Posts tagged Alexandria

Mr.M Travel Diary: How Traveling Can Change Your Life?

My dear travellers, how are you today? I really hope you are in the perfect mood and you’re ready for a new post. In the previous post, I asked you for advice about blog content, as we will have little difficulty doing business in the tourism industry. Due to the spread of the Corona virus, world-class tourism will have great consequences as well as other services. For today, I have prepared for you a special post in which I will compare 4 destinations that are somehow “related”.

Travel is itself a great gift that life gives us and when we have the opportunity to explore new cultures and connect with other people. Whether it is a classic tourist trip or a business trip, the journey itself provides an opportunity to expand our knowledge and perspectives that will allow us to more easily to accept some of the new changes that are being imposed on us over time. Man is a social being who tries his best to feed his curious side, and scientists have confirmed that travel is the best “soul food”.

When it comes to travel, it is not the destination that matters, but the company you choose as your travel companions, because you mostly do not go alone. The destination is completely irrelevant, it can also be something in your immediate vicinity of where you live, to some of the farthest points on Earth. The possibilities are great, the question is what are your personal interests.

INDIA

The first destination I decided to write you some of my impressions on today is far away country called India. I had the opportunity to visit this unusual and populous country in Asia two years ago, in 2018, when I was selected by thousands of bloggers from all over the world to visit this amazing country. At that moment, I was really excited and fulfilled with both business and emotional sides. Firstly, it was a great honor for me to be selected from so many bloggers in the world and to organize my trip in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism of the Republic of India. On the other hand, I fulfilled my biggest childhood dream and I visited the country about I heard the stories of my father who visited India many times.

I always dreamed of visiting the famous Taj Mahal and seeing the “River of Life” – the Ganges River flowing through the most famous historical city – Varanasi. As financial situation in the Balkan region is on average, poor level, most people only dream of going to India once for the lifetime or stay dreaming visiting this country. I was fortunate enough to fulfill my dream and embark on an incredible journey that I am sure would honestly not be able to raise money on my own and provide this kind of adventure which worth few thousands of dollars.

This trip was special because I was able to discover all the beauties of the Golden Triangle in India, thanks to the National Railways of the Republic of India, which helped me get in touch with the management of the Maharaja’s Express, a train everyone says is a “5 stars hotel on the wheels ”. Their team was carefully listening to my ideas and they were fulfilled my wishes so we made an unusual trip where we added a little more cities in their itinerary and I’ve got an unusual and magical trip through India.

It was my first long distance trip where I had the opportunity to get to know a whole new culture and to get to know the beauties of one of the most populous countries in the world – India. For 12 days of unusual train journey, we toured the quaint cities in the heart of India every day, and on this occasion I made a lot of interesting stories which I shared with you on the blog in 2018. It was a journey that fulfilled my childhood dreams, on the other hand I was extremely proud because I came to India for my dedicated blog work.

I think that everyone should visit India at least once in your lifetime just to see the beauty of the diversity of cultures and that Hindu culture may be far away to us, but at heart we will understand each others. Of course, it is necessary to save enough money to be able to feel the magic of this country and I think that for 1200 to 1500 euros you can buy plane tickets when airlines have some special fare sales and for that budget you can also provide decent accommodation and visit some of the most famous sights in India.

With pocket money you will need about 1800 to 2000 euros for a trip like this. When it comes to far distant destinations, most of the budget is spent on airline tickets while accommodation, food and basic necessities are not that expensive. That is why it is important to take advantage of the special actions that airlines occasionally carry out and by buying tickets to distant destinations like India.

At the very end of this remarkable adventure, I had the opportunity to visit the city of Varanasi, through which passes the “river of life” – the Ganges, which is of great mythical importance to the Indians. This is not an ordinary city, this is a place where the deity Shiva meets the Mother of Ganges daily. Hundreds of dead people are being burned here every day, who in this way get rid of the classical cycle of life and go to a holy place. It may be a bit morbid for our European understanding and way of life, but for Hindu culture this is acceptable as a cult that have some special order of process of life in their country.

