historical · Holidays · Photography · travel · turkey

Düden şelalesi – Duden Waterfalls Antalya (Truly Magnificent!)

This year was my first visit to the Duden waterfalls in Antalya, Turkey. It was truly unexpected as if i had entered a fairy tale such as Alice in Wonderland. The sights are magnificent and the waterfalls are just amazing!

There are many caves surrounding the waterfalls which you can enter. They are much cooler inside. However, they are very low and you are bound to hit your head if you are not careful. The entry is 4 lira per person which is very less to see a paradise! Words cannot describe its beauty- one must see for their self. Pictures definitely do not justify its true magnificence.

 

history · Holidays · Islam · life · travel

Aurangzeb – A Mughal Emporer

Aurangzeb (3rd November 1618- 3rd March 1707) was the 6th Mughal Emperor and ruled for 49 Years. The Mughal Empire maximised and reached its biggest success during the reign of Aurangzeb. His father was Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal in Aghra. Growing up he was educated in Islam and had learnt calligraphy and some of his work can still be seen today! One of his goals was to bring Islamic governance to the Mughal Empire. Aurangzeb had good relationships with Hindus and Sikhs by giving them much respect. Aurangzeb died from a natural death at the age of 88 in 1707.

Anxiety · Education · history · Holidays · Literature · Politics · travel · Uncategorized

The effects of Travelling on Education

As a student, we have too much to deal with. From when we start our GCSEs is when it gets serious and we work our way up the ladder to A Levels (the biggest jump) and then to University.

As stressful as education can be, the best way to deal with it is to take a break…. even a few days away can cause you to take all that built up stress away. But … I have to say that by travelling, I have learned the most. When you meet people, engage in languages and cultures,  you get to learn so much. The history has a special high importance.

Thanks to my parents and my child hood experience and recent travel trips, everything I have learnt from travelling is not forgotten. Most surprising it is the most powerful tool which can even increase your grades. I have used my gain knowledge in English, History, Business and others.  Not only do my essays become more engaging but they become unique and full of different areas of information.

I think the education system lacks this interactivity and there should be more international visits and trips so students can learn more. I also think students should be able to take time away for holidays during term time without having to deal with consequence. Afterall, travel is a form of education…

Holidays · Islam · tour · travel · Uncategorized

Seeing Poverty through travel…

The type of person I am, is one that likes to go to really old and traditional places with lots of history. The more you spend in a particular place, the more you understand the locals and the types of people living there. You also learn about their daily lives and methods of commute.

Having been many places around the world, it breaks my heart to see that there are people living on the streets and homeless. How lucky are we in the West that we are not in situations where we have to beg for money. Our lives are easier in United Kingdom. Yes, the more educated you are the more you can earn. Education is free and we have several aids from the Government such as the NHS even though we pay taxes. This system is fair. Having seen the situations of many people around the world, It makes you think how much you take for granted and how much we complain.

I have seen people in desperate needs. These are families living on the streets and young mothers with babies. They may have no food or money or may need money to pay for health care. We then question the crimes in areas where poverty is high.

This is why I save a huge amount of money before going to travel. How great does it feel to distribute it with your own hands and see the smile on the faces of people. Its a different feeling and sense of security that your money has indeed gone to someone in need.

Little children begging on the streets breaks my heart the most. I still remember when I was in turkey and a little 7 year old girl was selling flower hairbands. I didn’t want the hairband but I gave her some money to help her. She returned with about 20 hairbands and dropped them in my lap and it was very sweet. Such small acts can make a big difference!

history · Holidays · Islam · Literature · Morocco · ottoman empire · Ottomans · Photography · Poetry · tour · travel · Uncategorized

The 2nd Ottoman Sultan: Orhan Gezi

Orhan, Son of Osman and the greatest king of them all according to the famous Moroccan Traveller Ibn Battuta. Orhan Gazi (1288-1360) was the second ruler of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire was founded by his father Osman I. It was Orhan who introduced the expansion of the Ottoman Empire into the Balkans.

There is a myth which may or may not be true which is that Osman (Father of Orhan) had a dream that a tree grew out of his chest and that the branches and roots grew to cover Asia, Africa and Europe. It was Osmans Shaykh who interpreted this dream and said that the descendants of Osman would control the Empire that controlled all three regions.

During the reign of Orhan, Busra (Bursa), Nicaea (Iznik) and Nicomediar (Izmir) fell into the hands of the Ottoman Empire. As a model Islamic ruler, Orhan would capture cities and provide mosques and school to them. He was known for his charitable acts where he donated large amounts of money to the poor and spent the time to listen and talk to them.  Bursa was known as the Ottoman Capital and was where Orhan Died in 1360.

