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Highland Capital

How Many Countries Has Pie & Bovril Been To?

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Don't think anyone mentioned Hong Kong or Indonesia yet so I'll cover them. 

If they have been covered i apologise sincerely for wasting everyone's time

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4 hours ago, Highland Capital said:

Seen a few people on this thread have been to Jordan.  I see Easyjet and Ryanair fly there which made me quite intrigued to go.  Worth it?

For our honeymoon we were looking at El'at in Israel or across the border in Aqaba. Both looked lovely! 

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4 hours ago, DiegoDiego said:


For somewhere like that you're not going for things you can see, you want to understand what the place is like so you'd need a decent amount of time to experience it and meet folk, find out what life there is like; I'm not sure you'd really get that from a day trip.

Yep my thoughts, would ideally like a base and that would mean having a hotel. 

Looking at sorting this out as I could fly to Berlin, have a few days there then fly to Chisinau, night there, night in Tiraspol then home via Berlin again, flights are cheap as f**k. 

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44 minutes ago, Ingo ohne Flamingo said:

Yep my thoughts, would ideally like a base and that would mean having a hotel. 

Looking at sorting this out as I could fly to Berlin, have a few days there then fly to Chisinau, night there, night in Tiraspol then home via Berlin again, flights are cheap as f**k. 

I'd genuinely give it a miss. The place is beyond weird, and not in a good way. My pal and I stayed overnight a couple of years ago. The first pub we found was in a huge, and totally deserted, housing estate. The pub was also empty, except for the KGB man in the corner and his mate 'hidden' in the back room. Every restaurant and bar we went to you got the feeling of being followed. Despite being a Saturday the whole place seemed deserted, as if everyone had fled at the end of the Cold War. The 'hotel' was in the keeping with the rest of the place.  Despite being the only guests it has a suspiciously large amount of staff. On the drive out to the border we were openly followed by the local plod. Delighted and relieved to get out of the place and back to Chisnau, which was brilliant.

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6 hours ago, DiegoDiego said:


For somewhere like that you're not going for things you can see, you want to understand what the place is like so you'd need a decent amount of time to experience it and meet folk, find out what life there is like; I'm not sure you'd really get that from a day trip.

 

1 hour ago, Ingo ohne Flamingo said:

Yep my thoughts, would ideally like a base and that would mean having a hotel. 

Looking at sorting this out as I could fly to Berlin, have a few days there then fly to Chisinau, night there, night in Tiraspol then home via Berlin again, flights are cheap as f**k. 

Don't think you're really getting Diego's point.

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8 hours ago, Highland Capital said:

Seen a few people on this thread have been to Jordan.  I see Easyjet and Ryanair fly there which made me quite intrigued to go.  Worth it?

If you like Classical history, then yes.  Definitely.  Jerash has some fine Roman remains, it's much better to approach the Dead Sea from the Jordan side (not least as you get the actual [reputed] baptism of Jesus site which is a waterhole away from the river), even Amman has a good Roman theatre, and Madaba has a unique mosaic map that's worth a shufti.

Plus Crusader sites like Shawbak, the extraterrestrial Wadi Rum, and obviously Petra.  It literally took my breath away - you go in at the main entrance, walk for a mile through a narrow gorge, weave around a few corners and...wow.  I did hold my breath as the Treasury emerged.

 

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On 27/08/2020 at 15:17, Highland Capital said:

Seen a few people on this thread have been to Jordan.  I see Easyjet and Ryanair fly there which made me quite intrigued to go.  Worth it?

Petra is absolutely stunning. Really enjoyed Wadi Rum too. Also spent time in Amman, Madaba, and Aqaba, and beside the Dead Sea. All were interesting enough for a day or two. And it’s dead easy to get around (we rented a car).

One of the most memorable, daftest, most drunken Hogmanays of my life in what I think amounted to a speakeasy in the town beside Petra too.

You could easily spend a week to ten days in Jordan and find plenty to do.

