Array ( [total] => 7 [pageSize] => 24 [page] => 0 [results] => Array ( [5650] => Array ( [iID] => 5650 [tTitle] => Tombs of Turkestan [tSlug] => tombs-of-turkestan [iTime] => 1480460400 [iUpdate] => 1489792089 [tDescription] => Not well known as a city, Turkestan's name is often confused with the country Turkmenistan. It doesn't help that there used to be a region, roughly matching with the borders of modern Turkmenistan, that used to be called Turkestan. Turkestan grew around the mausoleum of the Sufi mystical poet Kozha Akhmed Yasaui, the 'first great Muslim holy man'. The mausoleum was built by Tamerlane, or Timur Lenk, in the late 14th century, though the poet died as early as 1166. The poet's fame was a direct consequence of him writing and preaching in the local Turkic vernacular. The reconstructed tomb that Timur ordered was left unfinished after Timur's death, the front facade now lacking the tile work seen on the rest of the building. The construction is impressive, but I can't help but feel that I've seen many like it in Iran, many more impressive, perhaps particularly in Esfahan. An important reason for this mausoleum's inclusion on the World Heritage list is that it represents the start of a more unique Timurid architectural style. But, perhaps the devil is in the detail, does that make much of Iran's architecture Timurid? Or, what about Balkh, in northern Afghanistan. Isn't that, too, similar in style? Also interesting is how very little of the original settlement of Turkestan remains, the mausoleum standing in a wide open space, the current city circling the empty quarter. Some excavations seem permanently interrupted and, here and there, remnants of city walls remain, but on the whole, the center of Turkestan is an empty heart. I took the train to Turkestan from Bishkek, a nineteen our journey. Tickets are affordable and the train was only about half full. The Kazakh border patrol was overkill, three different individuals wanted to see my passport, but the process was relatively smooth and, they registered me as a tourist, when entering the country, something that more typically has to be done in the town you first arrive at as a tourist. And, things really ain't what they used to be. The last border guard wanting to see my passport answered a phone call while flipping through the pages of my document. He had an iPhone. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 1025 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1508 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 17 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 43.2978 [fLongitude] => 68.2718 [tLocation] => Tomb of Kozha Akhmed Yasaui [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] => 20161130 ) [5649] => Array ( [iID] => 5649 [tTitle] => Not Issyk-Kol [tSlug] => not-issyk-kol [iTime] => 1480201200 [iUpdate] => 1482237905 [tDescription] => Central Asia is more conveniently visited in summer. Then, visiting remote locations and unexpectedly having to stay the night doesn't include the risk of freezing to death. Two places I had wanted to visit on this trip, in Kyrgyzstan, were Osh and lake Issyk-Kol. Osh is in the Ferghana valley, where three of the Stans meet, as if in a whirlpool. The backdrop of Osh, itself the oldest city in Kyrgyzstan, estimated at over 3000 years old, is Sulayman Mountain, a World Heritage Site. Flights from Bishkek can be very cheap, while a bus takes perhaps ten hours to get there. Issyk-Kol, the second largest salt water lake on the world, after the Caspian Sea, is only a few hours away from Bishkek. But, this requires traveling through a high pass. I wanted to visit the lake on Sunday and leave Kyrgyzstan on Monday. But, significant snowfall the morning before, and the prediction of a light thaw on the day itself meant the roads could be more than tricky and the pass perhaps closed. I considered pressing my luck, but, during a night of drinking with a bunch of Hashers, I was convinced to not take the chance and, take a few of the Hashers up on the offer to go for a hike in the nearby mountain range to the south of the city. The hike was good, occasionally wading through a foot of snow, but the day was made at the end of our hike; we ran into a hunting party which offered us cherry vodka, cheese and some target practice with their hunting rifles, which turned out to be very loud. I shared some cigars and we were shown the results of their efforts, three wild boar and an ibex. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 848 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1505 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 2 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 42.6172 [fLongitude] => 74.6622 [tLocation] => In the mountains south of Bishkek [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] => 20161127 ) [5642] => Array ( [iID] => 5642 [tTitle] => Meeting the Roland in Bremen [tSlug] => meeting-the-roland-in-bremen [iTime] => 1477778400 [iUpdate] => 1482162389 [tDescription] => From Hamburg to Delft, it's easy to travel through Bremen, home of another World Heritage Site. Here, it's the town hall and the statue of a 'Roland', the oldest known version of the man. Rolands were used to represent the free trading nature of the host city, something this Hansestad, like any other of its kind, was awarded early on, as Bremen joined the Hanseatic league in 1260. The current Roland dates from 1404, with an earlier wooden one having been burnt down in 1366. It is said that Bremen will remain free and independent for as long as Roland stands watch over the city. For this reason, supposedly, a second Roland statue is kept hidden in the town hall's underground vaults, so that, if the original might fall or be destroyed, it can quickly be replaced with a copy. A Roland statue typically represents a knight with a drawn sword, signifying the town privileges of a medieval city. Mostly, Rolands are found in northern and eastern Germany, but examples survive in places as far away as Croatia, Latvia, but also the US and even Brazil. Roland was a Frankish military leader under Charlemagne who died in August 778. He was a military governor and responsible for defending the frontiers of the kingdom of the Franks against the Bretons and was supposedly killed by rebellious Basques in Iberia. According to a literary tradition that sprung up, Roland was one of the twelve paladins of Charlemagne, paladins being particularly respected warriors at the court of this king. Specifically, the paladins represented Christian valour against the Saracen hordes inside Europe. Though, originally with Ptolemy, Saracens referred to nomads from, roughly, the Sinai peninsula, by the middle ages, Saracens had come to signify muslim Arabs. In the literary tradition, Roland is associated with his sword Durendal, his horse Veillantif, and his oliphant horn, a type of wind instrument and, in perhaps true medieval poetic obfuscation, specifically in Germany, Roland eventually became a symbol for the independence of the mercantile cities and classes from the local nobility, hence the statues in cities like Bremen. Also, musicians Bremen is also known for the 'musicians of Bremen', a fairy tale by the brothers Grimm. In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster are discarded or mistreated by their masters and set out together on the road to Bremen, known for its freedom, to live without owners and become musicians there. Somewhat curiously, they never make it and eventually settle in a house on the road to Bremen to live out their lives. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 731 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1495 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 4 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 53.0757 [fLongitude] => 8.80727 [tLocation] => Marktplatz [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] => 20161030 ) [5595] => Array ( [iID] => 5595 [tTitle] => Castro, the capital of Chiloe [tSlug] => castro-the-capital-of-chiloe [iTime] => 1437516000 [iUpdate] => 1437516000 [tDescription] => The island of Chiloë, besides being on the way to Patagonia, is also a destination in its own right, not in the least because of the 100 or so wooden churches, a good dozen of which are world heritage monuments. Castro, the capital, simply meaning 'fort', is the third oldest continuously inhabited town in Chile, although Mother Nature, deploying the occasional earthquake, has tried hard to remove the town from the face of the earth several times. In 1960, an earthquake destroyed the train line connecting Ancud, to the north, with Castro, severing the rail line between the country's capital and the island. Besides the churches made of wood, also interesting are the many houses on stilts, cradling the edge between sea and land. Built on the water front, the facades are just like any other wooden dwelling. Their backs, leaning over the water, allow boats to be directly tied to the houses. Now, after a salmon boom in the 1990s, and the town, if not the island, becoming of interest to tourists from the world over, many of these palafitos are now restaurants, cafes or hotels. As a result, Castro has a bit of an end-of-the-world feeling to it, but one where everyone is having a mildly pleasant time. The island's geography is quite similar to, say, Ireland; green, hilly, wet, cold. While the German and Spanish influence, more tangible up north, have faded somewhat, the result is a hybrid that could just as easily be situated in, say, northern Norway. But, what is this fascination with playing 80s pop? It's awesome! In nearby Achao, small crowds drag kelp onto the beach, while lone knickknack paddlers wait for tourists that are few and far between in winter. Strolling along the beach, I watched the skies open up in the distance, while behind me the sun was shining. Afterwards, I had a fried salmon and chips in one of the few eateries serving food, catering really only for locals, nursing their beers between fishing trips, most of them drunk. Chiloë's national park is perhaps a bit less impressive.The rain and strong winds didn't help, while, for the most part, the park felt like a mix between the Irish coast and the Dutch heath. Nice, but nicer in summer. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 1254 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1440 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462174938 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 17 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -42.4823 [fLongitude] => -73.7643 [tLocation] => Plaza de Armas [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] => 20150722 ) [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] => 1787 [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 ) [5510] => Array ( [iID] => 5510 [tTitle] => Waiting to cross [tSlug] => waiting-to-cross [iTime] => 1400536800 [iUpdate] => 1400536800 [tDescription] => Lined with cobbled streets and wrapped up in autumn colors, Colonia del Sacramento is a pleasantly cute border town, just an hour away by boat from Buenos Aires. Also the reason why there are, sadly, multiple casinos in town as well as an overly strong focus on tourism. Still, already in the middle of autumn, the town is quiet, mellow, taking a break, basking in what's almost a pleasantly warm winter sun. The town's a world heritage site and has the cafés and restaurants to match. And, someone tried to sum up Uruguay in one sentence for me: "In Uruguay, when you open a door, you never know what's on the other side." [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 1296 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1324 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462157434 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 7 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -34.4723 [fLongitude] => -57.8516 [tLocation] => Plaza Mayor [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] => 20140520 ) [5375] => Array ( [iID] => 5375 [tTitle] => Of pizza and Mongols [tSlug] => of-pizza-and-mongols [iTime] => 1337119200 [iUpdate] => 1337119200 [tDescription] => Istanbul gets more rain than London, though it doesn't have the reputation for it. Still, upon my arrival, a steady drizzle was making my choice of wearing shorts and sandals a poor one. I upgraded my dress and later even added a sweater and went in search for baklava. One new addition since my previous visit is the excellent metro connecting the airport with the edge of downtown Istanbul, for a mere 2 Lira, some 85 eurocents, though the machine issuing the tokens did eat on of my lira first. Also good, close to the entrance, a supermarket selling heaps of baklava. I'm staying in an area called Fatih, where I found a place calling itself "Best place in Istanbul's old city" through Airbnb. It's nice, but maybe that's overdoing it a tad bit. Airbnb will be the death of the conventional hostel. I'm paying 15 euros for a double room in a private home, comparable to the price of a hostel bed in a dorm. Sure, you don't get the same social experience, but the advantages are legion. Inside the suburb of Fatih, there's the sub-suburb of Zeyrek, a world heritage site where dilapidated wooden houses are stacked on top of each other, fairytale like, at almost impossible angles. And kitties! So many kitties! Dinner was had at the excellent Fatih Karadeniz Pidecisi, serving Turkish pizza. A Turkish pizza is most often oblong, somewhat shaped like a human eye, with upstanding edges. The fillings are typically cheese, meat and, more often than not, a soft fried egg. Mine was served with a stick of butter. Next to me, three men ordered four pide, where the sides were so much standing up, that they touched along the length of the pizza, except for having a small hole in the middle. They threw in their sticks of butter, picked up the pizza at both ends and proceeded to rock their pizzas back and forth, letting the melted butter slide from one end of the pizza to the other. Then, pizzas were wolfed down. I was a bit surprised at the cost of my meal, pide now apparently going for upwards of 10 lira, about 4.50 euro. Restoring my faith in economic disparity, though, my breakfast the next day, of a big toasti, ayran en tea, was a mere four lira, not even two euros. Closeby, also the seemingly only Greek Orthodox church not converted to a mosque after the takeover of Constantinopel by the Turks in 1453. The oddly named Church of St. Mary of the Mongols was already a church and nunnery from the 7th century onwards, but only achieved its later prominence in the late 13rth century, when one Maria Palaiologina rebuilt the church and nunnery after herself having been away for 15 years. She returned to Istanbul because her husband had died. Her husband being the khan of the ilkhanate, the portion of Chinggis' empire centered around Persia. Hence the name. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2062 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1146 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461986327 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 2 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 41.0293 [fLongitude] => 28.9492 [tLocation] => Church of St. Mary of the Mongols [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] => 20120516 ) ) ) Keyword: world heritage ::