What should I know before traveling to Iran?

What should I know before traveling to Iran?

Before traveling to Iran, the first thing to do is remove the prejudices from the suitcase. The Islamic Republic is a diverse country in every way. From the landscape to customs or religion. From the misty forests of the north to the deserts of the south, from secularism to the most rigorous Islam. If we travel based on this idea, we will have the opportunity to discover a society that welcomes its visitors with an overflowing hospitality and a country still free of mass tourism with one of the most spectacular historical heritages on the planet. But first, there are never a few tips before you leave .

Dress Form

This is one of the issues that most worries travelers. Iranian legislation prohibits women from showing themselves in public without wearing a veil. This law serves the same for foreigners, so to visit Iran, tourists must put it on. Regarding the rest of the feminine dress , the clothes should not be too tight or transparent . The upper garments should cover the buttocks and the sleeves can not be short , although they can be three-quarters or rolled up. You can wear a long skirt, tight pants are allowed as long as the top garment covers the buttocks, and should not leave the calf in sight. Men can wear short-sleeved clothes, but not suspenders.

Nor are they allowed to wear shorts or ‘pirates’. Regarding footwear, there is no problem with wearing sandals, although in some mosques you can ask visitors to cover their feet, so it is advisable to always carry some socks in the backpack. We can also find that in some religious places women should wear chador, but usually they are distributed free of charge to the door of the temples and can be returned at the exit.

Way to travel

Since June 22, it is much easier to travel to Iran, since the airline Mahan Air offers direct flights between Barcelona and Tehran twice a week. In five and a half hours, one can plant at the Ayatolá Khomeini international airport. Other companies also offer options with scale, most with stops in Istanbul.

But before boarding the plane, you have to decide what kind of adventure we want. Are we prepared to travel alone or do we prefer an organized trip ? Both options are possible. For those who prefer to take a relaxed trip in which they only have to worry about getting up on time and taking pictures, various agencies such as Iran Travel organize from traditional group trips to more personalized options.

Traveling by free is also relatively easy . Iran is a country with good communications, internal flights operate regularly and are cheap, bus transportation between large cities is modern and convenient, and in recent years the government has put its efforts into increasing the rail network. The roads are decent although the drivers say they are … daring. Therefore, if you decide to travel by car, it is advisable to hire a driver .

To move around the city you can use public transport without problems , remembering that men and women travel separately (although they usually turn a blind eye to tourists). In large cities such as Tehran or Mashad there is a metro network, and public bus lines also work well. The taxi is also another affordable option , but you have to be prepared to share a trip and to understand the system. In Iran, taxis are distributed by zones, so there may be drivers who stop you and, when you check that you are not going anywhere, pass them by. The rate is fixed before uploading .

Visas

There are basically two ways to get the visa. Making the arrangements through a specialized travel agency or at the airport once we have landed. We could do the papers ourselves, but if the visa is requested before the trip, we will have to request the help of one of these agencies, yes or yes, to obtain the authorization code.

To obtain the visa before the trip you must have filled out an application form, have the authorization code, two passport photographs (women do not need to be photographed with veil), travel insurance, the bank’s receipt as they have been paid the corresponding 120 euros and a passport with a minimum of six months validity and three free pages. These documents will be sent to the embassy and may take between 20 and 15 days.

We can also make arrangements when arriving at the airport , for what we need, in addition to all the previous documents, a return ticket and a receipt for a hotel reservation. It is a cheaper visa (about 50 euros), but we risk not being granted, although it is unlikely.

Keep in mind that the passport does not have an Israeli stamp . If this is the case, we can always renew the passport. And we are going to travel to Israel before we go to Iran, at the airport we will have to indicate to the officials that they put the entry stamp on an attached sheet, which they will remove when leaving the country.

Money

The official currency in Iran is the rial . The change for 2017 is approximately 35,000 rials for each euro . However, Iranians usually indicate prices in Tomanes . It is simply a different way of calculating the prices used for daily purchases or in the bazaars. Always ask if the price you indicate is in rials or tomanes to avoid unpleasant confusions. 1,000 tomanes would equal 10,000 riyals . That is, to know what is the price in rials simply add a zero.

The use of foreign credit cards is very difficult and only some large hotels and store with accounts abroad offer this option. Therefore, it is recommended to bring cash . To change money we will easily find offices at the airport, banks or hotels. If you prefer to carry a card, there is the option to buy a ‘prepaid’ before the trip that can be purchased without extra cost in Iran Travel.

