We spent 9 days in Sicily, and with only that much at hand, we decided to focus on some of the highlights on the eastern part of the island: we spent 2 nights in Cefalù, 1 night in Taormina, 3 nights in Syracuse, 1 night in Ragusa and last but not least 2 nights in Agrigento.
Author Archive | Gilles Barbier
Itinerary & Time Of The Visit
We spent 9 days in Andalusia during the “Semana Santa” (Holy Week before Easter), and decided to focus on 3 cities: Granada (2 days), Cordoba (3 days) and Sevilla (4 days). This was for us a perfect itinerary, that gave us the possibility to enjoy the 3 cities and the numerous Processions of the Semana Santa in Cordoba & Sevilla. Continue Reading →
The “Semana Santa” (Holy Week before Easter) in Andalusia, and especially in Sevilla, is absolutely unique. It is hence a really busy time, and major cities are crowded, mostly with local, but also with international visitors. Beware that accommodation will be scarce, and that prices will go through the roof, especially in Sevilla, where you should be ready to dish out at least twice as much as other moments in the high season! Continue Reading →
Andalusia is surely one of the cultural highlights when visiting Spain, if not Europe! A crossroad between Christianity & Islam during centuries, it is a subtle blend of both European & Arabic cultures. The Alhambra in Granada, the Mezquita in Cordoba & the Alcazar in Sevilla, only to name the most famous highlights, belong to the most magnificent buildings in Europe and in the world.
But experiencing this region during the Semana Santa, the Holy Week before Easter, was an even greater experience, something profoundly intriguing, disturbing, and fascinating. The numerous Processions we witnessed were absolutely bewildering. I honestly did not expect to experience something so stunning and so immensely different within Europe! Continue Reading →
It has probably already all been said about experiencing the Northern Lights. Nonetheless… Yes, there is something truly magical about seeing them dancing above your head… It is an experience of a lifetime, something that should be on your Bucket List! Continue Reading →
Type Of Travel
Norway is as expensive as it gets, and since we were in the middle of the Artic winter, we decided against roughing it in any way… We chose rather comfortable hotels (especially in Senja), we rented a car in Senja (which actually saved us a lot of money), and last but not least, we went on several local tours (a significant chunk of our budget). All in all, this led to a horrendous total cost, the highest (average travel cost per person per day) of all my trips altogether! Continue Reading →
It has probably already all been said about experiencing the Northern Lights. Nonetheless… Yes, there is something truly magical about seeing them dancing above your head… It is an experience of a lifetime, something that should be on your bucket list! Continue Reading →
Pictures of Iran on my second trip… In April 2014, I spent 2 weeks in Iran and covered the cultural heartland of Iran (most of which has now turned into the “Tourist Trail”, except Na’In & Qom): Shiraz, Esfahan, Na’In, Yazd, Kashan, Qom and last but not least Teheran.
In September 2017, I spent 3.5 weeks and wanted to discover less visited parts of the country and covered Tabriz & Northwest Iran (Zanjan, Soltaniyeh, Takht-e Soleiman); Teheran; Mashhad & Torbat-e Jam; the Southwest of Iran (Sushtar, Choqa Zanbil & Shush); before returning on the “Tourist Trail” (Kashan, Esfahan, Yazd & Shiraz).
The Ashura falls on the 10th day of the month of Muharram, the 1st month of the Islamic calendar. It is marked by Sunni Muslims with a voluntary day of fasting which commemorates the day Noah left the Ark, and the day when God opened the Red Sea for the Jews fleeing from Pharaoh.
For Shia Muslims, Ashura is a solemn day of mourning the martyrdom of Hussein ibn Ali, grandson of Muhammad and 8th Prophet of Shia Islam, in 680 AD at Karbala in modern-day Iraq. It is marked with mourning rituals and passion plays re-enacting the martyrdom. People dress in black and parade through the streets slapping their chests and chanting. Some Shia men seek to emulate the suffering of Hussein by flagellating themselves with chains. A fatwa now forbids this in Iran, though. Continue Reading →
Yazd also has turned – deservedly – into a major touristic hub in Iran, and this is not without consequences. Around major attractions, taxis and touts approach visitors offering numerous tours and activities in and around town. But the good news is: once you venture a few streets away, you will be the only foreigner! Continue Reading →