mount Kenya ecosystem provides water directly for over two million people. The park receives over 16,000 visitors per year.
The Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar
Local people on the Avenue of the Baobabs, Morondava, Madagascar. Image on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)
The Avenue of the Baobabs is located between Morondava and Belon’i Tsiribihina in the Menabe region in western Madagascar. Baobab trees, up to 800 years old, stand about 30 meters in height and this particular species is endemic to Madagascar. The site was present in the news recently because it was victim of a wild fire that burnt down newly planted trees around the giant trees.
The Stone Forest of Bamaraha, Madagascar
Tsingy de Bemaraha is a nature reserve located near the western coast of Madagascar in the Melaky Region. This National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the main attraction is the stone forest that is composed of limestone needles originating from erosion patterns from groundwater and winds.
Zuma Rock, Nigeria
Zuma Rock is a 725 meter high monolith found in Nigeria on the road out of Abuja. Its nickname ‘Gateway to Abuja’ is derived from this road.
The Peak of Furnace, Réunion Island
Le Piton de la Fournaise (The Peak of Furnace) is a shield volcano on the eastern side of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
The Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles
Aldabra Island, Seychelles on FlickR by Johny Shaw (CC-BY-2.0).
Aldabra is the world’s second largest coral atoll and forms part of the Seychelles. Aldabra is almost entirely free of human interference and is home to the world’s largest population of giant tortoises.
Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and the highest freestanding mountain in the world at 5,895 meters. The current shrinking and thinning of Kilimanjaro’s ice field is similar to other glacier retreat in mid-to-low latitudes across the globe. At the current rate, Kilimanjaro is expected to become ice-free some time between 2022 and 2033.
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is a large, unbroken, unflooded volcanic caldera located in the west of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania. The crater plays host to almost every individual species of wildlife in East Africa, with an estimated 25,000 animals within the crater.
The Serengeti Migration, Tanzania
The Serengeti migration is the longest and largest overland migration in the world. Each year, the great wildebeest migration begins in the Ngorongoro area of the southern Serengeti of Tanzania in January to March, when the calving season begins; some 750,000 zebra precede the migration of 1.2 million wildebeest.
The Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is the largest hot desert in the world. The desert encompasses, at least in part, the countries of Algeria, Chad, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Western Sahara, Sudan, and Tunisia. The southern border of the Sahara is marked by a band of semi-arid savanna called the Sahel.
A number of natural wonders were omitted from the shortlist, so a few bloggers have added their own suggestions via their blogs. A slight controversy was the fact that a few countries were featured several times while others were not mentioned at all, despite having worthy candidates.
The Victoria Falls, Zambia and Zimbabwe
The Victoria Falls at the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe is already selected as one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Swimming at the edge of Victoria Falls in a naturally formed safe pool, accessed via Livingstone Island. Image on Wikimedia Commons, released into public domain by Ian Restall.
Blyde River Canyon, South Africa
The Blyde River Canyon is located in Mpumalanga and forms the northern part of the Drakensberg escarpment. It is 16 miles (26 kilometers) in length and is on average around 2,500 feet (762 meters) deep. The Canyon consists mostly of red sandstone.
Feel free to add any sites that you feel were omitted in the selection process in the comments section below.
Here’s what some of our contributors have written lately on their personal blogs:
Mike, our contributor from Japan, posted a photo of a sea-hawk as part of his Bird Photo series.
Anu, our contributor from India, also wrote about a bird, the Indian roller.
Celia, our new contributor from Kazakhstan, wrote about plans to build a giant dome over the government and financial districts of the capital city of Astana.
It’s begun snowing quite a lot in the past week, and it’s getting colder. But according to a recent news article, local architects are interested in building a giant dome over the government and financial area of Kazakhstan’s capital. The article claims this is already being done in Houston, where a mile-wide dome would enclose “a business center, green areas, and luxury housing,” protecting us poor Americans from tropical winds and oppressive heat waves.
Ana, contributing editor, wrote about exploring new aspects of her hometown of Buenos Aires.
Whoever said that you never really know a city was right. I’m still discovering new aspects and parts of Buenos Aires, even though I lived there for over thirty years. Maybe that’s why there are so many places I haven’t seen: one tends to take one’s hometown for granted.
Adrian moved to Istanbul three years ago and has been fascinated by this captivating city ever since.
In her blog, Postcards from Istanbul, Adrian writes about the setbacks of living in Istanbul as an expat and about its envy-inducing side, like her commute across the Bosphorus and its wonderful sunset. It would brighten anyone’s day! In a post titled Turkish traits of my own, Adrian describes how local culture has changed her and she has adopted local habits. Adrian got married in Istanbul and she describes the different traditions in great detail, like their engagement celebration, during which a piece of cake mysteriously found its way to the groom’s face.
Postcards from Istanbul is chockablock with advice for travellers, from essential Istanbul experiences to street food to neighbourhoods and places to see. It provides a wealth of information about this fascinating city and an insight into expat life. I had the chance to ask Adrian a few questions about herself:
What made you decide to move to Turkey?
During college, I spent one semester studying in London. Every day was a new adventure. I had friends from all over the world and I travelled on a regular basis. The moment I returned to US soil, I felt inhibited and yearned to return to life in a global city. As I approached my college graduation, I was full of wanderlust…I also found myself head over heels for a wonderful Turkish man whom I met in New York City. I purchased a one-way ticket to Istanbul determined to act on my wanderlust and follow my heart. I came with the intention to live in Turkey for a year. Three years later I am still here…and we are now married;)
How easy, or difficult,did you find the transition?
My first months in Istanbul were a roller coaster ride. Daily successes became simple purchases or bus trips that would be non-events in my life at home. I learned to accept bird noises as apartment door bells. I struggled to find a network of interesting and curious adventurers in order to have a community of my own. I had to learn how to cook the foods I missed the most from home.
Istanbul is a city of 13 million. Life is stressful and chaotic, but also lively and full of opportunities. There is something for everyone in Istanbul, however I learned it takes some time to find it. After two years, I found a community of Turkish coworkers and expat friends. I have a niche. I have learned to embrace what makes me unique here, while also adopting the very best Turkish culture and Istanbul have to offer. It was a difficult albeit exciting transition!
Why did you decide to start your blog?
I started my blog, Postcards from Istanbul because I craved a way to document my experiences and share them with friends and family. Additionally, after two years of teaching I craved a creative outlet and the opportunity to enhance my writing abilities. It has also proven to be a wonderful excuse to learn about Istanbul and Turkey, and connect with other ex-pats.