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Middle East

Where's that?

In the Western world, as Wikipedia notes, the Middle East is generally thought of as a predominantly Arab community with no clear definition; the most common and highly arbitrary definition includes: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Palestinian Territories

By and large I've tried to avoid the the sometimes problematic political, social, economic relationship(s) between the Middle East world and the Western world but it's not always possible,if you want to delve into this stuff, check out the Bookshelf

Why?

Perhaps it was a fascination born of a couple of lifetimes ago when I worked in Sudan and Morrocco; perhaps it's just the road less travelled but whatever the reason, over the years I've travelled in some of the Middle East countries, some with my bike, some without

Where?

Iran   A mini tour in 2007/2008

I was planning to spend April 2003 riding my trike thru Iran but as Dubbya seemed hellbent on attacking neighbouring Iraq at about the same time I opted to try for Libya instead. Libya didnīt work out either...   I finally made it to Iran in December 2006. And yes, you're right, not a great time but the trip was short anyway

See more on the Iran page

Iraq   Another mini tour in 2012

A quick whizz thru northern Iraq – Kurdistan if you will – in October 2012 before heading home after my EuroVelo 6 adventure

See more on the Iraq page

Syria   The best yet!   A truly brilliant tour in 2001

I spent October 2001 riding my trike thru Syria with brief excursions into neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan, what follows is an account a trip that can best be described as awesome. I met wonderful people, ate sublime food (and some not so sublime – thank goodness for Imodium), saw spectacular sights of both the modern and ancient worlds and well, just had a great time

See more on the Syria page

Yemen   An amazing (trikeless) mini tour in 2009

I spent some time in Yemen in February 2009 and while I didn't get around that much, I had a fabulous time in an amazing place

See more on the Yemen page

What?

What did I find?

I'm not really sure what I expected to find...   altho each place is completely different – d'oh – one thing they had in common was an incredible friendliness, wonderful hospitality and, well, the adjectives tell the story don't they?

And I still rate Syria as the all-time Number One on the best destination list