John VI Cantacuzenus was the Byzantine Emperor and had an important role to play in helping the Turkish and the Ottomans in the conquest of the Byzantine Empire. Orhan Bey had married Theodora, the daughter of John VI Canacuzenus.

Orhan’s second marriage was to Holofira who was at the time the daughter of the Byzantine Prince. Holofira was to get married to the Prince of Bilecik but she eloped with Orhan and left her wedding ceremony. Holofira converted to Islam and changed her name to Nilufer Hatun. She would be the one to give birth to the third Ottoman Sultan, Murad I

You can visit the mausoleum (Gumuslu Kumbet) of Orhan which is located in Bursa – not very far from Istanbul. You can get there by car, ferry or train.

*The picture shows the Tughra (Signature) of Orhan.

 

history · Holidays · Literature · Morocco · tour · travel · Uncategorized

An Anecdote… from the Travels of Ibn Battutah

My favourite book, the Travels of Ibn Battutah which is written by Tim Mackintosh Smith gives a full interpretation of Ibn Battutah’s travels and brings it vividly to life. The book itself contains little anecdotes which are quite interesting. One of the ones I had read tells the story of the Qarandariyah!

Ibn Battutah tells the story of the Qalandars – a group of antinomian mendicants in the 13th century found by Sheikh Jamal Al-Din Al-Sawi. The Qarandariyah are a group of people who shave of their beards and eyebrows.

There was a reason for why Sheikh Jamal Al-Din Al-Sawi Shaved off his beard and eyebrows. Sheikh Jamal Al-Din was a handsome and attractive man and there was a woman who had passion for him. She had sent him letters, intercepted him in the streets and invited him to fulfil her desires. Of course Sheikh Jamal-Al Din refused and rejected which the woman did not like.

The woman had created a plan by sending an old woman with latter and asked the old woman to approach Sheikh Jamal Al-Din. The old lady informed Sheikh Jamal Al-Din that she received a letter from her son which she would like him to read. She also told him that her son has a wife who is the in the vestibule of the house and if he can read the letter between the outer and inner doors of the house so that she can hear. Sheikh Jamal Al-Din agreed to this request.

Having agreed, Sheikh Jamal Al-Din was standing between in the inner and outer door. As told by the woman, the old woman locked the outer door. Inside, her attendants forced  him into the inner apartments where the woman tried to seduce him. Seeing no way out, Sheikh Jamal Al-Din promised to do as she asked as long as she showed him the closet. Sheikh Jamal Al-Din had a sharp razor on himself and taking in water, he shaved off his eyebrows and beard. After this, Sheikh Jamal Al-Din came out and the woman was horrified of his appearance. By the woman’s order, he was taken out.

Sheikh Jamal Al-Din kept away from temptation and kept the same appearance forever. This tariqah (way) has been followed by people ever since…

 

history · Holidays · Morocco · tour · travel · Uncategorized

The Beauty of Morocco… (Part 1)

If you want to go to somewhere old, traditional with a simple way of life, then Morocco is the place. With thousands and thousands of years of history and very old buildings, seeing the right attractions will literally make you feel like you are living in the old era.

Lets start with the oldest educational institution in the world Djemaa el Kairouine! According to The Guinness Book of World Records, Djemma el Kairouine in the city of Fez still stands as old as ever being the worlds oldest University. The building is so old, yet you can see the amazing old architecture and design which still can be seen clearly to date. The Kairouine Mosque has been a part of the University for centuries. Founded originally in 859, it is the leading educational center in the Muslim world with a madrasa as part of it.

Fez was once the capital of Morocco and is known as the “Mecca of the west”. In New Morocco, Fez was the developing city but now you can see more development in major touristic sights such as Marrakech, Essouira and Agadir. Furthermore, the Ottoman Empire tried to evade Morocco and came close to Fez but were unsuccessful. You can see the royal palace with the embellished golden doors. What a beauty!

Art Art Art- For those who are passionate about art and architecture, Morocco is a great influence. Using clay, many locals create ceramics which are sold in bazaars all across Morocco. A famous form of art is Zellige which is an Islamic/Moroccan art of tiling. This form of architecture involves using mosaics and patterns to decorate walls, floors, ceilings and even fountains. Zellige is a geometrical patterns available in a variety of designs. Moreover, every city has its own form of art. For example if you visit Marrkaech, you can see red pottery and when visiting Fez, you will see the color of Blue and white.