If you want to understand Hindu culture, it is necessary to go there without any prejudice. If you go with some initial negative attitude, you will not be able to understand and see the contrast and all the beauty and diversity of this unusual country. My advice is to book your ticket and when you have the ideal opportunity not to think too much and enjoy the beauty of this far away country.

Posts I wrote about India:

  1. India: Land of Smile and Happiness
  2. India: When Dreams Come True!
  3. India: Last Call For Varanasi
  4. India: Red is the Color of Joy (special fashion outfit post)

LAOS

A country that can be compared to India in some ways, not only do they share a place in Asia, but in both countries it is natural and their cultures are so unreal and different. When it comes to the size of these countries, it is impossible to compare, because Laos is one of the smallest countries in this part of the world.

No matter the size, this tiny green emerald of Asia can, due to its turbulent history and unusual culture, is great “rival” to India. This trip is a little fresher for me because this adventure was realised at the end of last year, in November 2019.

First when someone mentions Southeast Asia, the first associations are long and exhausting flights. Yes it is true, especially since you have to change several airports and flights to get to Laos, but when you step on the soil of this paradise of greenery you realize that it was all worth it. This is a land where you can rest all your senses. Unlike in India, Laos is for all lovers of nature and more peaceful tourism. Here you can come to really rest and learn something new about Lao culture and Buddhism in a completely different way.

It was a great honour for me to be one of the first bloggers in the world to have a chance to visit Laos in collaboration with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. The main goal of my visit was to promote Lao culture, traditions and their customs. I wanted to attend on their most important Buddhist religious festival, and a ministry team led by a minister made it a point to experience the beauty of sharing joy with others in mid-November when That Luang Festival is usually held.

In addition to the capital of Laos – Vientiane, I also had the opportunity to visit Luang Prabang, a city of great historical importance to the Lao people. It was once the “cradle” of the Lao kings and from there the influence spread to the rest of the country, until the role of the capital after the kingdom collapsed was officially assigned to Vientiane.

Laos is a country where you can explore the beauties and charms of untouched nature and learn some new historical facts about this part of the world. Believe me, no matter the size of this small country, it is all disproportionate to the injustice and fate of the Lao people throughout history.

In addition, you will learn more about their culture, traditions and religion. After this visit, I got a whole different view of the world with the help of the prism of truth that Buddhism gives you.

If you find the right guides to explain the essence of Buddhism and some of the basics of the rules and principles of this religion, you will understand some of life’s truths and injustices in life. Perhaps this will help you see your life problems from a whole new angle.

Posts I’ve shared with you about this beautiful country:

  1. Letters from Laos: Vientiane, the Lost Treasure of the Riverside of Mekong…
  2. Letters from Laos: That Luang – The Festival of Love and Sharing…
  3. Letters from Laos: Luang Prabang, a magical fairy tale about the land of 1000 elephants…
  4. Letters from Laos: Luang Prabang, the Historical Cradle of Lao Kings…
  5. Letters from Laos: Buddhism is the Heart, where all People can find Peace…

MOROCCO

Morocco is one of those countries in Africa that you fantasize about after seeing a movie or your favorite series. So it was the case with me when I dreamed about this country after I met her “cinematically” after I “saw” as a child in the last scenes of the famous movie “Original Sin” with Angelina Jolie and Antonio Banderas and the series “Forbidden Love”. Where, in addition to Marrakesh, who played the leading role, was somewhere between the city walls and forbidden the love of the beautiful Moroccan girl Jade and Lucas, the love of two young people who defied all laws.

According to my social channels, Morocco is the destination that has caused the most emotion in most of my readers. Honestly, the same was the case with me. For a while, I dreamed of visiting Morocco and feeling that mixture of Africa and Europe in French language. Morocco is a country that you cannot describe in just three words. It is a country of contrast and to which I have given the epithet “Sand Fairy Tale”.

Marrakech is a dream city and it was a cradle of inspiration from one of the greatest fashion virtuosos, who certainly marked the 20th century fashion and made a real way for French design and creation.

