AT SUNSET, the Roman columns of Palmyra – lost in the desert, a five-hour drive from Damascus – look very romantic, the golden light highlighting the sandstone from which most of it is built. The main colonnade, lined with massive columns, stretches into the distance, its roadway unpaved so as to provide better footing forContinue reading “Syria: Ancient sights”
THE SANDS of Libya have seen the coming and going of the Empires of the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantine, Egyptians, Persians, Vandals, Ottomans and Italians, among many others. It is now ready and hoping for an invasion of tourists.
“THE BEST analogy I can think of is fishing,’ says superstar DJ Pete Tong. ‘You put some hooks out into the crowd and see what they respond to.” We are sitting on a sunny rooftop terrace of the exotic Riad Lotus Ambre in Marrakech, having a lamb tagine lunch and discussing his set at PachaContinue reading “Marrakech: The spice of nightlife”
I AM freezing cold, yet pouring with sweat, my heart is banging away as if about to burst and my legs feel like jelly. After three days of battling post-Cairo stomach problems (the details you don’t want to know) I’m already weaker than a decaf latte. And I’m still only 30 minutes into the three-hourContinue reading “Mount Sinai: And, lo, there was light”
I AM SITTING in an air-conditioned Toyota FWD, doing what feels like 70mph, when the ground ahead suddenly disappears from view. The front end of the vehicle drops sickeningly, while girly screams echo from the people (not all of them female) in the back seat. Then we hit the side of the massively steep dune,Continue reading “Oman: Wadi you like?”
AFTER ONLY A few hours in Beirut, you wonder how these wonderfully warm and kind people could ever have fought a bloody civil war so recently. Step outside your hotel and get into a taxi, or just try and cross the road, and that question might answer itself. Whether it’s homicidal or suicidal tendencies, Lebanon’sContinue reading “Beirut 2004: The good times roll”