Category Archives: Africa

Ramses II Abu Simbal

5 Amazing Things to See in Egypt

I have friends that just got back from Egypt and while they did get tear gassed in Tahir Square, they said that the time to visit Egypt is now because there are so few tourists, the crowds are gone and the prices are just right. So, first lesson, don’t go to Tahir Square – but here are five other things you absolutely must do.

Visit the Pyramids at Giza & the Sphinx

For 4,500 years the pyramids have been drawing visitors and today is no different. More than 2.5 million stones were put in place by slaves and this ancient wonder of the world is the only one of the original 7 wonders of the world that survives.  Get this, each stone weighs a couple of tons and until Pierre Eiffel’s tower went up in Paris, the Great Pyramid was the tallest structure in the world – that’s a long run. While the age of the Sphinx is unknown, Napolean shot off its nose and it has been known to ask a few very difficult questions.

 

 

 

famous sites in EgyptKarnak at Luxur 

Even if you’ve already been to the Luxor in Las Vegas, you should still visit Karnak at Luxor during your holidays in Egypt. The huge columns and massive paths once walked by the Pharoahs priests (maybe even Joseph or Moses) are worthy of any fan of The Ten Commandments (or Charlton Heston in general)

 

 

 

 

 

Ramses II Abu SimbalFour Giant Statues of Ramses II at Abu Simbal

If, like Indiana Jones, you want to find the long lost Arc of the Covenant by using an obscure day when the sun shines just right through a statue, this is the place. On April 21 (the birthday of Ramses II – Happy Birthday Dear Ramses II) the sun shines through the temple and illuminates one of the four statues carved into the mountainside.  Here is the thing though, the temple was moved to higher ground when the Aswan Dam was built so you may not find that ancient power source after all – but still worth seeing.

 

 

King Tut TombThe Valley of Kings

Not to be confused with the soft porn anthropological romance novel, the Valley of Horses, this magical place is where most of the kings of Egypt were interred. In fact, everyone’s favorite ancient Egyptian, King Tut was found here along with many wonderful things. For a small extra fee, you can see where he did the hokey pokey with all the other mummies and visit his mummified body since it is still there, just bring your holy water.

 

 

 

 

Bikini Suez CanalThe Magnificent Suez Canal 

While the Israelis are trying to find a way to bypass the Suez Canal with rail, the fact of the matter is that it remains one of the most important waterways in the world. Built in 1869 by a French and British consortium, it made the distance between the Far East and Europe about a billion times shorter and safer. Even if you include pirates.  Of course, canals can be boring, so you may want to spend the majority of your time at gorgeous Red Sea beaches and do some diving as well before the Muslim Brotherhood bans bikinis in Egypt.

I’ve heard that bikinis make the Muslim brothers in the Red Sea area see red – (go ahead and groan)

dogs in Istanbul snow

Vagobond Travel Museum – Week of February 3, 2012

Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.

The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find at Vagobond Travel Media and then each Friday, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about a great story either contact me on G+, Email me, or simply use the Twitter or G+ hashtag  #travelmuseum

These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the first week of February 2012.

One of my favorite ongoing travel sagas is this ultra long distance cycle trip from The Telegraph. Matt McDonald and Andy Madeley, wander into a Turkish den of iniquity and secure visa entry to Iran on their 13,000-mile trip to Sydney.

 

 

 This  incredibly beautiful post from pxleyes made me long for waterfalls in Hawaii and elsewhere. I’ve been to about 20 of these 50 amazing falls…what about you?

 

 

 

The Guardian also continues to hit travel with an often missing these days journalistic eye. This wonderful piece about Japan from the point of view of a salaryman goes way beyond some blogger getting drunk in a hostel. Kuzuhara-san leads Chris Michael on a tour of the hidden Tokyo where an army of office workers get to let off steam at the end of the day. Awesome read.

 

 

In video this week, it was the excavation of this giant ant hill that captured me more than anything else.  Believe it or not, this video inspired controversy as rumors were spread that it killed several billion ants…in fact, it was abandoned and not the lost city of Atlantis, though it looked like it might have been.

Okay, back to the non-journalistic exploits of teens and twenty somethings put out on the internet in a show of exhibitionism…let’s have a go at sex on the road! This very funny and incredibly presented tidbit from Finding the Universe is a very worthy induction into the travel museum. Enjoy sex on the road! Why don’t we do it, on the ro-oooad!