Marrakech has been there top tourist destination in Morocco. Many tourists and locals like to go to the famous Djemma El Fnaa which is a popular market in the Medina (Old City). snake-charmers, magicians, henna stalls, and orange juice stalls are among the many  activities that take place. Also, in the Old City is the Marrakech Souk which sells thousands of items from carpets to slippers to spices! Furthermore, the very beautiful Menara Gardens built in the 12th century. Sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco built the pavillion in the 16th century and used to spend his summer time here. Another garden is the very pretty Majorelle Gardens.

Aswell as the famous gardens and souks, Marrakech has several palaces. One of the older popular palaces is El Badi Palace constructed in 1587. Other palaces include, Al-Bahia Palace and the Royal Palace. Koutoubia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech and has quite a unique design. There are also several museums to visit including The Museum of Islamic Art located next to Majorelle Gardens.

Part 2 of the post coming soon…

history · Holidays · Literature · Morocco · Photography · tour · travel · Uncategorized

The Tanneries of Morocco

Visiting a Tannery was quite an experience. I still remember the nauseating strong smell that came from the visit. Although the scent was overpowering, I had learnt a lot from the experience. This is what experiencing teaches you.

A Tannery if you don’t know, is a place where a process of leather production takes place. The process involves treating skins and hides of animals to produce leather. Tannin, an acidic chemical is used to process the skin.

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These days, the process of tanning is more automatic. In Morocco, exist several tanneries which you may visit to observe the manual and traditional ways of tanning. In Fez, exists tanneries which are almost 1000 years old so you can imagine how much leather has been produced here. The final stage is to produce the leather into a product such as slippers, hand bag etc. which is then shipped to European countries and sold there.

Hides of sheep, goats and even camels are used to be processed into leather. The many workers in the tanneries may find the job exhausting and even manual. For example, a worker at the tannery would use their bare feet for hours to knead the hides. So much effort can go into the production of leather. Imagine this is the hot weather where temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius

In Fez, the Chaouwara Tanneries lie in the Medina of Fez next to the leather Souk. The scent can be smelled throughout the bazaar. The leather is dyed in many colours. Vegetable dye including henna, saffron and others are used for the colouring. The leather is sun dried before being used to make the final product.

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Although the strong scent which can be unbearable, it is definitely worth a visit (A very educational experience).

 

history · Holidays · Photography · tour · travel · Uncategorized

Update on my Travels/Life

It is now my last week of work which means I need to find time to travel. Travelling and photography is something I have passion for. I recently stopped blogging because there was a lot of work to catch up on before I leave and less time spent on my travels.

Normally, I would take a weekend break and travel. Whether this is Local (e.g. London) or abroad, I ensure I have enough time to see everything and stick to any travel plans.

For my photographs, I have recently been using the Nikon D7200 DSLR camera which provides the highest quality of pictures. The pictures are so clear and professional. You can see all the images from my travels on my Instagram page: TravelHistorically.

I am currently considering looking for a new destination to travel to. Having looked at my options, I am thinking that Spain, Italy or Greece are my top 3 options. I shall probably confirm this on my next blog (hopefully I would have booked everything by then).

 

history · Holidays · Morocco · tour · travel · Uncategorized

Morocco – My Favourite Fez…

Morocco has increasingly become a known tourist destination. Regular tourists and holiday makers make Marrakech, Agadir and Essaouira the favourite spots. However, there’s much more to the country than these three little cities.

If you do like beach holidays, I would strongly recommend Essaouira Beach instead of Agadir. There are more locals, the beach is relaxed and I find it is a better Beach all round.

However, I find my favourite city to be Fes (or known as Fez/Faz). A large city that can be easily accessed via Spain and the train line, is the city of Fez. It’s magical, beautiful and has a lot of history! If you are into older buildings and architecture then you should be the first one here!

Fez was once the capital of Morocco and is known to be one of the biggest car-free areas! Although large, if you are staying in the centre, it can be easy to get to places by foot. More interestingly, the oldest university of the world (found in 859) is in this city. The must-sees of Fez include the Medina (old Fez) – including the right streets full of bazaars and shops that are years and years old! This is currently the main attraction. Also,not so far from fes is Moulay Idriss, and Volubilis (Roman Ruins). It is so beautiful! 

In recent developments, a shopping mall has finally landed here – Bourj Fez! The city, although traditional, is getting modern day by day. During my trip, I stayed in the Sofitel – and must say its an amazing hotel!

The little train that drives around the city is a must for a newcomer. it will take you around the main attractions and for a small price too! What I would say is to avoid going in December, the weather can be extremely cold! Don’t forget your moroccan mint tea!