Is it a safe country?

Completely. In Iran it is common to find platforms for charging mobile phones at the entrance of hotels and restaurants. People put their devices to charge and they will enjoy dinner quietly. Can you imagine an equal scene in Barcelona? So tranquility , it would be very rare to suffer a robbery, much less an assault.

It is true that Iran is at a complicated geopolitical point, but in this sense it is one of the most stable and safe countries in the Middle East. Despite the fact that last June the Islamic State attacked in Tehran, the terrorist attacks are anecdotal .

What to expect from the people?

Only good things. The Iranians are the epitome of cordiality and knowing how to be . It is common for them to approach with a smile if they see a stranger and ask him where he comes from, if they are enjoying their country or what places they have visited. But far from being heavy, after asking some questions and being interested in travelers, they want a happy stay and continue on their way. Not without first saying “please, speak well of Iran.” There will be nothing that makes them happier than asking them if we can take a picture with them.

It does not happen in all cases, but conversations with strangers can end with an invitation to dinner. If this happens, do not hesitate and enjoy the Persian kindness. They will have guaranteed a tasty meal and a pleasant conversation.

What to expect from the accommodation?

The Iranian hotel offer is varied and for all budgets . Travelers can easily find accommodation that suits their tastes. Of course, we must bear in mind that perhaps the quality with which we find ourselves is not always the one that would correspond to the stars. However, these are clean and well-equipped establishments.

If what we are looking for is to stay in truly authentic places, Iran has a wide range of ‘charming little hotels’. In cities such as Kashan or Yazd it is common for old palaces to be converted into hotels . With its vaulted ceilings, beautiful Persian rugs and interior patios with fountains and plants, spending the night in one of these houses is an unforgettable experience. These establishments usually offer typical breakfasts based on fresh bread, tea, fresh cheese and homemade jams.

The traveler can also find shelter in the old Caravanserais , the accommodations that were built along the silk route . Currently, some of them are being restored and serve as a hotel. Sleeping in the same rooms as travelers on the famous trade route that connected China to Europe is priceless, although the portfolio may suffer a bit.

What do you eat?

Most products of Iranian cuisine are familiar to those following a Mediterranean diet . Lots of rice, meat, aubergines, legumes and excellent dairy products. Iranians love pickles and bittersweet flavors (like pomegranate sauce) and food is not especially spicy or spicy.

In the restaurants we will easily find different varieties of the tasty Persian kebab , served as a skewer and accompanied by fresh bread. The Bademjan , a stew of eggplant and tomato, is also another dish of the most common, as well as the Tahchin , a kind of crispy rice. Soups, salads, rice of all kinds … nothing that is excessively exotic for our palate.

What things can I buy?

Everything depends on the budget. Although not everyone can afford a Persian carpet or beluga caviar, being native products, they are cheaper than bought at home. The carpets are rooted in the Iranian culture as in no other country, each region has its own styles, and are considered one of the most precious assets of the houses. The caviar trade is managed by the government and can easily be found at airports. There are ways to get it a little cheaper, but for this you have to have a local trusted contact.

In a more modest price range (although do not expect bargains), Iranian pistachios and saffron are products that enjoy a great reputation. There are different qualities and flavors, buying a specialized store can be a sensory experience. The Sha mosque seen from Ali Qapu Palace, in Isfahan (Marina Meseguer)

Another typical product is the printed fabrics (or qalamkar) of Isfahan, which can be found in the bazaars of the city. These are cotton fabrics on which are printed floral motifs of various colors with different wooden molds. The Persian miniatures painted on camel bone (they are more expensive, but much more resistant than those of cow bone or plastic) are other of the elaborate crafts that the country offers. Their teachers have workshops open to the public in which they teach their latest creations and explain their complicated drawing technique.

Customs that should be known

In Iran alcohol is forbidden , so you better get used to the idea that there will be no fresh beer after a long day of sightseeing. For those who can not live without it, it is easy to find beer without alcohol, although they are not very successful. Instead, you can always have a tasty tea with saffron flavored sugar rocks, rich fruit juices or fresh rose water. Of course, being a Muslim country, we will not find pork on the menu either.

