Archive for the 'Middle East' Category

Jul 14th
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Click For A Fast Tour Of Dubai !

After leaving Asmara, Eritrea, a city locked in a 1930s Time Warp, TotalAdventure flew to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where it seems already to be 2040. On the first evening we went to the top of 2700 ft. 0.8km Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai.

The view from the top deck, on the 148th floor.

Looking out over the Persian Gulf. ON a clear day you can see Iran.

High Speed dune buggies are a great desert pastime.

In a Land of the Future, echoes of the past.

A view from a Cigarette Boat.

The best choice of Middle East cuisine anywhere. Here is Sheep Head, at an Iraqi restaurant.

Although surrounded by Saudi Arabia, alcohol is served in international hotel bars and nightclubs, but not in public areas. Instead, enjoy a strong hot tea with your meal !

From Dubai ,TotalAdventure returned to the united States. THis was to be the first of may international trips this year, touching every continent except Antartica. The worldwide epidemic has postponed that temporarily and we will be exploring the United States instead.

Sep 11th
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The TotalAdventure Team flew Qatar Airways from Miami to Saigon (HCM) Vietnam .On the way we had an 8 hour layover in Doha. On the way back we stopped over for two days. The above video is a compilation of the two visits.

Qatar is the wealthiest nation in the world, per capita. But tradition prevails in the desert lands outside of Doha.

It’s a 13 hour flight from Miami. 15 hours going back.

Right off the plane from Bangkok , we went riding the high sand dunes south of Doha. You can experience the adventure in the video above.

We went right dawn to the waterway that separates Qatar from Saudi Arabia, other than the narrow land bridge. The border between the two US Allies is currently closed. That’s a Saudi Army post about 3 km in the distance.


Back in the city , we went to Souk Al Waqif.

A delicious lunch of Sheep’s Head.

And Foul – a delicious Fava Bean stew.

Modest, yet colorful fashions.

Saffron and other exotic, expensive spices for sale.

The Architecture is Amazing.

Qatar Grand Mosque .

Al Zubara Fort.

It’s hot outside in July. That’s 117 F !

TotalAdventure would like to Thank Mr.Ahmed Nasser Al Rayes , Chairman of the Al Rayes Group for making our excursion in Qatar so flawless, exploring the majority of the country in a very short time. The Al Rayes Group owns 83 companies ,and is a leader in tourism investment.

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Tonight at 7:20 PM Miami time we board Qatar Airlines Flight 778 to Doha ,Qatar arriving there at 1620 tomorrow. During our 9 hour layover we will leave the airport to explore the city . As it is Ramadan we will break fast at sunset for the Iftar meal. At 0150 hours Friday we board Qatar  Flight  970 To Ho Chi Minh City ( Saigon), Vietnam arriving Friday afternoon about 1400. We will be traveling all over Vietnam,Laos ,Cambodia and Thailand ! Shooting with our beautiful new GoPro 6. Follow TotalAdventure Magazine every day to take part in this epic journey !

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Video Highlights – Germany – Austria – CzechRepublic – Poland – Slovakia – Hungary- Romania and on to Montenegro.



Nightfall in Krakow Poland.


The Route Travelled by Train.


Red For Train. Pink For Plane. Blue For Road. Green For Boat.

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Our land based  journeys now behind us, it was time to move on for the final phase of of our journey – Turkey. We arrived at sleepy TGD about an hour before the flight.


Unfortunately June 28th was to be another bloody ISIS attack – this time at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, one of the busiest in the world. TotalAdventure landed about 12:30 PM , passed passport and visa control and then transferred to the domestic terminal to board our 90 minute flight to Bodrum. The attack took place about 8 hours later – not in the part of the airport we transited, but killing 41 people. 17pp8pp


Jul 25th
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TotalAdventure finally had some time to relax after a whirlwind journey. We stayed int eh luxurious resort town of Bodrum, on the Aegean Sea Our gracious host was Nezih Çavuşoğlu,the well known Turkish artist we met in Istanbul in 2012. Read the November,2012 article here.    You can review , and perhaps  buy his paintings here on Artsy.


Balcony at the house of the Artist.


Crystal clear Aegean waters. The atmosphere was peaceful in the days after the attack at Ataturk, hundreds of kilometers to the north.


A newly constructed Mosque.


The peaceful Mosque interior.


Bodrum by night.


Delicious fresh seafood every night.


Jul 25th
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“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. “


On the final day of June, TotalAdventure toured Ephesus , about 2 hours north of Bodrum. Ephesus began as a Greek city around 1000 BC and was later annexed by Rome. In Biblical times,early AD , the Apostles John and Paul lived there and the Virgin Mary perhaps spent her final days there.


The House of The Virgin Mary.


Same alphabet used today, but only in Greece.


Bath Near Virgin Mary House.


The larger of two amphitheaters. Ephesus is normally very crowded in the summer, but due to events in Istanbul there were very few tourists. In many areas we were by ourselves, along with a  few stray cats. Cruise ships had cancelled landings in the nearby port – their loss,our gain.

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On July 2 at 7 AM we left our host’s house in Bodrum to board a catamaran ferry to the Greek island of Kos, only 20 km across the channel. We looked back at  beautiful vibrant  Turkey, hoping  to return in the near future – to explore from Istanbul to the eastern provinces.


We arrived in port 20 minutes later. We spent nearly 40 minutes to get passports stamped, as we were re-entering the EU and Shengen. Afterwards a 50 km taxi ride to Kefalos .


In Kefalos , we found a beachside Taverna where we ate excellent grilled squid, stored our stuff and went snorkeling.

The water was as clear as an aquarium.


There were ruins right by the sea !


Soon it was time to leave for the airport. We took a turboprop to Athens, flying over hundreds of Aegean Islands. In Athens – once again passport control , as we were leaving Schengen. 4 hours later – another 1.5 hours in customs entering the UK.


Just before midnight we arrived at our hotel, after a long Tube ride. We were right by the Tower of London and Tower Bridge.


Our final day before returning Stateside was a whirlwind tour of some of the major sights.


Iconic, but we opted for Indian instead.


GMT + 1. The Trans European Adventure comes to an end.       7pp15pp9pp   6pp

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An ArcticTropic friend, Siham Sharples, who lives in Dubai, recently travelled by auto with her family to nearby Musandam, Oman. Musandam is at the northern tip of the country,where the Straits of Hormuz join the Persian Gulf.

Fortress towns dot the countryside.

The Khasab Castle is built upon an old Portuguese fortress from the 1700s.

Coastal highways afford beautiful views. At this time of year the weather is dry and mild, about 22C ( 73 F), while in the summer it is ferociously hot, up to 50C ( 122 F ).

Beautiful old fishing boats,known as Dhows, ply the waters of the Straits between Oman and Iran.

Snorkeling and diving look like excellent possibilities.

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The Mid Day Prayer Call at Şehzade Mosque summons the faithful.

The Blue Mosque – one of the biggest and most important in the world.

Relaxing in the Mosque. Many Saudis visit Istanbul for vacation.

Prayer Times. They change daily according to sunrise and sunset.

In the Grand Bazaar.

Many items unavailable elsewhere.

Fresh from the Caspian of Northern Iran.