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
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.
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
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 – TIME.com
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
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
Classic architecture, amazing wine, delicious food, and medieval history … without the crowds? That’s amore!
Source: Daily Daydream: Siena, Italy
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
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…
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
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
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
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.