Although the government is increasingly permissive, expressions of affection in public are not recommended . In Tehran, it is increasingly common to see couples walking hand in hand, but kisses, hugs and other kind of cuddles better leaving them for privacy.

The Agha Bozorg mosque in Kashan

The arrival of tourists has forced the shopkeepers of the bazaars to accept bargaining. But without going over, we are not in Istanbul or in Marrakesh and we run the risk of offending them and sending us to walk if we force the machine too much. We must also bear in mind that, although we are in a country with a lower standard of living, the price difference is not that great .

Previous readings

A trip through Iran is not tasted the same without having read some local literature. The Persian culture is pleased to have great classical poets such as Hafez, Ferozi or Khayyam, whose poems are known and recited by any Iranian. But if we prefer a slightly lighter reading there are some books that are certainly worth it:

Persepolis: The famous graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi in which she relates from her childhood during the Islamic Revolution to her difficult adolescence and early youth in Europe far from her own is an excellent first contact with the country.

The House of the Mosque: This delightful novel by Khader Abdolah tells the life of the powerful family of Aga Yan, a carpet merchant in the quiet city of Seneyán, and how little by little the clan and its house are witnesses of the enormous social change that the country lives between the sixties and seventies.

Read Lolita in Tehran: Azar Nafisi recalls in these pages the attempts to instill his love of English literature to the students of the Tehran University during the Islamic Revolution and the intimate relationship he weaves with a group of students with whom he forms a club of clandestine reading.

Black on black: The country may have changed a lot since its trip to Iran in 1996, but the testimony of Ana Maria Briongos is still one of the most famous trips on the country. The author links her memories as a student of Persian in the days leading up to the revolution with her impressions of returning to the country twenty years later.

The Shah or the excess of power: In 1980 the famous Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski traveled to Iran with the intention of recomposing the puzzle that explains the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in an investigation that leads him to interview some of the witnesses of the last days before the revolutionary outbreak.

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5 Reasons why you should travel in the fall

5 Reasons why you should travel in the fall

Related imageFinishing the summer, for most of us, means it’s time to go back to work. However, if you and your partner still have vacation days available, autumn is a good time to travel.

Although it is just after the summer, the summer heat has already passed and the cold weather has not yet arrived, traveling in autumn has its own attractiveness.

Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a couple of weeks abroad, here are five reasons why you should travel in the fall:

1. Cheap, cheap, cheap

First, unlike summer, autumn is not considered “high season”, so you can find great deals on hotel prices and airline tickets. In fact, you may not have to search hard. It is normal in the hotel industry to have a price for the high season and another for the rest of the year.

Simply because it is not high season, you can book a hotel at a reduced price, which makes autumn one of the cheapest months to go on vacation.

2. Perfect temperature

The best thing about autumn is that there is still a lot of sun. After saving money in your accommodation, you can enjoy many of the benefits of summer, but at a very low price.

Although there may still be some occasional hot day, in general, the weather is much softer in the fall, which makes being outdoors more pleasant.

3. Unique landscapes

If you like to be outdoors, autumn is a pleasure for all the senses. From walking in the forest, picking apples, navigating calm waters or walking through parks covered in yellow, orange and red leaves, autumn is a beautiful, picturesque and unique time of year.

Take a road trip or rent a cabin in the woods or in the mountains and enjoy the beauty of autumn.

4. Fewer Travelers = Less Crowds

With fewer people traveling than in summer, autumn means fewer tourists and fewer people. This, of course, means that there are no crowded places or long queues in museums.

With fewer tourists around, it means you have more time to take a great photo of the Eiffel Tower, the Pantheon or the Little Mermaid without dozens of other people in your photo.

Lastly, fewer people allow you to be more flexible with your schedule without the risk of stocks running out. You can book tickets for concerts or excursions.

5. Amazing autumn gastronomy

Another advantage of traveling with fewer people is the ease with which you can make reservations in restaurants and taste a fantastic seasonal cuisine.

Mushrooms, squash, cabbage, apples and sweet potatoes are just some of the delicious seasonal fruits and vegetables.

While traveling and looking for dining options, enjoy the flavors of autumn looking for restaurants with seasonal menus. Better yet, look for restaurants that offer tasting menus where you can taste half a dozen dishes inspired by the fall.

Wherever it takes you this fall

Wherever you want to go this fall, remember that Ferratum Money can help you get there.

