Author Archives: lornaofarabia

About lornaofarabia

I am a teacher from Medford, Oregon. I currently live and work in Cairo, Egypt.

Hải Vân Pass

Our next destination was Hoi An, billed as an old trading port city with a well-preserved historic district. There is a bus from Hue but I read that if we took it we would miss the best of the scenery … Continue reading

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Huế

We nearly missed our train over these crispy pancakes. If we had, it would almost have been worth it. They are a Hanoi specialty and they are very very tasty. But as it turned out, we ate our pancake dinner … Continue reading

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Ha Long

Any “10 top things to do in Vietnam” list will tell you that a Ha Long cruise is essential. Towering rainforest-topped islands rising out of the misty bay make for an atmospheric and highly Instagrammable situation. Not that I Instagram … Continue reading

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Hanoi

We haven’t traveled much in Asia. The omission is intentional; it’s long been our plan to move to southeast Asia and explore from there. But we just signed on for our eighth year in Africa, so maybe it’s time to … Continue reading

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When the apricots bloom

There’s a saying in Egypt -“bukra fil mish-mish” بكرة في المشمش Literally it means “when the apricots bloom,” but people say it to mean “never.” Sort of like “when pigs fly.”  That’s because in Egypt apricots (mish-mish) have a very … Continue reading

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In fair Verona, where we lay our scene…

There are lots of great things about living in Cairo, and one of them is that we have easy access to many other great places.  Cheap non-stop flights are available to (for example) Turkey and Greece and France. We carefully examined the bargain airline offerings before … Continue reading

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Tent-makers’ alley

In the Khan el-Khalili, the big old market in the center of old Cairo, you can find just about anything you want.  A visit to the Khan is on every tourist itinerary so of course there is no shortage of … Continue reading

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Kathakali

Kerala is home to a unique theatre form called kathakali. By chance, Andreas was studying kathakali just a few weeks ago as part of an IB theatre teaching training course, so he was very excited at the prospect of seeing a live performance. Kathakali developed in southern … Continue reading

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Backwaters

If you mention Kerala to anyone who’s been there, chances are the first thing they will say is “houseboats.” For many generations people in Kerala used wooden boats called kettuvallam to transport goods to larger port towns like Cochin. These days rice … Continue reading

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High tea

I wanted to visit a tea plantation while we were in India. Darjeeling and Assam are famous for their teas, but those places are both in the far northeast, too distant for this trip. Within India, though, the south is also known for its tea. … Continue reading

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