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Category: Travels

Ramallah 2015

Ramallah, in the West Bank, is the de facto capital city of the Palestinian Authority, and they operate their main offices here, as the Israelis don’t let them operate from Jerusalem. Yasser Arafat is buried here. You can get to Ramallah by taking a bus from Jerusalem town centre, and I was impressed I managed to make it there and…

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Jerusalem 2015

Jerusalem is a holy city for two of the world’s major religions – and for one minor one too. It’s a location I’d always wanted to see in person, just because I wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I’m not a particularly “spiritual” person. I’m not easily moved by supposedly holy or historically significant places. But… Jerusalem…

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Turkish Cyprus 2015

In 1974, Turkey invaded the northern part of the island of Cyprus and have controlled about 40% of the territory ever since. They’ve named it the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, but in truth it’s just an exclave of Turkey now. After all, they officially use the Turkish language and the Turkish Lira, and have an enormous Turkish military presence.…

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Greek Cyprus 2015

Most people go to Greek Cyprus for the clubbing. I’m not most people. In fact, I hadn’t even heard of Ayia Napa until after I came back home. Everyone assumed I’d gone to Cyprus for the hedonism and kept asking how drunk, high and laid I’d gotten in my week on the Med. I actually came to Greek Cyprus for…

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Ljubljana 2015

In early 2015, I was sent over to Slovenia for a science education project that was being launched by the Prime Minister. It was an intensive couple of weeks. However, afterwards I stayed a few extra days in Ljubljana, so I could explore this relatively unknown – in Britain anyway – central European capital. Turns out finding Indian food in…

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Makkah (Hejaz) 2015

Click here to read part one of the story. Stage two of my first ever trip to Islam’s most revered cities (aka Muslim Disneyland) was the main event: the Umrah (i.e. pilgrimage) to Makkah – birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, where the Quran was first revealed and (according to Muslims) the holiest place in the universe. There are very specific…

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Madinah (Hejaz) 2015

In early 2015, I was given the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. It almost didn’t happen though. Firstly, thanks to a corrupt and deceitful travel agent my passport sat in a drawer for two weeks instead of being sent to the embassy. Then, secondly, I was stymied by the sheer incompetence of the staff at…

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Istanbul 2015

Early 2015 and I was heading back to Istanbul once again for a quick cultural tour of both the European old city and the Anatolian side. I love playing tour guide for family and friends who are visiting new places and, seeing as I’d lived in this city for about six months, I was the perfect person to plan the…

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