Category

Middle East

Palmyra — Syria’s Desert Treasure

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Palmyra sits far out in the desert, an oasis within what is now the war torn country of Syria. When I went there in 2009 it was a rather forlorn place: a town of date palm plantations existing on the margins of the known world. But from the 1st to 2nd century, this desert oasis stood at the crossroads of civilizations, and the traces which remained preserved an art, architecture and religion...

Is This The World’s Stupidest Hobby?

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Have you ever dreamed of living in the middle of an artillery firing range? Then Malta in summer is for you. Whereas the military might lob a few shells over for a couple hours a week, here you can be treated to a nonstop bombardment, varying in intensity between dull monotony to cataclysmic barrage, with a brief break between about 1am and 8am. I can still recall my first experience with the...

Bet You Didn’t Know THAT About Camels!

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I’ve done a number of expeditions by camel — both dromedary and Bactrian. And I like to think I’m fairly well read in the lore of this noble beast. Well, I learned a pile of new camel facts yesterday when I cracked open the cover of Camel by Robert Irwin. This is a fascinating read for anyone who is the least bit curious about the natural world. Irwin doesn’t just discuss the camel’s unique...

Days Between Mirages

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Certain skies have the power to sharpen eyesight. It is the map maker who actually creates the world, and in a landscape devoid of features, cartography turns inward. Far below the walls of Dier Mar Moussa, the sands stretched out like a hazy veil beyond the perpetual present; beyond even remembering. Such a landscape brought to mind the Temptations of St. Anthony. Exiled voices. Delirious days...

Ryan Murdock

Author of Vagabond Dreams: Road Wisdom from Central America. Host of Personal Landscapes podcast. Editor-at-Large (Europe) for Canada's Outpost magazine. Columnist at The Shift. Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

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