In addition to Marrakesh, the serenity of blue azure shades of blue brings an unusual city on the Atlantic coast. Esauira is a picturesque fishing town. Due to the climatic conditions, he was given the sympathetic nickname “Town of the Winds”.

There is a very interesting festival that is organized every year in the fall and is dedicated to all dragon lovers. I may not have had the opportunity to feel that adrenaline, but I did enjoy the beautiful pictures shown by the guides from the Tourist Organization of this incredible city.

I found out a few more interesting things about this quaint town. Did you know that this city used to be known as the Portuguese name Mogador, which in Berber means a wall, because Portuguese Mogador was strongly fortified. It was because of these walls that Esauira was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in Africa in 2001.

The reason for my visit to this unusual country was the Gnaoua World Music Festival, which is a musical treasure trove of elements of jazz, pop and rock music, and trying in every way to explore some new musical directions. An interesting event that brings together artists from all over the world with famous artists who are members of the Moroccan ethnic group of peoples better known as Gnaoua or Gnawa.

I will remember this trip for the incredible blue and sandy scenery and smiling faces of Moroccans. It is the people that sets each country apart, many people think it is irrelevant, but it is the people who help differentiate a particular country from the rest. Collective behavior depends on whether the state will receive a positive or negative “rating”.

I hope to have the opportunity to visit Morocco soon again and to continue my adventure where I left off. Morocco is one exceptional country that gives us a lot of opportunities and it has been a great pleasure for me to feature it on my blog.

Posts from Morocco that I shared with you during 2018:

  1. Letters from Morocco: My Incredible Adventure in Marrakesh
  2. Letters from Morocco: Essaouira, the Blue Diamond of Atlantic Ocean
  3. Letters from Morocco: Little Piece of Heaven in the Heart of Marrakesh
  4. Letters from Morocco: One Fashion Story from Essaouira

EGYPT

A country with a long and fascinating history that marked human existence. The cradle of a civilization dating back a little over 4500 years, whose history we had the opportunity to learn in primary and secondary schools. When you mention Egypt, the first association with this ancient civilization is the “eternal” monuments that are one of the seven wonders of the world – the pyramids.

As we approached Cairo, I couldn’t even imagine that I would get a chance to see those incredible sights located not far from Cairo on the Giza Plateau. Only when you land in Cairo and head to Giza do you realize how small a man is, but with great effort he can do great things. The pyramids are the result of human efforts to work a miracle for the “gods on earth” as the rulers and pharaohs enjoyed the reputation of mythical beings at that time.

In October 2019, I had the opportunity to visit the center of Hellenistic culture, Alexandria and the jewel of the Red Sea – Hurghada, in addition to Cairo and Giza. It was my honor and great pleasure to be the Destination Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt this year at the Belgrade International Tourism Fair held a few days ago in Belgrade.

42nd Belgrade Tourism Fair marked this year and I am glad that for the first time in many years, Egypt was the partner country of such a significant event in Serbia and the Balkan region as well.

I hope that after resolving this current situation with the Corona virus, it will bring things back to normal and that at least towards the end of this year, tourism will be a bit lively. Tourists have always been dear and welcome guests to this country in Africa, and I’m sure the Egyptians welcome us this year with open arms.

In addition to exceptional resorts and landscaped beaches, Egypt is also known for its many cultural monuments and archeological sites. If you have the time, make some plan to visit Alexandria, a city named after Alexander the Great, the greatest conqueror. An interesting anecdote is that Alexander never actually saw the city but continued his march, but was buried in Alexandria after his death.

Maybe Alexander the Great did not have the opportunity to see Alexandria, but he tried to arrange it in his own way, so he hired urban planners and architects who, based on his ideas, edited Alexandria.

Posts about Egypt I shared with you in 2019:

  1. Letters from Egypt: Story about Golden time of the Pharaoh’s Empire…
  2. Letters from Egypt: Lost Kingdom somewhere between priceless Treasures of Egyptian Museum in Cairo…
  3. Letters from Egypt: Alexandria, the City of the great Charm…
  4. Letters from Egypt: Hurghada, heaven Saphir of Red Sea…

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our first special post where I will share with you some of my personal experiences which I forgot to write you during posting regular blog posts. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from airline companies and Tourism boards for all those incredible adventures. I hope we will continue our new adventures soon!

