Category: Heritage

My North Africa Bucket List

Man and Donkey, Fes, Morocco
Photo by Vince Gx on Unsplash

It’s a continent that I have never visited. And eagerly looking forward to doing so someday…

Egypt: I would start my North Africa visit with the country with one of the oldest civilisations in the World. Of course, it will be great to visit the Pyramids of Giza. But I would be just as excited to visit the ancient monuments along the banks of the Nile at places such as Luxor, Edfu and Aswan. I am also curious to see Alexandria – pictures reveal a city with similarities to my home town – Mumbai.

Tunisia: Another country with links to ancient Rome. Tunis, Carthage, El Jem and Dougga would be the places on my itinerary here.

Algeria: I must confess that this country, the largest in Africa, was not originally on my list of countries to visit. But a casual online read has piqued my curiosity sufficiently enough to add it to my list. Algiers, Oran and Constantine look like interesting places to visit. I would also like to experience Tamanrasset in the far south.

Morocco: Marrakesh, Fes, Casablanca, Tangier – the places in Morocco roll of the tongue conjuring images of the exotic. A country that I would love to visit!

 

Google Arts & Culture

red art relaxation girl
Photo by Una Laurencic on Pexels.com

I came across this site yesterday and spent an enjoyable time on it.

What is Google Arts & Culture?

This is what the ‘About’ section of the website states:

“Google Arts & Culture is a non-profit initiative. We work with cultural institutions and artists around the world. Together, our mission is to preserve and bring the world’s art and culture online so it’s accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

The initiative’s pitch to museums and cultural institutions is “We can help digitize, manage, and publish your collection online, for free. With our easy-to-use tools, your stories can be told beautifully to a global audience.”

In classic Google style, they present the results of these to the end user in a simple, elegant and beautiful manner. It definitely helps that they are presently leading with an article on the “Sphinx of Delft” – the Dutch master, Vermeer.

Scroll further down and you can explore architecture, food, music as well as indulge in virtual travel. There are also articles exploring concepts in science.

I have only just started scratching the surface of this and look forward to spending more time exploring it further!

 

 

My West Asia Bucket List – Part II

Georgia
Photo by Rudolf Kirchner on Pexels.com

I realised after posting my West Asia Bucket List that I had not covered a few countries that straddle Asia and Europe.

Georgia – This is another country that I am very keen to visit. It is becoming an increasingly popular destination. Places such as the capital Tbilisi, Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Akhaltsikhe have a wealth of historical monuments worth exploring.

Azerbaijan – Another country in the region that is becoming increasingly popular with tourists. Baku has an interesting mix of old and modern architecture. Other places that I would like to visit include Nakhchivan and Sheki. While reading about the place, I also came across this fascinating place – the Parigala “Fairy Castle”. It is almost inaccessible and it is claimed that it was last accessed by a human in the 1970s!

Armenia – A small country in the region, this country was supposedly the first to make Christianity the State religion. It has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Haghpat Monastery, Sanahin Monastery, the Etchmiadzin Cathedral (considered as the oldest cathedral in the world) and Geghard Monastery.

 

My South Asia Bucket List

Galle
Photo by Shainee Fernando on Unsplash

Coming to my backyard. I have already written a series of posts on my India bucket list. Here are some of the places that I would like to visit in my neighbouring countries:

Sri Lanka: So close, yet not visited. It’s just over an hour away by flight, and I hope to visit places such as Kandy, Anuradhapura and Galle one day.

Nepal: Considering that a large stretch of the Himalayas run through India, the mountains are not so much of a draw for me to visit Nepal. Rather, it is to explore the historical places such as Patan and Bhaktapur. In addition, I would love to visit the Janaki Mandir at Janakpur and Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha.

Bhutan: Another place with a strong mystical appeal, it would be nice to spend a few days anywhere in this country. An off-beat destination might be the Phobjikha valley for a chance to spot Black-Necked Cranes.

Myanmar: This large country to India’s east should make for an interesting journey. Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon and Inle Lake are some of the popular destinations here and would be the places that I would like to visit.

Afghanistan: I know, it’s not a popular destination for tourists. But India has a long historical connection to this country. It would be nice to able to visit places such as Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Jam Minaret.

My Central Asia Bucket List

Samarkand
Photo by Ildar Garifullin on Unsplash

The countries (or ‘Stans’) of Central Asia have long held an almost mythical fascination for me. The history of the Silk Route, the beautiful architecture, the landscapes – they all seem so wonderful!

Uzbekistan: A country that is very high up on my bucket list of countries to visit. The stunning architecture of Samarkand, the ancient cities of Bukhara and Khiva, these are all exotic places that I would love to experience. Another place that I only discovered while doing some research online is Shahrisabz, the birthplace of Emperor Timur.

Kyrgyzstan: This land-locked country is considered to be the country that’s farthest from any sea. In fact, it also does not have rivers flowing through it that empty into a sea! Geography might be the primary reason to visit this place. It does have one entry in the UNESCO World Heritage Site – the sacred Sulayman Mountain in the city of Osh.

Tajikistan: The smallest country in the region. The primary reason to visit would be to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Pamir National Park, which is part of the Pamir Mountains, considered as the “Roof of the World”.

Turkmenistan: The country with the lowest population in the region, this was an important stop on the Silk Road. The country’s ancient history can be explored in places such as Konye-Urgench, Merv and Nisa, near Ashgabat.

Kazakhstan: The 9th largest country in the World is also the world’s largest land-locked country. The southern part of the country was on the Silk Road. Turkestan in this region has the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasawi. I would also love to do some bird-watching at the Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve, located to the west of Astana (Nur-Sultan). This is an important wetland and stop-over point for many birds that migrate to the Indian sub-continent.