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Photo Exhibition: “Terra Incognita” ?

New Travel Destinations: Bolivia, Ethiopia, Iran, Myanmar

InvitationPapier-TerraIncognita - copieCountries like Bolivia, Ethiopia, Iran or Myanmar have been opening to visitors over the last years and are getting easier and easier to reach, both for experienced and less experienced travelers. These countries abound with highlights and offer different, partly more “authentic” travel experiences. Continue Reading →

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The 15 Best Markets For Taking Stunning Pictures

A Personal Selection of Markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and South America

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar - The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

Woman smoking at the 5-Day Market on Inle Lake, Myanmar – The five villages on the shore of Lake Inle take turns, so there is actually a market each day of the week.

No matter where I travel, I immensely enjoy visiting markets. Many of them, especially in Africa & in Asia, but also in the Middle East & in South America, are an assault on your senses: colorful and at times disorientating, aromatic or even intoxicating, vibrant and eventually hectic places… But this is where “the real life” can be found, so different from touristic highlights (though some markets have turned extremely popular in the last years, also amongst tour groups…) Continue Reading →

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Markets Around The World – A Selection Of 40 Pictures

A Photo Essay on Markets in Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and South America

Bac Ha Sunday Market, North Vietnam

Bac Ha Sunday Market, North Vietnam

No matter where I travel, I immensely enjoy visiting markets. Many of them, especially in Africa & in Asia, but also in the Middle East & in South America, are an assault on your senses: colorful and at times disorientating, aromatic or even intoxicating, vibrant and eventually hectic places… But this is where “the real life” can be found, so different from touristic highlights (though some markets have turned extremely popular in the last years, also amongst tour groups…)

Here you find a selection of 40 pictures I took at markets in Asia (China, Myanmar, Vietnam & India), in Africa (Ethiopia & Senegal), in the Middle-East (Oman) & in South America (Colombia & Bolivia). Continue Reading →

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Travel Guide To Iran

Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Iran – Friendliness, Culture, Modernity: So Far Away From The Clichés!

The Shah Mosque - Maydan-e Imam or Imam Square in Esfahan

The Shah Mosque – Maydan-e Imam or Imam Square in Esfahan

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

We spent two weeks in Iran in April 2014, and covered the cultural heartland of Iran: Shiraz, Isfahan, Na’In, Yazd, Kashan, Qom & last but not least Teheran. Due to the lack of time, we did not travel the north of the country, nor did we go to the deserts. Continue Reading →

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Budget Guide To Iran

Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Iran – Easy To Travel On A Budget!

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Type Of Travel

This was a short trip (2 weeks), with a “flashpacking” to mid-range standard of travel.

As far as hotels are concerned, we chose rather budget guesthouses and hostels, except in Shiraz and Qom, where we splurged a little and enjoyed good mid-range hotels. Otherwise, we were not pinching pennies. Several times we chartered taxis, even for longer trips. This added up, but it was a confortable, relaxing trip. Continue Reading →

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Meeting The Locals in Iran

In Teheran, IranIranian friends in Vienna had arranged a meeting with Sasha and Mahse, a young couple who lives outside of Teheran, making a living by selling compost they produce and giving yoga lessons. Together we visited the National Jewel Museum where the many foreign tourists truly stunned them. They were not aware that tourism had arrived back in Iran. It was a great day that ended with a superb dinner in the home of Sasha’s sister. Sasha and Mahse both studied in India and definitely represent the very secular Iran. We truly hope to meet them again. Continue Reading →

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Skiing In Teheran

Iran-186Our visit to the royal summer palace brought us to the very north of Teheran, so close to the nearby Alborz Mountain Range. So why not check out the skiing area? From the last subway stop at Tajrish Square it is short cab ride to the Tochal Telecabin, which brings you to the fourth highest ski field in the world. The cabins are tiny, but were obviously designed for 6 persons. The ticket up to Station 5 was not cheap, but what the heck. Only skiers were allowed to go even further up. Continue Reading →

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Teheran’s Many Museums

Golestān Palace or Kakheh Golestan in Teheran, Teheran, Iran

Golestān Palace or Kakheh Golestan in Teheran, Teheran, Iran

Of all the great museums the National Jewel Museum certainly is the Number 1 and that term does not do it justice. We wandered through the semi-dark rooms with our mouths wide open. The beauty of the stones and jewelry was captivating. We felt we could not leave and had to look again and again, crowns, thrones, globes – all studded with huge gems, giant pearls, others so small it was hard to imagine how they could be fitted on a string. Continue Reading →

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Teheran’s Messy Center

View from Teheran at night from the Milad Tower or Teheran Tower, Teheran, Iran

View from Teheran at night from the Milad Tower or Teheran Tower, Teheran, Iran

The trip from Qom to Teheran was swift, it is only one hour by train or bus. Quickly we learned our first lesson, it was a big mistake to stay in the very center, close to the many museums and tourist attractions. Traffic is abysmal, pollution nauseating, it is noisy, crossing the road a suicidal affair and the cab ride from the bus station to the hotel is a nightmare. Continue Reading →

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