Our same day loans are the quickest way to make things happen. Start packing your bag today and complete an application for one of our online loans.

The requests are completed in a matter of minutes and you get a response seconds later. No paperwork and no waiting lines. Once approved, you will receive the money in your bank account within a day.

So, will you travel this fall?

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Incredible travel deals that you can only get today

Incredible travel deals that you can only get today

nullIf you want to travel during the next days, weeks and even months, you can not miss this article , in which we present you the best travel deals of this Black Friday . Get ready to discover incredible and especially attractive proposals.

Some of these bargains , which are presented in the form of cheap prices , discounts or redeemable bonds , are for today Friday, but many of them will be available until next Monday, popularly known as Ciber Monday.

To make your search easier, if you are hunting for something more specific, you can consult the specific offers we have collected for you in different articles : flights, hotels, rental cars … We are convinced that you will not be disappointed. Take note … and hurry!

LOGITRAVEL: 30% discount on a selection of circuits and cruises

The online agency applies a 30% discount on a selection of packages that are reserved during today. Among them, we highlight two: a 7-night circuit through Prague and Budapest , which includes flights, hotel and transfers, for € 431 (the price was € 616 ) and a 9-day combined New York – Riviera Maya , also with flights , accommodation and travel included, for € 906, instead of € 1,294 . Consult Logitravel.com.El horizonte relajante de la ciudad de Nueva York desde la pisicina de un hotel

SKYSCANNER: 30% discount on Air Europa flights

Air Europa offers discounts of 30% through Skyscanner to fly until June 16, 2017, using the BLACKFRIDAY and CYBERMONDAY discount codes, which are available from Monday through Monday at this link. The promotion does not apply to flights between islands and excludes the following dates: from December 16 to January 9 (Christmas) and from April 7 to 17 (Holy Week).

RUMBO: Discounts of up to 75% on hotels, holidays, flight packages + hotel

The portal offers from today to Monday offers of hotels, vacations, flight packages + hotel, whose discounts can reach 75% (reservations confirmed today will have a gift bag ), and discounts of € 150 on cruises.

In addition, the agency offers today only a discount coupon of € 25 valid on all i / v flights and on one-way flights with reservations with two or more passengers whose amount is equal to or greater than € 200. To access the promotion, available on Rumbo.es it will be necessary to enter the code that appears on the website. The offer is limited to the first 1,000 reserves.

MELIÁ HOTELS INTERNATIONAL: Discounts of up to 50%

Offers of up to 50% discount on reservation of Meliá hotels , to travel from December 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017, in reservations made before midnight on November 28. The discount varies depending on the hotel and the dates chosen. You can also get up to 20% discount on the so-called “credit resort” (vouchers to spend on hotel services). Reservations can be made through the special website for Black Friday.

DESTINY: Discount coupon redeemable up to € 100 per booking and € 5 direct discount on flights

Travelers confirming the reservation of a trip today Friday will receive by email a discount coupon of up to € 100, valid to exchange until September 30, 2017 in the purchase of another holiday package exceeding € 500. For reservations between € 350 and € 750: € 10 discount; between € 750 and € 1,000: € 25; between € 1,000 and € 2,000: € 50, and in bookings over € 2,000: € 100 discount.

Destinia also offers an immediate discount of € 5 on air tickets using the BLACKFRIDAY coupon during the booking confirmation process through this page. The promotion is only available today.

EL CORTE INGLÉS TRAVEL: 8 days Mediterranean cruise for € 179

The agency offers a cruise for 8 days in the Mediterranean for € 179 , with discounts that reach 21% . The ship Diadema departs from Barcelona and visits Civitavecchia (Rome), La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Marseille, Palma de Mallorca and Savona in Genoa. The offer, available until November 28 , can be formalized through the Viajes El Corte Inglés website or by calling 93 316 15 08 (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

Buque Costa Diadema saliendo del puerto de Roma (Italia)

EXPEDIA: Discounts of up to 75% on hotels and discount coupons

The promotion of the portal includes only today Black Friday special coupons for selected offers, up to 75% discount in certain hotels and 450 € less in flight + hotel packages , to travel before March 31. Check the promotion here.

PETIT PALACE HOTELS: Up to 20% discount on all your hotels

The 31 Petit Palace hotels have up to 20% discount in their rooms if booked, through their website, in reservations made until Monday, November 28. For registered customers there is a minimum 10% more discount.

