Array ( [total] => 5 [pageSize] => 24 [page] => 0 [results] => Array ( [5582] => Array ( [iID] => 5582 [tTitle] => the places I have been [tSlug] => the-places-i-have-been [iTime] => 1436911200 [iUpdate] => 1516124997 [tDescription] => Keep track of which World Heritiage Sites you have visited and compare your travels with your friends. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 1789 [iClicks] => 607 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1319 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462225198 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 1 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -33.4391 [fLongitude] => -70.6622 [tLocation] => Travellers Place Hostel [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=5582 ) [5416] => Array ( [iID] => 5416 [tTitle] => A balmy September in Barcelona [tSlug] => a-balmy-september-in-barcelona [iTime] => 1349042400 [iUpdate] => 1349042400 [tDescription] => After the cold of Liverpool, and both before and after our detour to Andorra, it was time for a break in sunny Spain. The day we arrived in Barcelona, we saw a colorfull spectacle downtown. Live classical music as well as puppets about three times the size of an average person, being carried around in the streets, dancing to live music performed by small bands moving along with them. This, pretty much exactly the same as a display I saw several years ago in Belgium. I would suspect there's a connection here which is related to the Spanish rule of the low countries, but UNESCO treats the Belgian experience, shared with northern France, as unique in its own right. Close to Barcelona, we visited the overly popular monestary of Montserrat, by some associated with the home of the holy grail in Arthurian legend. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2050 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1192 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461657924 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 16 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 41.5946 [fLongitude] => 1.838 [tLocation] => Santa Maria de Montserrat [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20121001 ) [5207] => Array ( [iID] => 5207 [tTitle] => Roaming the streets of St. Louis [tSlug] => roaming-the-streets-of-st-louis [iTime] => 1304373600 [iUpdate] => 1304373600 [tDescription] => Saint Louis was the capital of Senegal for about 300 years, until independence, when Dakar took over. Some 60 years prior, Dakar had already taking over the role of the capital of French west Africa, though for the last forty years or so before independence, Saint Louis did remain the capital of neighboring Mauritania. Indeed, for some four decades, Mauritania's capital was outside of it's borders, though only just. Saint Louis grew on trade and, being administered by the French, thriving predominantly in the 19th century and because of it's history, became part of what is known as the 'Creole Atlantic', other examples of which are Havana and New Orleans. The city has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 2000. However, it will be hard for Saint Louis to beat the other competitors in its league. As a tourist destination, the city hasn't too much too offer, though its hotels are good, if pricey, and it's restaurants quite decent, and some even excellent. But, apparently, it's the wildlife parks in the area which attract the fairest share of tourists, though in my opinion that constitutes rather little to warrant flying in from Europe for. 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[iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20110503 ) [5050] => Array ( [iID] => 5050 [tTitle] => Rabat, again, but not [tSlug] => rabat-again-but-not [iTime] => 1291762800 [iUpdate] => 1291762800 [tDescription] => I've had a long standing fascination with tiny countries. Malta, being the smallest country in the EU being no exception. But perhaps even more fascinating than the smallest country in the EU, is the smaller of the two islands that make up the smallest country in the EU. To be fair, Malta actually consists of a good handful of islands, but only two are inhabited; Malta, that is, the main island, and Gozo. There is a third island of reasonable size, Comino, which apparently has three permanent residents, but taking the ferry from Malta to Gozo, which passes Comino, you can manage to pretty much see that whole island from the boat. Gozo is famous, well, in certain circles, I suppose, for it's Ggantija megalithic structure, dating back to some 5500 years ago, making the buildings amongst the oldest freestanding constructions in the world. Built by unknown neolithics, the construction, with some stones over a few tonnes in weight, were once thought to have been built by giants, hence the name. Pronounced as dgeeganteeya, it resembles the northern European word for giant. Unfortunately, the structure is a bit of a let down, perhaps the reason why at the entrance to the temple, you are given a small map with a dozen or so other sights in the area. The sight promoted the most, besides the temple complex, is a medeaval windmill. I mean, seriously? The one site I was interested in was a nearby stone circle, but when we tried to locate it, the location on the map did not correspond with reality, where we found several houses under construction. And no circles. Gozo, with it's 30000 inhabitants, has no less than 22 churches, some of which are quite impressive. The one that stands out is the more recently built st. John the baptist church in the unpronounceable Xewkija, which has a huge dome and stands some 80 meters high, visible from far beyond the shores of the island. Gozo is also known for some pristine bays, but we couldn't be bothered. We went to Gozo on the day which celebrates Maria's immaculate conception, mostly only celebrated in countries with a significant Catholic population. We might have just missed a procession in the capital of Gozo, but at that time, we were still trying to get to Ggantija without losing too much time. 