29 June 2014

Dream Trip Challenge - Planning A Safari Adventure


With the summer coming, its that time of year when people plan for the holidays, whether beach holidays, city escapes, adventurous trips and in my case a safari trip. I have been dreaming about this trip for far too long. It's OFFICAL! I am off to Zambia, Nambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. Although not necessarily that order. I am all booked and ready to roll this September. Like many, booking such a trip you always wonder how you are going to get there once you land, what to expect, and more importantly, where you are going to stay. The fun is all in the planning.

27 June 2014

Dubai | A Visual Diary

Dubai | A Visual Diary

Dubai, the land of opulent hotels, glorious sunshine, amazing food and of course the glamours shopping. Its the most popular or the 7 Emirates. You may have read my top 10 things to do in Dubai. This is a visual diary of some of the un-posted pictures from the trip to Dubai. Everything is done on a grander scale in Dubai, from dancing fountains, Sky slops in malls, to 7 start hotels, man-made islands in the shape of world countries, worlds tallest building, which by the way Saudi Arabia is planning on snatching soon with plans of the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. You cannot help but be impressed with the development in Dubai; a land the arose from the desert to this great big metropolis that houses the biggest and best of everything.

25 June 2014

War of the Roses

When summer comes to London I love how everything about the way buildings are bathed in this beautiful glow and people seem even more smiley. We instantly forget just how crappy the weather usually is for a moment and just enjoy the bright weather. This means abandoning the underground and buses and just walk a bit more because guess what, its not RAINING! That's not to say a brolly is not hidding in the bag. In the excitement of the sun making a come back and an attempt at easing itchy feet from travel wander-lusting, I am making more of an effort to embrace the beautiful spots that London has to offer on my little walks. I enjoy the parks in London come rain or shine, so from having them, sometimes, all to my self in the colder or wet season, to having more company in the summer as more people take to the parks with couples picnicking and boys and girls playing sports in the parks.

20 June 2014

Floating in Israel's Dead Sea

Floating in Israel's Dead Sea

I hope I haven't spoiled you too much with pictures from my road trip around Israel. One of our last stops a few days before leaving Israel was of course the Dead Sea. Also known as the Salt Sea. You cannot visit the Holy Land and not visit the Dead Sea. Why, it would almost be sinful. The Dead Sea serves as a backdrop for many events in biblical times. A place of refuge for King David who hid from King Saul, the prophet Ezekiel had visions here and this was also a health resort for Herod the Great. The story of Masada also happened only a stone's throw from here and overlooks the Dead Sea and a striking sight set in Israel's Judean Dessert combining history, geology and archaeology. 

13 June 2014

Middle-Eastern Weekend |Tales From Tel Aviv

Middle-Eastern Weekend |Tales From Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is vibrant and alive with buzzing culture, a beautiful sun-kissed Mediterranean promenade filled with sun worshipers in an unexpectedly modern city. With traffic gridlocks that would match that of London, its a good thing too that you have the equivalent of Boris bikes in Tel Aviv. This makes exploring a lot easier but we took to the sights on foot after parking the car. In about 5 years time you will be able to explore the whole of Israel on a bike with the proposed 100km national bike trail. The promenade is filled with skaters and runners, ice-cream touting kids on the block, cafes, restaurants, designer shops and night clubs, most of which are open 24 hours. Tel Aviv also seems to be a place where a lot of Israelis living out of town come for weekend entertainment and relation. The city also comes alive at night with party-loving Tel Avivans mingling in the coolest bars around town.

7 June 2014

Haifa | Peace and Harmony in the Ba'hai Gardens

Haifa | Peace and Harmony in the Ba'hai Gardens

While road-tripping around Israel I also had my sights on Haifa, a city located north of Israel and the third largest city after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. As we were staying in Shlomi, the drive was only about an hour if not less. With a population of a quarter of a million you will find all religions living in harmony here. One religion in particular that takes the show in Haifa is the BaHai Faith. A monotheisic religion that emphasizes the spiritual unity of humankind - basically that we all have the same spiritual sources and come from the same God, that all humans are equal, that diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. I can't argue with that. If only we as people operated that way, the world would be far more peaceful today. Also considering that Israel's population is mainly made up of Jews, it's quite astonishing to find Bahai taking center stage in Haifa with the beautiful gardens on Mount Carmel. Nearly a million people visit the gardens each year, but the faith is still considered relative new. Started by a Persian 200 years ago, spreading from Iran now with 7 million practitioners around the world today, its a shame that believers are still being persecuted in countries such as Iran and many others in the Middle East. The first leader of the faith was shunned by the Shia clergy and executed in less than 10 years of the movement starting.

The efforts to increase fellowship were continued, which led to the name Baha'u'allah by Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri who also wrote to Pop Pious IX, Queen Victoria, Napolean III but he too was also banished to the Ottoman Empire's most infamous prisons located in Akko(Arce). This was after fleeing from persecution in Tehran, Istanbul, Badgbad and with conflict between the Babis(practioners of Bahai faith) arising it also wasn't long before the Ottoman authorities banished Bahais to Acre in Palestine(1868), the city is now part of Israel. This is also another beautiful city I visited while I was in Israel(post to come). It is considered to be one of the world's oldest cities to have been constantly inhabited and now seen as the birthplace of the Bahai faith. Each follower of the religion is required to make at least one pilgrimage to two of the most holy sites; in Haifa and Akko both of which are in Israel.

3 June 2014

48 hours in Jerusalem

48 hours in Jerusalem - Israel

Within the walls of the Old Jerusalem there are sites of the world's most significant religious sites, all split into quarters: Muslim, Armenian, Jewish and Christian. All with layers upon layer of history just waiting to be uncovered, touched and experienced in full and total immersion. They say that a trip to Jerusalem changes you. Well, that was according to my boyfriend. Benjamin Disraeli said, "The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of the earth and of heaven". So you can just imagine my excitement when we finally made the 3-hour drive from Shlomi to Jerusalem. I was delighted to finally be visiting the city after dreaming about it for so long. To be taking the route that Christ took carrying the cross on his shoulders before crucifixion. Now, I don't think you have to be religious to understand just what an important city Jerusalem is. Its a place of intense sanctity for Jews, Muslims and Christians. Considering how significant this place for many religions it is a real shame that we can't all peacefully enjoy or benefit equally from it without many of the conflicts that have spewed here. 

1 June 2014

Champagne and Scones - Afternoon Tea At Milestone

Champagne and Scones - Afternoon Tea At Milestone LONDON

I am one of those people who take their tea drinking very seriously. With a cupboard few of teas from around the world, so when there was mention of meet up with a brew thrown in I was not going to let the occasion pass.  I couldn't say no when Selena, a Texan living in London and one of the bloggers I met when I was in Newcastle at the beginning of the year was organising an afternoon tea for London bloggers at the Milestone Hotel in Kensington. The hotel sits across from Kensington Palace where the very ritual of afternoon teas was born, so there was no better place to engage in conversations of the blogosphere with some 20+ other ladies than over a tea party across from where Her Majesty's tea receptions took place.