EXOTICCA: Discount of € 50 exclusively for readers of LaVanguardia.com

The agency offers € 50 discount for LaVanguardia.com readers in the following packages: End of the year in India: 11 days in Rajasthan, (initial price of € 1,315) and Finland: 5 days in Lapland and the Arctic Circle (initial price of € 1,165). To benefit from the promotion it is essential to enter the code: VANG50 . Offer available today from 9 in the morning until Monday, November 28 at 7:00 p.m.

TURKISH AIRLINES: Flights from Spain to Istanbul for € 179 i / v

The offer of the Turkish airline includes flights to and from Istanbul from any of the five Spanish airports from which it operates ( Madrid, Bilbao, Malaga, Valencia and Barcelona ) for € 179 round trip to travel from January 10 to March 31. March 2017. The promotion, which starts today, will be available until December 11 on the Turkish Airlines website.

SECRETESCAPES: Exclusive discounts from 50%

The online travel club Secretescapes, specializing in flash sales of hotels and holidays with exclusive discounts, offers a selection of hotels with discounts from 50% that will be available during the 24 hours of Black Friday . (Registration is needed)

For example: the Regency Torviscas (Tenerife) an apartment with access to the spa, from € 75 a night, for stays of four nights or more; the Jazz Barcelona hotel, with a superior room reservation from € 95, or the Bonalba Alicante Hotel, in a Deluxe room, from € 61 per night, with a minimum of two nights

ATRAPALO: Discounts of between 15% to 20% on flights + hotel, hotels and flights

The agency offers today offers of hotels, flights and flights + hotel with flexible dates with discounts of between 15% and 20%, in Atrapalo.com. Next Monday, Ciber Monday , the agency will also offer closed circuits, accessible from the same link. Between them, they emphasize: 8 days in Egypt 497 € eo 8 days in Jordan, by 1.200 €.

WEEKENDESK: Minimum discounts of 30% on short breaks

The portal offers up to Monday getaways in Spain and Europe (France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Holland) with a 30% discount as a minimum: relaxing packages, romantic and with activities, among other proposals, especially indicated for the bridge of December. It will also launch other during these four days exclusive offers in newsletters to its database with discount code . Check in Weekendesk.es.

Bicicletas frente a un canal de Amsterdam

NORWEGIAN: 30% discount on all short-haul routes originating in Spain

The Norwegian low cost offers discounts of 30% on the 147 short-haul routes originating from Spanish airports to travel between December 1 and March 25, 2017 (the period between December 16 and January 9 is excluded) ). The promotion, which will only be valid for 24 hours (from midnight to midnight Friday to Saturday), is available on the Norwegian website.

WHAT HOTELS: Discounts of up to 20% in packages

Travelers can benefit from up to 20% discount on packages of national destinations, getaways, leisure and Caribbean that are reserved until November 28. The offer is accessed through this page.

WIMDU: € 25 voucher to all subscribers to the newsletter

WIMDU wants to compensate its subscribers with a promotion, only during Black Friday, with a voucher of 25 euros to all the subscribers of its newsletter. In addition, some lucky ones chosen at random, will have 50 euros instead of 25, but they will only know it at the time of making the reservation and put the voucher code in the corresponding box. See Wimdu.

EDREAMS: € 10, € 20 and € 40 discount

The online agency offers discounts of € 10, € 20 and € 40 only on Friday when booking flights and flight + hotel packages using the code: BLACKFRIDAY EDREAMS . Check in this link.

COSTA CRUCEROS: Discounts of up to € 300 per stateroom

The promotion includes a discount of up to € 300 per stateroom ( € 150 per person ) in its Basic rate to travel from December to November 2017 on its itineraries through the Western Mediterranean, Eastern Mediterranean, Arab Emirates, Baltic and Fjords. The offer will be available until Monday, November 28 at Costacruceros.es.

VUELING: 2 50% tickets on all routes

The airline based in Barcelona offers a discount of 50% on the purchase of 2 tickets (ie for the same flight) on all its routes, to travel between December 13 and March 31 (except for the periods of December 20 to 9 of January and of the 17 of February to the 4 of March). You can check this promotion that is only available today , on the Vueling page.