How do you like this post? Do you have some ideas? Would you like to see some other interesting reviews about destinations which I’ve already visited? Now is the perfect time to tell me and I will do my best to tell you everything about some destinations what I forgot to tell you before! 🙂

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post is not sponsored.

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Letters from Egypt: Alexandria, the City of great Charm…

Dear adventurers, welcome to my blog. I hope you have successfully completed all your commitments and that the preparation for a good weekend fun can begin! Today we continue our adventure in Egypt, after Cairo and Giza it is time to introduce to you the cradle of Hellenism and the amanet of Alexander the Great – Alexandria!

There are few cities in the world with such a magnificent, long and interesting history as Alexandria has. This interesting city, which lies on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, was founded by Alexander the Great, dating back to 331 BCE, and is named after him. But long before the arrival of Alexander the Great, the famous Greek poet Homer wrote with great enthusiasm about this part of Africa in his Odyssey, most notably the island of Pharos.

The only remnants of the prehistoric harbor, which Homer also mentions, were found on the shores of Pharos Island. Opposite this island, on the mainland of Egypt, was a small village, fortified exactly where Pompey’s pillar stands today. As ancient Egyptian civilization developed mainly along the Nile River, very little is known about Pharos Island.

In the 4th century BC Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia, came to Egypt. When he came to Memphis, the Egyptians greeted him with enthusiasm, because they despised the authority of the Persians. Alexander the Great was extremely young and at the age of 25, already was a celebrated conqueror, who began his long journey through Greece, Asia Minor and Syria, defeating and with great ease defeating all the Greek and Persian forces got in the way. He had plans for a much longer trip to Persia, Central Asia and India.

But first he had to visit the oasis of Siva and consult with the prophecy of Ammon. On his way to the oasis, Alexander the Great watched with admiration the landscape between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis, as well as the nearby island. He ordered the establishment of a city to be the capital of the region. This location was ideal because it was located “in the middle” of Greater Greece, opposite the Mediterranean Sea, and the rest of Egypt. At that time, the Nile was connected to the Red Sea by a single channel, so Alexandria could also serve as a gateway to the Indian Ocean.

The city plan was made by the Greek architect Dinokrates, and the exterior walls of the city were marked by Alexander the Great himself. Thus, on April 7, 331 BC, the new capital of Egypt, Alexandria, emerged. The city was named after Alexander the Great, although he immediately left the city and did not see any of the buildings erected there. However, when he died, Alexander the Great was returned to Alexandria and buried there. After Alexander the Great’s death, none of his successors appeared to inherit the united kingdom.

Before taking the city tour, my photographer and I, along with a team from the Egyptian Tourism Authority, settled into a hotel. I just got those two hours to freshen up and make sure I could start exploring Alexandria. As you can see my first impressions of the hotel are wonderful because I got a beautiful room overlooking the sea…

Today, Alexandria is the second largest city in Egypt and a major economic center, extending about 32 km along the Mediterranean coast, in the north-central part of the country. Its altitude in the Nile Delta makes it very vulnerable and sensitive to the very rise in sea level. Alexandria is an important industrial center because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from the Suez Canal. Alexandria has also become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Egypt today.

Since the late 18th century, Alexandria has become a major hub for the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading hubs in the world because it has profited from the light land link between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.

Born in Hellenism, Alexandria was virtually nothing from one of the largest, if not the largest, cities in the world. During the first three Ptolemies, the city transformed from the sand of the Mediterranean coasts into the world’s largest scientific and intellectual Mecca. Of the heritage of Ptolemy, many sights remain: the lighthouse on Pharos, one of the wonders of the old world; a large library; Heptastadion; the temple of the god Serapis; numerous palaces…

It is well known that in Egypt at that time everything was not just “honey and milk”. Apart from the earliest period, taxes in Egypt were highest in the Old World. The Royal Palace was the center of royal intrigues and family scandals, including homicides. But it must still be said that the first three Ptolemies marked the golden age of Alexander’s city.