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[iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20101208 ) [941] => Array ( [iID] => 941 [tTitle] => Rainy Hoi An [tSlug] => rainy-hoi-an [iTime] => 1253656800 [iUpdate] => 1253656800 [tDescription] => Arriving in Hoi An, it started to rain, badly, which didn't really stop until my last day in Saigon. I'm not really getting older, other tourists are getting younger and dumber, more and more treating every out of the way destination as extensions of Ibiza. In other words, spending only a good week in Vietnam, it's hard to stay off the tourist trail. In fact, I suspect that, even when staying longer, it's not straightforward to stay out of the tourist hotspots, possibly even harder than it is in Thailand. Unfortunately, unlike Thailand, there seems to be a strong distinction between venues visited by locals and venues visited by foreigners. Open Tour picked me up from my hotel in Hue, driving me to Hoi An, for a mere 3 USD. If one is short on time, how can that possibly be beaten, and even then. Halfway, we stopped at the typical tourist trap restaurant. Though the drinks and food were not unreasonably priced, the icecream was too expensive. Leaving, I accidentally stepped into the wrong bus, a proper sleeper, with double beds stacked on both sides of the isle. Although looking reasonably comfortable, I still wouldn't trade these in for a sleeper on the train. Driving styles, here, are atrocious. In rainy Hoi An, I stayed at the Vinh Huy hotel, a bit run down, but clean and reasonable, though the second night in my room, the fan, then the aircon, then the boiler broke down, one after another. No wifi, but they have an indoor pool. The tiny burn I sustained on Tony's tour of Hanoi has turned into a huge scabby patch, much more typical of such burns and something that's easy to spot on, mainly, girls in Chiang Mai. Still oozy, it wouldn't be too great to dive into the pool with that. Then again, it might result in me having the pool to myself..,. In the evening, in the drizzle, I walked into the old town, not too impressed by the 'charming city'. I ended up having dinner at Streets, one of several restaurants in Vietnam with a mission, supporting disadvantaged and/or handicapped children. The prices are a bit higher, but everything, from the setting to the food to the waiters and waitresses screams boutique. The experience was good and although at first it's hard to verify a restaurant's claim on its social commitments, the real downside is that the restaurant could have been anywhere in the world. The look and feel is just too generic. The next morning, I finally discovered egg sandwiches off the street, very munchable and cheap, at only 10.000 dong, 40 eurocents. As a bonus, you get to see the traffic flow by. No girls in cute uniforms though, only cute girls on bikes and scooters in regular clothes with shorts that regularly are, really, too short. After my sandwich, I couldn't help but get a second one. Walking on, I discovered a lady selling xima, the name of the most typical African dish, also known as pap, sadza, ugali and posho. In Africa, it's a maize meal porridge. Here, it's a sweet black porridge, not totally appetizing. After I sit down, a Vietnamese girl came and sat next to me, also ordering a cup of xima. I asked her if she likes the stuff on which she replied that she didn't know, she'd never had it before in her life. Hoi An's old town is a world heritage site, with many of the buildings in the city protected by UNESCO. This means you have to buy a combined ticket at one of the ticket outlets which will then allow you to visit some, but not all, of the many sights. In case you want to see them all, you need to buy several tickets. Though I'm not that daring, quite a few of the venues don't care for checking your ticket. Across from the main ticket office, I sat down, at a street stall, and had a black coffee, with milk. In Vietnam, the milk is sweet and condensed and, typically, forms a plaque at the bottom of your glass of coffee, which you then have to try and stir into your drink. Here, I got the shot glass of coffee, with the milk at the bottom, inside a larger cup with hot water. I suppose to make the gooey milk easier to stir. One corner of the old town has a large number of upmarket hotels, restaurants and cafes. One, inviting enough, made me walk in to it and check out the menu, feeling like having something sweet, a desert perhaps. The sweets went for four to six dollars. The night before, I had had fried bananas in sugar and rum for under one dollar. I moved on and, down the road, get a coffee, a banana milkshake and a coke, all for one euro. The parallels between Hoi An and Melaka are obvious. Touristy, with strong Chinese influences, on a bank, one a river, the other sea, with architecture obviously dating from a similar time period. However, with Melaka being significantly more mellow and its people less pushy, I prefer the latter. Also, Hoi An could do with a few upgrades to its world heritage sites, while I'm not at all sure that the dominating tourist industry is doing the town so much good. In the pouring rain, I did the obligatory walking tour of the city and ended up at a small bar on the An Hoi peninsula, just across from the old town. The cafe sells yummy sandwiches at just over a dollar and draft beer at 22 dollarcents. It's surprising how the heat makes it so much easier to drink large quantities of beer, as opposed to whiskey or rum, my regular favorites. In the evening, having dinner at Cafe 43, the mugs of beer are even cheaper, at 16 dollarcents. 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