Author Archives


A visit to Sri Lanka’s medieval capital, Polonnaruwa; Seth Miller; Wandering Aramean

Source: A visit to Sri Lanka’s medieval capital, Polonnaruwa – Wandering Aramean

New Discoveries at Ancient City of Bosra; Science News

A team of archaeologists has announced new discoveries unearthed at the archaeological site of the ancient city of Bosra, southern Syria.

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The Pergamon Museum; Ino Manalo; Inquirer Lifestyle

A friend from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization once told Ino Manalo that his organization’s famous World Heritage List generally excludes museums. Ino Manalo suppose this may have to do with the fact that museums are very obviously heritage sites. As such, they do not need a Unesco declaration to be accorded recognition and protection.

Source: The Pergamon Museum | Inquirer Lifestyle

Emerald of the Earth’s belt; Wang Ru; China Daily

Photo: China Daily

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Masada, Herod’s desert fortress; Hello Magazine

Photo: Hello Magazine

The scene of scores of biblical stories, home to monks and hermits, symbol of Jewish resistance, location for film and opera… there are reasons aplenty to visit this remarkable isolated mountain in the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea. The view from its summit gives things a different perspective.

Source: Masada, Herod’s desert fortress

Protecting Libya’s heritage; Nato

Photo: Nato

Libya boasts a rich cultural heritage; Palaeolithic rock paintings, Greek and Roman ruins and ancient desert oases. These historic treasures, including six UNESCO World Heritage sites, have suffered years of neglect and most recently the perils of conflict.

Source: Protecting Libya’s heritage

Evolution World Tour: Wadi Hitan, Egypt; Abigail Tucker; Smithsonian Magazine

Egypt – Wadi Al-Hitan (Whale Valley)

In Egypt’s Western Desert, evidence abounds that before they were the kings of the ocean, whales roamed the earth on four legs.

In 1902, a team of geologists guided their camels into a valley in Egypt’s Western Desert—a desolate, dream-like place. Centuries of strong wind had sculpted sandstone rocks into alien shapes, and at night the moonlight was so bright that the sand glowed like gold. There was no water for miles. A nearby hill was known as “Mountain of Hell” because of the infernal summer heat.

Yet in this parched valley lay the bones of whales.

Some of the skeletons were 50 feet long, with vertebrae as thick as campfire logs. They dated back 37 million years, to an era when a shallow, tropical sea covered this area and all of northern Egypt.


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Daily Daydream: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda; Caroline Morse Teel; Smarter Travel

Photo: Smarter Travel

The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is either a daydream or a nightmare depending on if you love wild animals (especially gorillas).

Source: Daily Daydream: Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda

Capital Appreciation: Board a Bus for the Best Way to See Brasília; Tim Padgett; Time

Photo: Donald Weber VII / Corbis

Board a Bus for the Best Way to See Brasília

Source: Breaking News, Analysis, Politics, Blogs, News Photos, Video, Tech Reviews –

Tasmania is an attractive alternative to nearby Australia; Jim Winnerman; St Louis Post Dispatch

While planning a trip to Australia, Jim Winnerman was quickly stymied by the nation’s enormous size and the long distances separating major attractions.

Source: Tasmania is an attractive alternative to nearby Australia

1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Take 2; Patricia Schultz; Travel Weekly

As the second edition of her best-selling book makes its way to store shelves online and off, Patricia Schultz recounts her life’s journey from travel enthusiast to author.

Source: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, Take 2

Daily Daydream: Siena, Italy; Caroline Morse Teel; Smarter Travel

Classic architecture, amazing wine, delicious food, and medieval history … without the crowds? That’s amore!

Source: Daily Daydream: Siena, Italy

Reims: Visit the home of champagne; Daily Mirror

Photo: Daily Mirror

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Friends in high places: Sri Lanka’s Knuckles mountains; Ben Tarring; Guardian

Photo: Ben Tarring

Snakes and spiders aside, a homestay with a pair of kindly subsistence farmers was a magical introduction to Sri Lanka’s Knuckles mountains for Ben Tarring and family…

Source: Friends in high places: Sri Lanka’s Knuckles mountains

Primeval Poland: where the bison roam; Jon Eldridge; The Guardian

Poland – Białowieża Forest

In Europe’s last primeval forest, on Poland’s border with Belarus, experts are fighting to protect the zubr, or European bison. Jon Eldridge investigates…

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Campaign cities share ideas for protecting world’s ancient sites; UNDRR

Photo: UNDRR

Byblos, with its ancient port dating back 5,000 years, is dotted with Phoenician, Roman and medieval ruins along the waterfront that municipal authorities now fear are in danger from sea storms.

Source: Campaign cities share ideas for protecting world’s ancient sites

Salvador, Brazil’s real party capital; Gavin McOwan; Guardian

Photo: Caio Guatelli

As a three-month festival of Brazilian culture opens in London, Gavin McOwan tries out the real thing in Salvador, the country’s – and possibly the world’s – party capital

Source: Salvador, Brazil’s real party capital

Damascus face-lift rouses ire of local activist; Ahmad Khatib; AFP

Photo: Daily Star

Damascus, arguably the world’s oldest city, is bustling with chic new life as Ottoman-era homes are turned into boutique hotels and trendy restaurants jazz up their traditional Middle Eastern fare.

Source: Damascus face-lift rouses ire of local activist

A Lost World Made by Women; Richard B Woodward; NY Times

Photo: Herman Wouters

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The Treasures of Timbuktu; Joshua Hammer; Smithsonian Magazine

Mali – Timbuktu

Scholars in the fabled African city, once a great center of learning and trade, are racing to save a still emerging cache of ancient manuscripts.

White robe fluttering in the desert breeze, Moctar Sidi Yayia al-Wangari leads me down a sandy alley past donkeys, idle men and knapsack-toting children rushing off to school. It is a bright morning, my second in Timbuktu, in the geographic center of Mali, and al-Wangari is taking me to see the project that has consumed him for the past three years. We duck through a Moorish-style archway and enter his home, a two-story stone structure built around a concrete courtyard. With an iron key, he unlocks the door to a storage room. Filigrees of light stream through a filthy window. The air inside is stale, redolent of mildew and earth.

Regardez,” he says.

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