In the photo above, you can see the Pompey’s Pillar, the Roman triumphal pillar in Alexandria, the largest of its kind built outside the imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople. The only known free-standing building structure in Roman Egypt. Pompey’s pole is one of the largest ancient monoliths and one of the largest monolithic columns ever erected.

Someone might think that Pompey’s Pillar is the only notable landmark in the archaeological site. It certainly looks like it, but the reality is a little different. Aside from the two sphinxes that guard the pillar, the rest of the area looks like a little more than just a ruin.

As you move away from Pompey’s Pillar and continue down the marked path, you will notice that the discarded wooden boards lead the way back to the pillar itself. It seems odd, but if you follow it you will see a small partially hidden path. Here you will find the “Daughter of the Library of Alexandria” and the Serapeum Temple.

The daughter of the Library of Alexandria was a small extension of the main library in Alexandria. Over 7000 files are preserved here. Today you can explore the interior of the remains of the library and it’s probably not as impressive as one might imagine. If you are a fan of Egyptian history, like me, visiting this library will only bring you unparalleled happiness and joy because you have learned something new!

Serapeum Temple is probably one of the most magnificent buildings in the Pompey Pillar archeological complex. Today you could walk past it without noticing it! The temple is located right next to the “Daughter of the Library of Alexandria”. Today you can still find a replica of the bull statue where the original was originally placed. This landmark was most destroyed during the attacks of Christians during their struggles aimed at eradicating paganism. Only Pompey’s pillar, two sphinxes and the remains of the daughter of the Library of Alexandria and the Serapeum Temple are left.

After visiting this archaeological site, we continued our tour of Alexandria and the famous modern version of the Library of Alexandria – Bibliotheca Alexandrina, since the previous one we can only imagine and magnify in our imagination was completely destroyed in a great fire.

The Alexandrina Library is the main library and cultural center located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria. It is also the only memory of the Library of Alexandria lost in ancient times and an attempt to recreate some of the splendor that represented this center of study and erudition. The idea of reviving the old library dates back to 1974, when the board that set up the University of Alexandria selected land for its new library. Construction work began in 1995 and after about $ 220 million was spent, the complex officially opened in October 2002.

Today’s modern library has shelves for nearly eight million books, with the library’s main reading room occupying an area of nearly 20,000 square meters. The newly opened complex also houses a conference center, specialized libraries for old maps, multimedia, four museums, four art galleries for temporary exhibitions, 15 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium and a manuscript restoration laboratory.

The reading of the scripture is fully adapted for the disabled (visually impaired, blind and deaf people) and also wheelchair-bound people can enjoy this modern cultural complex without any problems.

You can see interesting permanent exhibitions and exhibitions on Egyptian history at the Museum, located within the new modern complex of the Library of Alexandria. You can always learn something new and get the opportunity to learn something new about the culture and lifestyle of peoples in Ancient Egypt.

The dimensions of this complex are really impressive, the library has a shelf space of eight million books with a main reading room covering 20,000 square meters (220,000 square meters of the entire complex) at eleven cascading levels.

The complex also houses a conference center, specialized libraries for maps, multimedia, a special center for the blind and visually impaired, a center for young people and children together with libraries, four museums, four art galleries for temporary exhibitions, 15 permanent exhibitions, a planetarium and a restoration laboratory. of the manuscript.

The architecture of the library is equally striking. The main reading room is located below the roof with glass panels over 30 meters high, sloping toward the sea like an umbrella. The walls are of gray Aswan granite, with carved figures from 120 different scriptures. The collection housed in the Alexandrina Library is donated from almost every corner of the globe. The Spanish donated documents detailing their period of Moor rule. The French also made their contribution, donating to the library documentation relating to the construction of the Suez Canal like many others.

The most interesting museum in this complex is the Sadat Museum. Older generations who were interested in the political scene in the world must have once heard from Anwar Sadat, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.

