Saudi Arabia (Country 193/196) – 1 Week Traveling between Jeddah and Riyadh

I had been waiting for years to figure out a way to reach Saudi Arabia on my quest to travel to every country of the world. Being one of the closest countries in the world, Saudi Arabia recently made a 180-degree shift of policy to open its doors in a bid to kick-start tourism in the country. Not only did they start issuing tourist visas for special events starting late 2018, but it also has plans to build a touristic city a little bit in the style of Qatar and Dubai in the middle of the desert, and is already starting to invite several countries to come since 2018. I took advantage of a recent event called Jeddah Seasons to finally being able to explore the Kingdom after years investigating all the possible ways to come. This marked my 193rd country visited out of the […]

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Saudi Arabia Quietly Welcome Canadian Tourists to Visit the Kingdom for the First Time in History

With the recent political clashes between Canada and Saudi Arabia back in November 2018 over humans rights, with Saudi Arabia striking back by shutting down relations between the two countries, coming to the Kingdom was pretty much out of range for most Canadians. There has been no official warm up in the relations, but suddenly the government of Saudi Arabia quietly added Canada to its list of countries who can visit the country under its new “Sharek Tourist Visa”! This is great news for Canadian travelers and even for the relations between the two countries! At the time of writting, this has not yet been reported by news outlet or officially by neither govemenents.  Actually I don’t even think the officials actually know about this prior to this article… and I pretty much found it by luck! So a new country is now available for […]

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Exploring Niamey in Niger – An Example for African Development – (My 192nd of 196 Country Visited)

Back to French-speaking Africa this time in a west-African nation. It was the peak summer season in Niamey, known to be one of the hottest cities in the world, situated in the middle of the Sahara desert! We landed at night and as soon as the airplane doors opened, we felt a wave of dry hot air invade the interior… Just a preview to what I could expect the next few days, with a thermometer over 47 degrees during the day! In General, my expectations for Niger were totally off target from what I had heard and read through my pre-travel research. It was much better than I had imagined. And here’s why… One of the Poorest Nation in the world… Really? I was on my guard when arriving in Niger since I had read a report of the United Nations ranking Niger 189th out […]

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WarTime Aleppo in Pictures – Captured with a Huawei P30 Pro

I usually add pictures of my travels directly in my photo studio or inside my articles about each destination. But my Photographic experience in Syria and Specially Aleppo was so breathtaking and troubling that it deserved to be published in a separate article of its own. After posting on my private facebook some of these pictures taken with the Leica Camera on my Pro 30 Pro, the reception was so impressive from public and private messages that I decided to share them to the world. The photos in this article were all taken in May 2019 during my visit around Syria which is summarized in my article: 5 Days Traveling around SYRIA during War Times. Being one of the first traveler in the country since 2011, I wanted to express the situation that Syrians have endured through those difficult years. Extensive details have been provided […]

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5 Days Traveling around SYRIA during War Times

As some of you read this article, it is important to time-stamp the events at the time of writing. As fighting is still raging in some areas, the war is coming to an end and the situation is changing rapidly. With the government now in control of the country once again, I expect the situation to improve very quickly through the next 2 years, and people reading this article 2 years from now might get a very different experience on their trip. But Make no mistake, as I was visiting in mid-may 2019, the country was still at war and heavy fighting was going on in the Idlib region and around Aleppo where I stayed 2 nights… Was it worth the risk? I Beleive it did, and here’s why… I decided to come to Syria as I believed it was the right time to come […]

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Exploring Bangui in Central African Republic – My 190th of 196 Country

“Welcome to the Country of Wars” was I told, by my taxi driver taking me from the International Airport to my Hotel downtown Bangui, Capital of Central African Republic. There was definitely something deep about what he said, as from my personal knowledge, this is all I knew about the country prior to coming! Probably this was a reason why I had taken so long to travel here, making it my 51st country visited in Africa, out of the 54 that make the African continent. He then gladly replied: “But finally peace is coming to us”! Among all the United Nations armoured Vehicles and soldiers I could see on the way to the hotel, this positive note was exactly what I needed to hear, as I was ready to begin exploring Bangui. At the time of writing, the government of Central African Republic had just […]

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Exploring N’Djamena in Chad – My 189th Country Visited, 50th in Africa

It was a night I will always remember… I arrived in a heavily guarded airport, where the plane was escorted to the front of the airport by military guards armed with Kalashnikovs. It was an evening of the hottest month of the year in N’Djamena, Capital of Chad, a landlocked country in the very heart of Africa. 41 degrees at nighttime, with pretty much 0% of humidity, and absolutely no breeze… I’ve travelled extensively in Africa but rarely have I been hit in the face with such heat! Simply hard to breath… But still, I was extremely excited to arrive once more in a new country on this beautiful continent that I hadn’t been before. And to make it even more special, I was celebrating my 50th country in Africa which counts a total of 54! So here I am in N’Djamena to learn more […]

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3 days in Pula, Epicenter of Istria in Croatia

So many people rush to Rome to see the Romain Arena without knowing that such constructions can be found in so many other places, and such places include tiny little Pula, a city in the Istrian Peninsula in Croatia of only 90 000 people. Apart from the beachgoers coming for the Croatian sun every summer, the impressive Romain arena gets little attention to what it deserves. It is actually one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world.  A Romain Capital with “Italian influenced” Croatia Arriving in Istria from Dalmatia or the Zagreb Area will be somewhat of a shock. Pula, the biggest city in Istria and eighth in the country, definitely has an Italian flavour left from its past. In fact, it was part of Italy for so long that most people will speak Italian as a second language after Croatian. The City […]

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Canadian Newspaper LaPresse Publishes my Travel Recommendations for 2019

Back in January, I was contacted by a Journalist from Canadian Newspaper LaPresse named Mrs Ballivy, concerning an article about experts recommendations for Canadian tourists to travel in 2019. Flattered by the trust and confidence giving by such a reputable newspaper, I accepted with pride! My recommendations appeared in two articles published by the newspaper, where out of my 9 recommendations, 3 were selected. You can find the link to these two articles, but I also thought I could share the remainder of my other recommendations with my loyal readers right here in this article. Two articles published by La Presse The two articles published by LaPresse were quite interesting and can be found in French at the following links. The first was published on the 12th February 2019 under the title Les destinations voyage de l’année where the authors kept Tallinn as my recommended […]

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Dubrovnik – Still King of the Adriatic Sea

There is no need for a presentation to Dubrovnik, especially since Games of Thrones catapulted the city’s tourism industry out of logical proportions. The city is constantly bombarded with tourism from cruise ships to buses fully loaded of tourists to admire its beautiful old town all year round! Is it still worth a visit? An  Overcrowded Tourist Experience Definitely! Dubrovnik is definitely worth a visit! Even though I wrote an article a few years back detailing “How Games of Thrones Destroyed Dubvrovnik“, I still feel it is a worthwhile city to visit. The problem is that is is a little small to fill that vast amount of tourist that come just to walk through the few streets surrounded by the walls. The result is one of a cramped experience, people walking on top of each other and even pushing to get through crowds. With the […]

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