Sunday 18 October 2015

Chaos in Tehran



Luckily, my trip in Iran didn't start in Tehran. It's so chaotic and polluted, I probably would have gone back immediately :-D
Besides, the traffic is just madness and crossing a street for a pedestrian is much more similar to suicide than to a bucolic walk.

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Saturday 10 October 2015




Shah Abbas I moved Iran's capital to Esfahan in the 17th century. He made sure this city was worth of the mighty Safavid empire by completely remodeling the town. The most emblematic place of this period definitely is Naqsh-e Jahan (aka Imam square), the second largest square in the world (after Tiananmen square in Beijing).

Naqshe Jahan at night

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Tuesday 6 October 2015

Welcome to Tatooine!



When you arrive in Yazd , it seems like the town blends into the surrounding desert. From the distance, you mostly see brown buildings under a blazing sun. The city's historical center consists in a maze of tiny lanes zigzagging around mud-brick houses. When you're wandering in those lanes it seems like you've been transported to Tatooine, the desert planet in Star Wars (without the strange aliens you usually meet over there :-) )

Lane in the old city

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Sunday 12 April 2015




The Northern capital of Greece has plenty to offer: Byzantine churches, Roman remains, museums, bars, parties, a long pleasant shore line, nice neighborhoods, former Turkish buildings... Take your pick!
One of the best views over the city is the one you get from the surrounding Byzantine walls in the Old city (Ano Poli).
View from the Byzantine walls

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Tuesday 25 November 2014

The coolest capital city in South East Asia!



Arriving in Vientiane is such a shock! Compared to all the other capital cities in South East Asia, Vientiane is quiet and clean, there's little traffic and drivers behave in a civilized way (at least more than in Paris): they mostly comply with traffic rules and almost no one is honking.
Maybe the more than 6000 Buddha statues of Wat Si Sakhet (one of the oldest temples of the city) inspire such calm.
Wat Si Saket: Buddha statues

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Wednesday 19 November 2014

Another traveler's mecca



With some other travelers we organized our transfer from Stung Treng to an area in southern Laos called Si Phan Don (4000 islands). The roads I traveled in Cambodia were in bad condition but the one between Stung Treng and the border was even worse: it was just a dusty track full of potholes. We got to the border nonetheless. On the Cambodian side, the customs offices consist in a couple of wooden shacks while on the Lao side, the whole building seems brand new and rather clean.

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Friday 13 June 2014

Day trip to the center of the world



It takes about 3 hours to reach the ancient site of Delphi from Athens by bus. It's located in a wonderful settings in the middle of the mountains of central Greece. It was a very important religious center in Ancient Greece since it was considered the center of the world. It also had a strong political meaning since it was used to promote pan-hellenic ideas through Athens leadership among the greek cities.
The theater

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Thursday 19 December 2013

A short stop in the city of Che



Compared to Trinidad, Santa Clara is far duller. There's no use to search for colonial houses and world heritage landmarks. Santa Clara is known for being a convenient transport hub in the middle of Cuba, for hosting the second most prestigious university in the country but also for one of the major battle of the revolution and for its huge memorial to Ernesto Ché Guevara.
Memorial to Che Guevara

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Saturday 14 December 2013

The Southern Pearl



French settlers from New Orleans founded Cienfuegos at the beginning the the 19th century. That's obviously why it is such an elegant, beautiful and well organized city (let's be chauvinist for once ;-) ). Actually, the downtown area is full of building with neoclassic architecture, reminding Paris haussmanian buildings (with a tropical touch).
Casa de cultura

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Saturday 21 September 2013




Even lazy students know plenty of historical facts about this place. Everyone can recognize the shape of its entrance gate among hundreds of photos. Many have heard about the obnoxious welcoming message above the gate. Plenty of writers or filmmakers have dealt with this: "Se questo è un uomo" by Primo Levi, "Les Bienveillantes" by Johnathan Littell, Anne Franck's diary, "La mort est mon métier" by Robert Merle, "Shoah" by Claude Lanzmann, "Maus" by Art Spiegelman...

That's why visiting Auschwitz is more a pilgrimage than a discovery. However, it doesn't mean this is not a very powerful experience.
Auschwitz entrance gate

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Monday 16 September 2013

Ryanair m'a tuer



Cracovie est une ville qui a beaucoup de charmes. Et pour cause, elle a toujours été une référence au niveau artistique, culturel, académique pour la Pologne. D'autre part, contrairement aux autres étapes de ce voyage (Dresde, Wroclaw), Cracovie n'a subi presque aucun dommage lors de la seconde guerre mondiale. Les Nazis considéraient cette ville comme étant historiquement allemande et donc l'ont épargnée.

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Friday 13 September 2013




Dresden is not the most touristic place in the world. Most of those who come here to visit are retired Germans. It's mostly known for having been one of the most beautiful Renaissance/Baroque city in Europe before being reduced to ashes after an allied bombing at the end of WWII.
The signs of the bombing are still clearly visible: many buildings still look black and burnt. Others which were destroyed have been rebuilt like the main landmark of the city, the Frauenkirche.
Frauenkirche after the rain

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Sunday 12 May 2013

A short trip across Spain



From Tangier, Morocco, I crossed the strait of Gibraltar to Tarifa by ferry and made my way back home overland in 4 short days. With such a short time, I couldn't spend very long anywhere. Luckily, it wasn't the first time there...
The first stop was Granada which has many similarities with Moroccan imperial cities since it's been occupied for almost 7 centuries by Muslims.
Granada - Albayzin

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