The Sadat Museum is the first museum in Alexandria dedicated to the late President Anwar Sadat. Located on an area of 260 square meters. The museum is part of an effort to document the history of modern Egypt. Before entering the museum, visitors have the opportunity to watch a show about President Sadat. It is also available to watch 12 hours of video content donated by Egyptian national television. These recordings include numerous speeches by President Sadat, an account of all the documents on the Egyptian-Israeli peace process and the October War, and a collection of recordings never aired in Egypt or the Arab world.

This museum also exhibits a collection of Sadat’s personal belongings, such as his radio, desk, and his personal library, which contains a collection of very rare books that have been donated to him by many influential people and other politicians. In addition, visitors will find a large number of Sadat’s portraits along with a collection of Arab swords, memorial shields, his personal stick, pipe and special national costume that he wore whenever he visited his hometown, Mit Abul Kom, located in northern Egypt.

The museum contains numerous decorations and honors bestowed in Egypt and other countries on President Sadat at various stages of his life, along with numerous gold, silver, bronze and copper decorations that he and Mrs. Jehan Sadat received as a gift.

Here you can see an interesting collection of President Sadat’s civilian and military suits, the most important of which is the military suit soaked in blood he wore on the day of the October 6, 1981 assassination.

One day was fulfilled and we learned a lot about interesting things about ancient and modern Egypt. Alexandria is a big city and you cannot visit all the sights in just one day. My recommendation is to set aside for Alexandria 2 to 3 days, if you can and more because you will be able to find out more.

Citadel of Qaitbay is a 15th-century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean coast in Alexandria. It was built in 1477 by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sef al Din Din Qa’it Bay. Qaitbay Fortress in Alexandria is considered one of the most important strongholds of defense, not only in Egypt but along the Mediterranean coast. It formed an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century.

This citadel is located at the entrance to the eastern port at the eastern point of Pharos Island. It was erected in the exact spot of the famous Alexandria Lighthouse, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The lighthouse continued to operate until the time of the Arab conquest, then several disasters occurred and the shape of the lighthouse changed to some extent. The reconstruction began in the period of Ahmed Ibn Tulun. During the 11th century there was an earthquake that damaged the octagonal part.

The foundation survived the impact, but could only serve as a tower, and a small mosque was built at the top. In the 14th century a very devastating earthquake occurred and the entire building was completely destroyed.

Sultan Qaitbay traveled to Alexandria, along with several other Mameluke princes, to visit the site of the old lighthouse and during this visit ordered the construction of the Citadel. In the month of Shaban, Sultan Qaytbey traveled to Alexandria again when construction was completed. He secured the fort with a brave legion of soldiers and various weapons. He also, as Ibn Aias mentioned, dedicated several vakufs from which he financed construction work as well as the salaries of soldiers. During the Mameluke period, and because of its strategic position, the Citadel was well maintained by all the rulers who came after Sultan Qaitbay.

The citadel was neglected for some time, until 1904 when the upper part of the fort was rebuilt by the Ministry of Defense. King Farouk wanted to turn the Citadel into a royal holiday home, so he ordered a speedy reconstruction. Following the 1952 revolution, Egyptian naval troops converted the building into a Maritime Museum. The largest restoration work dates back to 1984, when the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities made ambitious plans to rebuild the fort.

My dear adventurers, once again we have come to the end of our third special post from series of post from my Egyptian adventure. Time just flies so fast when you are having a good time! At the end of this post, I would like to thank my friends from Egyptian Tourism Authority for this incredible adventure and Mediterranean Azur Hotel their huge efforts to make our stay unforgettable and I felt like at home.

How do you like this story about Egypt? Have you maybe had a chance to visit Alexandria? I would like to share with me your experience! See you soon on some other interesting destination!

If you have a question, comment, suggestion or message for me, you can write me down in the comments. Of course, as always you can contact me via mail or social media, which you can find on the CONTACT page.

Best,
Mr.M

This post was sponsored by Egyptian Tourism Authority. I would like to say thank you to Mediterranean Azur Hotel for having us. The flights were like on the magic carpet thanks to Austrian Airlines. I also thank my friends from Sony who made it possible to enjoy in these beautiful photos made with the Sony Alpha 7r Mark II camera with Sony FE 24-70 mm lense from special G Master series of professional lenses.
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