RYANAIR: Discounts of 20% on 10 million seats

The Irish airline has taken advantage of Back Friday to launch a powerful promotional campaign, the largest in its history with discounts of 20% in ten million seats. The action, which began at the beginning of the week and will continue until Monday, the so-called Cyber ​​Monday , includes offers of 24 hours of tickets at a very low price Ryanair.com.

RENFE: Discounts of up to 70% on AVE and long distance

The company offers discounts that can reach 70% on certain promotional rates to travel from December to February on AVE and long distance trains. You can check this offer, available from today until December 2 at Renfe.es.

PARADORES DE ESPAÑA: Rooms at € 66 and € 72

The Paradores of Spain offer promotional rates for stays, between November 30 and April 7, 2017, with some exceptions on specific dates, in reservations made until November 29. The offer includes rates from 66 euros for stays from Sunday to Friday (72 € on weekends) in certain establishments and other special rates. It is recommended to check the reservation details of each hostel on their website.

VAYACRUCEROS: 7% discount on reservations over € 1,000 + free insurance

During this day the promotion includes discounts of 7% + free insurance on all cruise reservations of more than € 1,000 per person. Until November 28 ( Ciber Monday ) a daily offer of 24 hours will be published. That day all of them will be publicized. To access the discounts, consult here.

ROYAL CARIBBEAN: Up to $ 200 onboard credit

The cruise company offers up to $ 200 of credit on board vessels that depart as of December 25 . The promotion is valid from today until next November 28. Check the conditions at Royalcaribbean.es.

AVIS: 21% discount in specific periods

Avis España offers a 21% discount on vehicle bookings of between 5 and 13 days that take place until Sunday, November 27 , with check out between November 21 and December 10 and from January 1 to 31. The promotion is only valid by completing the process through the website or by calling 902 180 854.

Una de las habitaciones del Parador Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos (Santiago)

AVANZABUS: Discount coupons redeemable up to 50% on the next purchase

The company offers today with the purchase of a ticket a 50% promotional code redeemable in the purchase of trips from November 26 to December 31. Avanzabus.com.

PANGEA: Gift vouchers of € 25 and € 50

Until next Monday, Pangea gives 30,000 checks worth € 25 and € 50, to discount in a leisure plan or any trip in reservations until the end of the year to anyone who physically approaches this store in Madrid.

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Wadi Rum: Desert of the bold

P lötzlich kept my taxi driver on, rolled down the window and said in Arabic anything with Alemani. Then the man in black uniform leaned down and smiled, “No problem, you can go!” In the Wadi Rum desert, there should still be real men. Proud, brave and without fear. But that they would still look as good as this policeman straight, I had not heard so far. And then the taxi driver stopped again.

On a lonely road in the desert, a Toyota Landcruiser was waiting. I gave the driver 35 JD for the 2-hour drive from Petra and got in at Saleem. Until yesterday, despite lengthy research, I had not been able to choose a camp in Wadi Rum, because it was almost impossible to find out the differences of the more than 80 agencies on the ground. So I left it to fate and got to know a couple in Petra, who gave me a business card of Jordan Tracks in the hand.

A short phone call and already I was sitting in the passenger seat of the smart Bedouin Saleem, who drove with Kufiya (the red and white plaid headscarf) and black Ray Ban glasses armed with a monkey tooth direction Wadi Rum Village.

After a short layout in the Village, I got acquainted with a cuddly camel man, with whom I would ride the next four hours through the desert or rather rocking. I had sat on camels in India and Egypt, but never before. So my tip for those who are planning longer rides on camels: Do not wear underwear, because it rubs off painfully on the buttocks … A souvenir that you can easily do without.

The Khazali Canyon on the way reminded a bit of the huge canyons in Petra. Only here were virtually no tourists and even this extreme silence is something to be considered a city. First of all, you have to get used to it. You’re always waiting for some noise, but nothing comes. A beautiful condition!

But even the high temperatures in the desert are not entirely without … forgetting again, to cream in time, remains only the complete face coating. And then there is also the religion-related adaptation: With long clothes on a camel at lunchtime is a sweaty venture!

Sitting again at Saleem in a comfortable car, we stopped over at his parents’ apartment tent since his father’s retirement in the desert. In the cool shade, we drank tea, while Saleem’s mother repositioned the goats outside. She offered me her home-made goat cheese, which was harder than ours and also tasted much saltier. What would I have given for speaking Arabic now.

