Category Archives: Africa

Dubrovnik in the Mediterranean

Mediterranean history: reading between the waves

Setting off on a cruise around the Med might seem like the perfect excuse to surrender your mind to complete vegetation for a few weeks, but it’s becoming increasingly popular for holidaymakers to seek something more meaningful from their vacation.

Dubrovnik in the Mediterranean - Image by Mario Fajt, used under the Creative Commons license.

Stretching from the Iberian Peninsula, along the southern coastline of continental Europe to the north of Africa, the Mediterranean Sea traverses three continents, and Mediterranean cruises can offer some unique opportunities to learn about our world’s history from some of its most ancient destinations. Take note of these educational places best visited from the sea.

Istanbul

A city spanning two continents, this cultural capital comprises an entirely unique cityscape of bathhouses and minarets, domes and spires. The Blue Mosque, the Agia Sofia and the Basilica Cistern are historic highlights no traveler should miss ticking off their itinerary before re-embarking. Istanbul’s beautiful hybrid of styles demonstrates a historic diversity which is unrivaled.

 Dubrovnik

This Dalmatian Coast delight boasts the best preserved medieval walls in the world, and an old town which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While its city walls bustle with cruise day-trippers, it’s easy to understand why; walking the two kilometers of stone fortifications is an edifying experience.

Tunis

With bustling medinas and French colonial architecture, Tunis is a city that wears its history scrawled across its skyline. Visit the Roman mosaics in the Bardo museum, then strike out for the ancient civilization of Carthage, one of the world’s most impressive archaeological sites, and the former heart of the Carthaginian empire.

Rome

No cultural odyssey would be complete without the inclusion of majestic Rome, a city guarding ancient treasures like the Colosseum, the Pantheon and the Baths of Diocletian under the guise of a modern metropolis. A number of cruise lines port at Civitavecchia, from which you can explore the city sights. Rome is hilly, so stay cool on your excursions with an old trick; fill your water bottle from one of the many historic drinking fountains in the city which dispense cool water carried directly by aqueduct.

The Mediterranean is one of the world’s most ancient beds of civilization, and so much can be learned about the world from setting off on a cruise around this historic and cultural haven.

With the breadth of countries to discover, the scope of cultures to explore, and the provenance of its destinations, choosing to cruise the Med proves history can be a literal voyage of discovery.

Author bio: Anissa Suliman is a vacation enthusiastic who makes a living managing a busy office to feed her passion! She also loves to cook Italian food and never visits a new country without her running trainers.

 

world travel tips

27 Quick World Travel Tips

Here are 27 quick tips to make world travel better. What are your quick tips for world travelers?

1) Say hi to other people who are traveling
2) Don’t flash your bling
3) Catch a cab and talk to the driver about cool things to do (Cabbies are almost always multi-lingual)
4) Scan a picture of your passport and give it to someone you trust
5) Get a nice padlock and use it when necessary (It takes two to steal: the thief and the one who left an opportunity)
6) Wear long pants during long transport
7) Look at the mattress…know what bedbugs look like
8) Stay where you get breakfast for free
9) Make sure hot water is included
10) Find paperback exchanges
world travel tips
11) Stay longer and get cheaper room rates
12) Fill out your couchsurfing profile completely
13) Look for free fruit on the trees
14) Look for language exchanges
15) Don’t leave your phone in your room
16) Bring your own condoms
17) Don’t get so drunk you can’t take care of yourself
18) Trust your instincts about people
19) Eat the local food
20) Always ask for a second price
21) Don’t wander around alone late at night
22) Don’t give up your passport
23) Bring your valuables to the shower with you in a hostel
24) Eat lots of cheese if you get diarrhea
25) A handful of nuts makes hunger go away
26) Get a haircut and a shave (or a wax and a style)

This last one is my personal opinion only.

27) Drink the water.

What are your quick tips for world travel?

red sea diving

The Very Best of Red Sea Diving

From famous biblical accounts to early trade routes and today’s thriving tourism industry, there’s no doubt that the Red Sea plays a deeply important role in Egypt’s past, present and future. For visitors to this ancient part of the world, the glistening body of water is truly a sight to behold. Better yet, viewing the Red Sea from below the surface is perhaps the best way to experience its natural magic.

red sea divingAs one of the world’s most revered scuba diving destinations, the Red Sea is lined with cities and villages that offer a variety of diving experiences. Choosing where to go can be tougher than squeezing on a damp wetsuit. To make your decision easier, check out this list of the best Red Sea diving spots:

The Sinai Peninsula

Sharm El Sheikh

One of Egypt’s trendiest Red Sea holiday spots, Sharm El Sheikh is renowned across the globe for its posh resorts, thriving nightlife and, of course, brilliant scuba diving.

While the city has plenty of diving spots, one of the best is just over 30km south, in the Ras Mohammed National Park. For advanced divers who are comfortable navigating slightly stronger currents, the Yolanda Wreck site is truly a must-see.

Other top dive spots along the Egyptian side of the Sinai include: the Blue Hole in Dahab and just off the shores of Nuweiba.

West Red Sea Coast

Hurghada

As Egypt’s second largest Red Sea city and an established tourist hub, Hurghada serves as a brilliant base camp for travellers wanting to explore the scenic coastline. It is also near the famous St. John’s reef system, a unique collection of colourful reefs.

Habili Ali, an oval reef within the St. John’s system, is considered one of the most spectacular dive sites in the area. In addition to multiple species of exotic fish, it’s not uncommon to spot pods of bottlenose dolphins swimming through its clear blue waters.

In addition to Hurghada, the Brother Islands (off the coast of Al-Qusayr) are also an excellent dive spot along the western Red Sea coast.

Southern Red Sea Coast

Marsa Alam

Traveling further south along the Red Sea coast will bring you to the town of Marsa

Alam, a rising star in the world of scuba diving. The addition of an international airport in 2001 has increasingly made it a top choice destination for Egypt holidays.

Marsa Alam’s most notable diving site is the Elphinstone Reef. Best known as a habitat for several different shark breeds, this dive site may be your best chance to encounter the fascinating animals.While you’re in the area, it’s worth travelling even further south to the ancient town of Berenice, where you’ll find plenty of more secluded dive sites.

A scuba diver’s paradise, there really is nothing like the bright, warm waters of the Red Sea. If you’ve always dreamed of an idyllic Red Sea holiday, why not dive right in?