 

 

This post about Hemingway and Idaho from the slightly disturbingly named Bulls and Beavers is a reminder that sometimes great travel pieces come from unexpected places. Bulls and Beavers is all about hunting and fishing.

 

 

 

Travel Wire Asia brought some pretty good information to the table this week in this aptly titled piece 5 Great Travel Myths. Surprise, leaving your mobile on won’t crash the plane and people in Korea probably don’t speak English.

 

 

 

I love this image from Hoopoe Safaris. I’ve never been on one of their trips, but the picture just made me wonder if they just went down to the hood and put some brothers in native garb. The looks on those guys faces and the colors for some reason put me in mind of Oaktown instead of EAst Africa, but seriously, the safaris do look amazing.

 

 

This older post from Uncornered Market about how to travel outside of your comfort zone is really a great one for those who want to get the most out of their travels. The piece has been around for a while, but since this was the first time I’ve seen it – it gets brought into the Travel Museum. Great advice.

 

 

And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me at Vagobond Travel Media (where you can see lots more great stories that I curated this week) or using the contact form here at Vagobond.com

the best travel on the web

Vagobond Travel Museum – January 20, 2012

the best travel on the web
If you put a skeleton in a museum, does it become a cemetery instead?

Welcome to the Vagobond Travel Museum.

The web is full of great travel blogs, travel stories, travel photos and travel videos – the hard part is finding them amidst all the garbage. Through the week, I curate the best travel stories I find at Vagobond Travel Media and then each Friday, I bring you the highlights here at the Vagobond Travel Museum.

These are my Travel Museum Inductions for the third week of January 2012.

India in Tamil Nadu This photo of the Mahabalipuram Seven Pagodas in Tamil Nadu, India seemed to capture a lot of the reason why I began traveling in the first place. Add Tamil Nadu to my bucket list.

 

 

Overland to Katmandu This was without a doubt the best travel writing I came upon this week. Old World Wandering‘s article on the Hippie Trail is long but well worth the read – it not only acts as a great historical piece, but also is a great character study.

 

 Karrayyus Oromo people Eric Lafforgue’s amazing photography and descriptions capture the imagination and no doubt will inspire travelers to explore the world and her people’s customs for some time to come. This photo of the Karrayyus Oromo people during the Gada Ceremony in Ethiopia is a great example of how travel can broaden your mind.

 

amazing story of teaHow Tea Has Conquered the World is the type of travel story I am always surprised to see on mainstream media. Sure, it’s using istock photos, but the story is interesting and worth reading- even if it’s on CNN.

 

 

italian guys I’d love to know what these guys were watching…this is the kind of photo a great photographer can capture on the fly. You couldn’t pose something like this and get the same feel. Apparently, there is work going on and the older people enjoy watching. Anziano che Guardano i Lavori’s page has plenty more older people watching the work get done.

In terms of video, I found this video about Tivoli Gardens by Virtual Wayfarer, the second oldest amusement park in the world to be interesting, compelling, and filled with odd facts.

manhole coverFor those looking for an interesting blog to follow, I can recommend TravelWriticus – in particular, I liked this picture of a manhole cover in Austria. Not the usual.

 

 

travel chicaThe Travel Chica provided some great advice for how to survive a long bus ride. If you’ve done any travel outside of the developed world (or in it for that matter) you know how important this can be.

 

 

funny signs from travelLaughter is the cure for all the world’s problems. That’s why this week I’m including this great post by Inspiringtravellers - Funny signs and things they’ve found in their travels.

 

 

Independent travel in VietnamThe Independent’s Travel Section always seems to have some great stories like this fun piece about a week in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of those places that calls to me, I’m not sure why, but articles like this increase that desire to go there.

 

Rio hang glidingLauren Stephenson looks at travel an odd way in this article on overcoming your fears through travel at Bootsnall. It’s a light piece but has some very fun looking adventures couched in it. I’m not sure travel is the way to get over your fear of clowns, but I like the angle she took on this article to get there.

And while there were plenty of other great travel stories this week – that’s it for this weeks inductions into the Vagobond Travel Museum. To let me know about any great travel pieces, contact me at Vagobond Travel Media (where you can see lots more great stories that I curated this week) or using the contact form here at Vagobond.com