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Author Archive | Gilles Barbier

Mashhad & Qom: Iran’s Holy Cities

iPhone Picture – Haram-e Razavi, Imam Reza Holy’s Shrine, Mashhad

Iran is known for its beautiful mosques – some of the largest, oldest and finest in the world. But without any doubt, the largest, and some of the most delicate shrines & mosques can be found in Iran’s two spiritual capitals: Mashhad and Qom. Continue Reading →

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Teheran – There Is Much To See In This Chaotic Megacity!

View from Teheran at night from the Milad Tower

I did not enjoy Teheran on my first visit back in April 2014: too big, too congested, too polluted, too noisy, too hectic… So my expectations were low and I planed to only stay there one day en route from Tabriz to Mashhad. But surprisingly, I quite appreciated Teheran on the second trip in September 2017, and decided to stay longer to discover more in depth this tentacular & chaotic megacity. Continue Reading →

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Glimpses Of Northwestern Iran: Sultaniyeh & Takht-e Soleiman

Soltaniyeh’s Dome or Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh or Oljeitu Mausoleum

Scenic Northwestern Iran would definitely deserve a separate / dedicated trip of several weeks, one that enables you to really go Off The Beaten Track, enjoying some of the most impressive sceneries in Iran and a different cultural experience in the Azeri & Kurdish parts of the country. Unfortunately, I had not sufficient time at hand and solely discovered a few cultural & historic highlights and had to skip the more remote areas… Well, a good reason to go back! Continue Reading →

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Top 10 Things To Do In Tabriz

Blue Mosque or Kabud Mosque

The historic town of Tabriz, the largest city of Northwest Iran and the center of Iran’s Azeri population, is a crossroad and melting pot of several cultures. Its glorious, if turbulent history bestows this widespread city some of Iran’s most remarkable cultural heritages. Continue Reading →

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A Selection Of My Best Travel Pictures

Fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar - Them rowing their boats with one leg contributed to making the lake a legend. This technique allows them to throw / pull their nets with both hands.

Fishermen on Inle Lake, Myanmar

Travel Photography is as diverse as Travel Experiences can be, and this very diversity is probably the main specificity of Travel Photography. You actually have to cover almost all possible fields of Photography: Portraits / People; Landscapes; Architecture; Wild Life; and maybe Sport in some countries.  Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Uganda

Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Some Wildlife, Unique Landscapes… And So Gentle People!

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

I visited Uganda twice. In August 2011, during 2 weeks, I discovered the string of National Parks in western Uganda, starting with Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Kibale Rain Forest, Semliki National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and last but not least Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The 3rd week, I used Jinja as a base to discover the area. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Uganda

Simply Overpriced!

Public Transport at Lake Bunyonyi, Uganda

Type Of Travel

The type of travel you choose in Uganda will have a direct and significant impact on your travel budget:

  • Either you decide to go on a Safari type of experience, and Uganda will be one of the most expensive countries you can experience, actually much more expensive than other Safari destinations like South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe or parts of Tanzania
  • Or you decide to ignore the National Parks and focus on the actual country, and you can discover Uganda on a tight budget.

Continue Reading →

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Uganda 2017 – A Selection Of 50 Pictures

Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes), Kibale Forest, Uganda

I visited Uganda twice. In August 2011, during 2 weeks, I discovered the string of National Parks in western Uganda, starting with Lake Bunyonyi, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Kibale Rain Forest, Semliki National Park, Murchison Falls National Park and last but not least Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. The 3rd week, I spent in Jinja.

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks and refocused on the National Parks I preferred most (except Bwindi, as I went Gorilla Tracking in Rwanda): Lake Bunyonyi, Queen Elisabeth National Park, Kibale Rain Forest, Murchison Falls National Park & Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary. Continue Reading →

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Mixed Feelings About Murchison Falls National Park

Rothschild Giraffe or Ugandan Giraffe

During my first trip to Uganda back in August 2011, I had an outstanding experience at Murchison Falls National Park: both game drives & the boat trip to the falls offered excellent wildlife watching opportunities. I came back with a few excellent pictures and found memories.

So I went back with high expectations! Maybe too high, actually… The second visit to Uganda’s most famous National Park in January 2017 was actually good, but somehow, the premium prices that are now common in Uganda’s National Parks are no longer in line with the experience offered. Continue Reading →

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Chimpanzees Habituation In Kibale Forest

Chimpanzee (Pan Troglodytes), Kibale Forest, Uganda

I went twice Chimpanzees Tracking on my previous trip to Uganda back in summer 2011, once in Kibale Forest and once in Budongo Forest – And honestly had mixed feelings about this experience, as we had only poorly seen Chimpanzees. When I heard about the newly introduced Chimpanzees Habituation, I turned curious. True, it is an expensive undertaking (225 USD for the day), but what an experience! Local agencies do not push this opportunity, and that’s a real shame, but you definitely should insist and choose this option, in my opinion almost as stunning as Gorillas Tracking.

Continue Reading →

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