YEMEN – My 194th of 196 Country Visited – A One Week Expedition Across Socotra

Plunged into a Civil war since 2015, Yemen has been a difficult destination to visit on my quest to reach every one of the 196 countries of the world. I have been waiting for years to be able to go to Sana’a, the cultural capital of Yemen. But as I was planning to come in 2014, it became more and more dangerous for foreigners. It became too risky to make it to the country and soon after, the country fell into a never-ending war which is still raging strong at the time of writing this article. But even during wartime, there are always workarounds to enter a country. So how was it possible for me to spend a whole week in Yemen in 2019? The Secret was to go to Socotra, an island which is part of an archipelago of 4 islands located in the Arabian […]

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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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Rovinj Wins the Title of my Favorite City in Croatia

I’ve travelled extensively throughout Croatia over the years as it is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. I keep coming back because I never get tired of the blue Adriatic Sea, Venetian fortified towns along the coast, the food, the people, etc… And to win the title of the most beautiful city in Croatia is a hard one to designate. Rovinj is just a masterpiece, like few there are in Europe! I can imagine Dubrovnik being this nice before tourism destroyed it, so be quick to come and experience it before Hollywood comes before you, followed by the masses! All the beauty of Istria in one single Venitian Town Istria has been under Italian rule for so long that it is still omnipresent everywhere on the peninsula. Rovinj, also officially known as Rovigno as it is a bilingual city (Italian/Croatian), […]

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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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Visiting Krakow, the Most Beautiful City in Poland

For some reason, cities that have gone through traumatic experiences and intense stress will tend to rebuild in a more creative and imaginative way, resulting in a “special city”. Think about cities like Athens or Istanbul who have had their share of invasion through the past 3000 years. Or more recently how Berlin has become a center for subculture after all it went through during the cold war. Krakow is part of this victim group, and after all the horrific events it lived during world war 2 with the Nazi camps and massive destruction, it is now flourishing in a very interesting and special way. The Magical Reborn Krakow Jewish Quarter Krakow is a must visit for anyone and a historical paradise for those passioned by 20th-century  history like me. Having more than 25% of Jewish population before world war 2, it is obvious that […]

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Crashing on the Lithuanian Coast in Palanga

Where else to spend a few days in the region during the peak tourist season of mid-July on the Baltic Sea? Palanga is known around the Baltic Countries to be one of the most festive and energetic Beach Resort of the three. And I had a few days to explore it thoroughly under the northern european sun! The Go-To Holiday destination for all Lithuanians After being in Klaipeda for a few days (and loving it), I was looking forward to see why everybody was telling me that nobody stays in town in the summer and go straight to Palanga. Even the Avis Car Rental had “reduced hours” to serve more time in Palanga. As soon as I arrived I understood. It was jammed packed of people enjoying its lively atmosphere and it looked much better than I expected. I imagined just another baltic coast resort, something […]

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Visiting Novosibirsk, Capital of Siberia in Russia

The Siberian Capital and third largest city in Russia, Novosibirsk is, in my opinion, the real Russia. Friendly and modern, yet having a distinctive Siberian feel, this is a city where travelers will enjoy friendly people and nature to its fullest. It’s definitely not easy to reach but if you happen to be on a trans-Siberian train or an intercontinental flight on transit, make a 2 to 3 days stop to see what I mean. Visiting the Siberian Capital At the peak of the Fifa Russian world cup of 2018 and just after my final match I attended in Rostov-on-Don between Uruguay and Saudi Arabia, I escaped the center of the action and the noise to hide in the middle of Siberia to enjoy a month of Nature and peacefulness. That was my plan this year after 2 weeks of crazy world cup frenzy in […]

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Top Things To Do in Syros – a 2 to 3 days Itinerary in a Greek Paradise

This year in Greece I wanted to try something different, a bit off the beaten track so I chose an island in the Cyclades which was not the usual stop for most travelers. Usually, tourists chose the usual 5 to 10 islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, or Ios for example. That was risky, because being there in springtime, it could end up being very quiet and most things shut down. But I happen to arrive on Labor day weekend, so I arrived in Syros with all the Athenians leaving the Capital to reach one of their favorite islands. Syros is in fact one of the smallest of the Cyclades, but has the biggest population of all, making it the capital of the Cyclades. I haven’t found much information online about Syros but the little I found stated a little paradise which is unspoiled […]

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Visiting Piraeus: Unfairly Eclipsed Under the Fame of Athens

Piraeus is like a Porsche standing next to an F1… It wouldn’t stand a chance! Athens is such a behemoth of a city that anything placed next to it would be eclipsed into the shade… and this is a shame because Piraeus would be a great city to spend a few days in when in Athens! Instead, it is considered a little neighborhood that very few tourists will make it to. Or in most cases, it is single arrival/departure port to the Greek Islands. I really enjoyed Piraeus, especially the area around Mikrolimano, this small marina packed with stylish cafes and restaurants overlooking the yachts in the marina. This port has a lot of history in itself when it was made the official port for the Athens fleet back 500 B.C. Just walking around the area you can see archeological searches being done in the middle of […]

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Visit Crete: 2 to 3 Days Itinerary in Chania

Ever since I came to Chania 15 years ago as a novice traveler, I’ve been bragging about it as my favorite city in Greece. So being here again after such a long time definitely brought excitement to rediscover it. Chania offers a different feeling of the typical islands of the Cyclades with their white and blue architecture. Chania has a Phoenician, Venetian and Ottoman background where many remnants are still visible today. But its history goes even further with traces that are harder to see, such as its Minoan roots that date over 3500 years. Some open-air Minoan Archaeological sites can be found in the center of the old town. The most scenic part is concentrated around the Venetian port, which ads an interesting taste of Ottoman occupation, especially with the mosque of Kioustsouk Hasan situated right on the port on the eastern side. For me, […]

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