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An update to the list. So far nobody has claimed to have visited...

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

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6 hours ago, Adamski said:

An update to the list. So far nobody has claimed to have visited...

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

I've been to Bahamas - Paradise Island.  

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7 hours ago, Adamski said:

An update to the list. So far nobody has claimed to have visited...

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

You can cross off Antigua and Mongolia too

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On 27/08/2020 at 00:03, bluearmyfaction said:

Oh, and Turkmenistan.

Was that as strange as is made out?  Was watching a thing on Netflix the other day about it.

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It was sold to me as North Korea with a sense of whimsy.  It's not far off that.  The capital (Ashgabat) was levelled in an earthquake in the forties, so the whole thing has been rebuilt, first by the Soviets, and then by the Turkmen using gas money.  And the previous leader (Niyazov) had a habit of building government buildings to look like what they represented.  So the Ministry of Education is shaped like an open book, Health like a cobra, Carpets (do NOT diss carpets there) with a pattern of windows that resembles a Turkmen carpet, and Finance has a big gold brick down it.

 

Niyazov also:

-renamed the second city after his title (Turkmenbashi - leader of the Turkmen);

-renamed the highest mountain after his title;

-renamed the word for bread after his mother's maiden name;

-built an earthquake memorial that had a woman's hand emerging out of a cracked globe holding up a golden baby (himself);

-wrote a 2 volume epic, the Rukhnama, which was so embedded into everyday life, that the driving test had questions on it;

-built an Arch of Neutrality which had him in golden statue form on top, rotating to face the sun at all times.  (It's now gone.)

 

Not every mad rumour was true.  The Ice Palace was sold as being carved out of an iceberg he had towed into the desert.  In fact it's just the name of the Ashgabat ice-rink.

 

No taxis in the capital.  If you want to go somewhere, you thumb a lift.  Petrol is so cheap, people drive for fun.  A dollar will get you to most places. 

 

The capital centre though is a showpiece, all marble and jet and gilt.  There are other Silk Road things to see, plus Konye-Urgench in the north, but the real sight is the Door to Hell (Derweza), an industrial accident from Soviet negligence in the early seventies that set alight a gas fire - that's still going strong.

 

I did enjoy it, but you have to watch for the rozzers, they're a bit keen on a shakedown if you take too close an interest in the wrong thing.  The clue is if there are people with machine guns standing outside, move on...

 

34506923580_446d502fe6_c.jpg

 

 

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On 30/08/2020 at 00:24, Adamski said:

An update to the list. So far nobody has claimed to have visited...

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iran, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela

Going in alphabetical order...Djibouti.

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1 hour ago, bluearmyfaction said:

Going in alphabetical order...Djibouti.

I can't think of many countries in the world that I know less about. What is it like?

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10 hours ago, Adamski said:

I can't think of many countries in the world that I know less about. What is it like?

It's a country that could be incredible for short breaks - and they emphatically don't want tourists.  That would shed light on the government.

I had basically 1.5 days there as part of a cruise.  The buses break down, travel inland is not exactly comfortable, there's suspicion of cameras, and most of the country lives in the capital, which is more or less a container port.  All Ethiopian imports and exports go through there because Ethiopia lost its seaboard to Eritrea, and the other possible outlet is Somalia.  (Djibouti used to be French Somaliland.) 

The country that's not in the capital is mostly nomadic.  They tend to camp near mobile phone posts as they get paid for looking after them. 

But because it's small it would be perfect for a short wildlife break.  One day at Lac Abbé, one day at Lac Assal (the lowest point in Africa, a mostly dried-out salt pan of shimmering colours), one day in Day Forest, and one day swimming with whale sharks, which are just off the coast and are pretty much everywhere.  Basically needs someone with a clue how to handle these things, the place is somewhat chaotic.  The day I arrived there was a load of camels in port waiting to be shipped to Arabia, when I left they were still there.

 

16056033226_8cd7b63aa4_c.jpg

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