Travel Ideas: Cyprus

Few countries share the distinction of being a crossroad to three continents.  Whether that is a blessing or a curse is a vain question as  cards are played after they are dealt. For Cyprus , that distinction has provided a History of greater significance relative to its size. The small island has been coveted by great civilisations for millenniums, and even today this remains the case.

Troodos mountain range once rich in Copper (used for Bronze) and  depleted  of it since  the 80s . The word copper comes from the Greek name of the island Kupros.
Troodos mountain range once rich in Copper (used for Bronze) and depleted of it since the 80s . The word copper comes from the Greek name of the island Kupros.

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Swiss Business Lounge – Geneva

The Swiss Business lounge in Geneva is a mid-sized lounge, appropriate for the size of airport it is located. I can’t really speak for those who always use the lounge at peak hours, but in the dozen times I have been here I have always found a spot to sit on.

 

Swiss Business Class lounge Geneva
Swiss Business Class lounge Geneva

 

The lounge doesn’t have shower room like the  one in Zurich but then again Geneva is not an Intercontinental airport hub. The food lounge generally has fruits, bread and cheese and it has sometimes small hot meals.  Continue reading Swiss Business Lounge – Geneva

The multifaceted city of Taipei

I arrived at Taipei at the dead of night, a timing I am used to as there seems to be a correlation between cheap airfares and late night arrivals . I got some money out of the cash machine, made sure I had the Chinese Characters of the hotel, grabbed a cab and showed the driver my destination.   Less than hour later, I am in front of my hotel, on an empty street in the city of New Taipei.

New Taipei at the dead of night
New Taipei at the dead of night

I stayed at  Lion Hotel, which at  5 minutes walk  to Fuhzong subway station makes it practical despite its distance from  Taipei city centre.  The subway  trains in Taipei are spacious and clean, and to me its comfort level even at rush-hour is still acceptable. You can take 1–day, 2–day, 3–days and 5–days ticket from any station, explaining this to the ticket vendor is half the adventure :). Some English and sign language will do!

Fuzhong subway platform
Fuzhong subway platform

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Memories of Beirut

Beirut, Lebanon – written on May 27, 2007

Today was my first day in Beirut. I went for a walk along the Corniche onwards to Raouché. At some point I thought I had everything wrong and that Raouché was at the opposite direction. And then, I came across a family; I asked them whether they spoke French, and two of them replied yes, enthusiastically. They told me I was heading for the right direction and as we said goodbye the man said: “Vous êtes le bienvenu ici!” . That must have been the most heartwarming welcome I have ever heard. I smiled.

"Vous êtes le bienvenu ici!" . That must have been the most heartwarming welcome I have ever heard. I smiled.
“Vous êtes le bienvenu ici!” . That must have been the most
heartwarming welcome I have ever heard. I smiled.
The Raoché
The Raoché

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Destination East Timor

Asia’s newest country  is moving silently in its transition to mature its Economy and Society. It is a country where a lot is still on the drawing board and where there is still opportunity to start things with best practices considered.  I guess you can say that East Timor is an El Dorado for Nation Building because a lot of the experiments are hits and misses.

Take Tourism for example, the industry is not well developed and people there are still not that used to tourists, but that for me is one of the big reasons why you should visit East Timor. People here are lot less consumer centric than in most countries you will have gone too. But I have to say that somehow the city has a 1 country 2 systems feel. The UN has had a large presence in the islands and it seems that there is a UN expat price and a local price. For example, foreigners are charged with a base price of 1 USD for a taxi but locals pay much less. It can be quite expensive in EastTimor though, the island does not have enough resources yet.

Locals at Dili Beach
Locals at Dili Beach

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