Ancient Pingyao – 3 Exceptional Attractions in One

Pingyao, almost 600 kms southwest of Beijing or a mere 4 hours on a highspeed train, is considered to be one of China’s best preserved ancient towns and premier tourist attractions. Most people come for a day, and most tourists are Chinese. I was drawn by the iconic photos of stone lanes and red lanterns, and I was delighted to find that Pingyao was that … Continue reading Ancient Pingyao – 3 Exceptional Attractions in One

Highlights of Hefei – Where is that??

Hefei, capital of Anhui province, is a small Chinese city of 7 million, my home in China. Each year, I spend from 3 weeks to 3 months at USTC. The University of Science and Technology of China, one of China’s most prestigious universities, has played a major role in turning Hefei into an academic, research and industrial powerhouse. Hence, Hefei is not known as a … Continue reading Highlights of Hefei – Where is that??

The Heartbeat of Oman

While Oman is spectacularly beautiful on the outside,  even more beautiful – inside – is the beating heart of Oman – the people and the culture of this most amazing of  Middle Eastern countries.     Never will you experience more generous, friendly, helpful and kind people than Omanis.  They treat everyone with respect – their families, their neighbors, their guests.  I have lived or … Continue reading The Heartbeat of Oman

Bait Al Bustan – Creating Home in Oman

  Last night we sat on the balcony in Al Bustan village and listened to the drums and bagpipes, clapping and chanting of the wedding near the beach.  It was enchanting, and it is one of the thousand reasons I chose to make a home here in Oman. It started with a small apartment in the village – half of the second story of a … Continue reading Bait Al Bustan – Creating Home in Oman

4373 Reasons to Ride The Shanghai – Lhasa Express

From the first moment I saw this map, I was determined to make this trip.  Not so much because I wanted to see Lhasa – that was a bonus – but because it seemed to me I could see most of China in one go!  4373 kilometers of China in the comfort of a modern train!  For 48 hours, I would press my nose to … Continue reading 4373 Reasons to Ride The Shanghai – Lhasa Express

In the Zanzibar Chest

Thank you, Aidan Hartley, for The Zanzibar Chest.  A brilliant book to read and reread.  Such compelling writing, so many important messages.  I lingered over the many sections about Yemen because I live next door in Oman.  Africa, not so much.  But I could not put the book down. I’ve just finished reading this “memoir of love and war” – tales from the lives of … Continue reading In the Zanzibar Chest

The Texture of Tibet – Lhasa 2017

I know that Lhasa is a spiritual center. I have only been a tourist – albeit an official one.  You cannot visit Lhasa without a permit.  When I asked why, they said: “well, you know….” I think it was because Lhasa is a spiritual center.  But for me, it was a short collection of images and textures that somehow portray Tibet spirituality to me. Above … Continue reading The Texture of Tibet – Lhasa 2017

Shanghai Speaks to Me

Sometimes, Shanghai shouts!  It is a city with a huge voice, larger than life, grand vistas, impressive towers, sweeping views.  A loud, demanding, engaging global voice!   Day and night. Shanghai shouts.   But also… Shanghai is resplendent with Chinese art and architecture that has a more accented voice- the voice of culture and tradition.  More refined.  I seek it out naturally.   The European … Continue reading Shanghai Speaks to Me

The Calgary Barkers from East Anglia – through the rear view mirror

East Anglia.  So near to London and yet a whole different world.  Farmland stretching for miles. Fields and roads lined with ageless trees, deep green juxtaposed against the golden crops ready for harvest. East Anglia.  Endless charming villages with charming names tripping back in time.   East Anglia…. miles of secret winding single-track roads leading from one vista to another.   East Anglia…. so lovely, … Continue reading The Calgary Barkers from East Anglia – through the rear view mirror