Bikaner & Mandawa: Relics of a Rich Past Rajasthan, India

Bikaner Bikaner is situated in northwestern Rajasthan, in the middle of the Thar desert. Summer temperatures are scorching hot but in winter it can get very cold. We visited in January and while the days were pleasantly warm, the nights were quite cold and I was glad I had brought a sleeping bag because the…

Jaisalmer: Sand Castle Rajasthan, India

A City of Golden Sand Jaisalmer, situated in the far northwestern corner of Rajasthan and close to the heavily fortified border with Pakistan, is called the Golden City. The name fits: golden buildings, the highest and most impressive one of them the fort towering over the old walled city, rise from the golden sands of…

Jodhpur: Blue(s) City Rajasthan, India

Ranakpur On the way from Udaipur to Jodhpur, we passed through Ranakpur, known for its big Jain temple. Our driver left us at the entrance of the temple but we didn’t enter but instead took a walk around it and then just relaxed on a bench outside the temple, enjoying the silence. Ranakpur is beautifully…

Udaipur: City of Art Rajasthan, India

Udaipur We stayed two nights in Udaipur, which was a good decision and we could have stayed a day or two more; there’s always something to see and do in the so-called City of Lakes. We stayed at Yellow Heights Hotel, which takes pride in being the cleanest hotel in India, according to the yearly…

Chittorgarh & Pushkar: A Mighty Fort & A Holy Lake Rajasthan, India

Pushkar Pushkar, a small town to the west of Jaipur, is built around holy Pushkar lake, and pilgrimage site for Hindus and Sikhs. It’s a very touristy place and the narrow streets are lined with countless shops selling textiles, leather items, jewelry, and all kinds of souvenirs, and in between the shops are myriad of…

Jaipur: Art, Culture & History Fatehpur Sikri, Jaipur & Amber Fort, Rajasthan, India

Fatehpur Sikri If you have your own wheels or, more likely, a car with a driver, you can plan a few stops on the very long journey from Agra to Jaipur. The first of these should be Fatehpur Sikri: An ancient fortified city, built in the sixteenth century by the Mughal emperor Akbar and short-lived…

Taj Mahal: The Wonders of This World Vrindavan, Agra, and the Taj Mahal, India

A visit to northern India is somehow incomplete without a visit to the world-famous Taj Mahal. This iconic building regularly appears on lists of “must-see places” but it’s also frequently listed as one of the “most overrated travel destinations”, and in my opinion deservedly so. It’s not bad, don’t get me wrong, but there are…

Lake Natron: Harsh Beauty Lake Natron Area, Tanzania

A few hours drive north of the town of Mto wa Mbu, near the border to Kenya, lies Lake Natron. Away from the safari- and therefore main tourist trail, this was supposed to be a relatively cheap adventure (compared to the safaris). Pictures on Google showed a red colored salt lake, thousands of flamingos, and…

Zanzibar: Stone Town Tanzania

Traders used to travel the route by ship, we took the plane: From Muscat to Zanzibar. Coming from Oman, we really noticed Omani influence in Zanzibar. The archipelago of Zanzibar is made up of the big islands of Unguja, commonly known as Zanzibar, and Pemba, as well as many small islands. In 1698, the archipelago…

Sharqiya Sands: Desert Dream Oman

Sharqiya Sands is a desert region in Oman. Through a friend of mine (thanks again!) we got the number of Bader, a local beduin. We called him and he immediately agreed to meet us and take us around the desert. Ibra Before reaching Al Wasl, where we were supposed to meet Bader, we made a…

Nizwa, Bahla, Jabreen, Misfat al Abriyyin, Al Ayn: Reminders of Centuries Past Oman

A 1.5 hours drive from Muscat brings you to Nizwa, a town at the foot of the Western Hajar mountains. It was once a center for trade and education and is still an important town – the biggest in the region – due to its good location at the roads linking Muscat with the interior and the…

Muscat: A Unique Blend of Tradition and Modernity Oman

Muscat has for centuries been an important trading port due to its strategic location at the Arabian Sea. Today, it’s the capital and biggest city of Oman. Don’t expect a city like Dubai or Doha however, because Muscat is different. Tradition is still very important in Oman and Omanis are proud of their culture and tradition….