Sunday 5 April 2015
Tuesday 25 November 2014
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.
Wednesday 19 November 2014
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.
Monday 10 November 2014
The last time I was in Phnom Penh, I already noticed the chaos in this city. Four years after, I could really appreciate it during the 2 weeks of my stay.
Friday 13 June 2014
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.
Saturday 21 December 2013
After a short stop in Santa Clara, I took a taxi colectivo (1956 Chevrolet!) to Remedios, a small city located 40km North. Remedios is actually one of the oldest city in Cuba but most of the population fled the repeated attacks of the pirates in the 17th century. That's why it stayed a charming colonial village until now.
Thursday 19 December 2013
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.
Tuesday 17 December 2013
Trinidad is an open air museum. It's a beautifully preserved colonial town with cobbled stone streets and brightly painted buildings. It attracts busloads of tourists and the usual jineteros (touts) with reason.
Saturday 14 December 2013
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).
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...
Monday 16 September 2013
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.
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.
Sunday 12 May 2013
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.
Wednesday 8 May 2013
Tangier is probably the most European city of Morocco, not only for its location or its history (it has been an international city during most of the first half of 20th century). There's a feeling that here Maghreb and Europe blend together.
Friday 3 May 2013
The Medina of Fez is what medieval cities should have looked like. It's a maze of tiny streets going in every possible directions. It's absolutely impossible not to get lost in it, even for locals! Is there any urbanist out there???
Tuesday 11 September 2012
Friday 13 April 2012
Everyone who has been to Istanbul agrees that it is an amazing place. I totally concur with this, except for one issue : the weather. My first two days there have been pretty miserable fighting rain, wind and cold. The only solution was to focus on indoor activities. Unfortunately, that same idea occurred to the thousands of tourists in Istanbul for Easter holidays... However, it was worth waiting even in the cold !
Sunday 8 April 2012
Following some friends' advices, I went to Cappadocia after Pamukkale. Well... it's definitely worth it ! The landscapes are just amazing. There are Fairy chimneys all around the village of Goreme and their color is continuously changing.
Friday 6 April 2012
When going to Turkey, most tourists have in mind the image of the bright blue travertines of Pamukkale. Well, the postcard is a little bit different from the reality... Most of the travertines (natural pools made of carbonite formations) are dry due to the man made modifications. However, a couple of them still almost look like the postcard.
Wednesday 4 April 2012
When traveling in the Greek islands, I got used to enjoy the views with only a bunch of happy few. This time is over ! Turkey is the land of huge organized tours all year long! This was especially obvious in Ephesus.