Time seemed to be slower here in the desert than at home. Even without talking I would have been able to stay in the tent for hours. But we drove on to Um Frouth Arch, which can be climbed in just a few minutes. At some point, the center piece will break off, I thought to myself. Hopefully not exactly at the moment when I’m just about it!

Wadi Rum Bridge
The next break was pending. Saleem picked up a bag and a small kettle from the back seat, gathered dry scrub and branches, and made us tea. He handed me half of a pomegranate, pulled out a big plucked instrument from the trunk and played on it, while I was in an emotional dissolution process. You can make us women so incredibly happy with such simple things. Especially when you are on such a beautiful spot.

I asked Saleem if he would still appreciate this landscape after all these years, even though he knew every nook and could probably navigate blindly. Surprisingly, he affirmed my question. Somehow I envied the Bedouins for being born here and living in the desert. Everything was so peaceful and quiet. It seemed like a big family where everyone helps and is in need of help. Jordan is one of the ten driest countries in the world.

But not only the drought, but also the fact that tourism (the biggest source of income in this country) has diminished due to the disturbances in the neighboring countries, requires a strong cohesion among the Bedouins. However, if you are here right now and you are in this paradisiacal landscape, you can not imagine anything negative at all, because it is so incredibly calm and relaxed here.

Thanks to my passionate talk about my love of camels in the evening, I was allowed to participate in the training of racing camels the next morning. At 5 o’clock we sat in the car, woke up three more boys, who had spent the night in a niche on mattresses, made tea and were punctual to the sunrise on the race track. The Racing Camels have long legs and are sometimes very petite.

Also sit because of the high risk of accident no rider on the back, but small machines that are to drive the camel with a device by remote control. As they walk along the course, the owners drive by car, honking and firing the fast desert ship. An exciting affair!

I spent the day with Zidane, a crazy and extremely funny Bedouin. The windshield of his old Toyota Landcruiser made it look like he’d been in a rough shootout. He also knows Wadi Rum inside and out, and it can sometimes happen that you rattle through the desert with more than 150 things while avoiding camels and goats on the way.

On this day I learned various survival strategies in the desert, z. For example, cook tea, climb and do business without toilet paper. Also, there were tutoring sessions related to Islam, family honor, and the best Bedouin jokes. Slowly but surely I was able to confirm in dealing with the different men here that they actually (still) seem to be different than the average man we know. They are equipped with an extreme protector instinct, repairing their cars and everything else themselves, opening cans with blunt knives, sleeping in the bitter cold outdoors, and taking away everything the woman considers too heavy for her.

The departure from the desert on the third day was so difficult for me that I decided to shorten my time in Aqaba on the Red Sea and come back again. I really wanted to sleep one night in the open air in the desert and count stars. Meanwhile, I knew that the danger of snakes, scorpions or even spiders in this season would be extremely low and otherwise no great dangers would lurk outside on me. Even the foxes would not bite me.

The decision or plan change turned out to be correct. Aqaba in the south of Jordan is only about an hour away from Wadi Rum and on the one hand very interesting, but on the other hand very noisy (even at night) and not very relaxing. So I spent another night in the desert, in a sleeping bag on a mattress next to a smoldering campfire. Granted, I did not sleep much, but it was an unforgettable experience.

It was not only on the five-hour trip to Amman Airport that I realized that I would come again! Probably even soon.

Travel Tips for Wadi Rum:

  • Tours: If you want an authentic stay in the desert, you should choose an agency whose guides come native from the village. Unfortunately, there are also marketing-strong agencies have spread there, the romp on tripadvisor on the first places that do not come out of the washroom authentic and offer trained guides from outside (there are, for example, money back to bad reviews too avoid). Although the “real” Bedouins from Wadi Rum speak good English, they are not marketing experts and thus not as active on the internet. Therefore, you should not only rely on advertising on the Internet and at the same time support the local providers. The two agencies Bedouinroads and Jordan Tracks are reliable, safe, very committed, 100% Wadi Rum and – as you can see in the photos – absolutely recommendable! Those who are there, should not miss, once under the open sky or in a cave to spend the night.
  • Travel time: The best travel time is in autumn (September / October) and in spring (March / April). In the summer months it is extremely hot during the day and extremely cold in the winter nights, both are rather unfavorable.
  • Flight connection : If you do not really want to travel north to the capital Amman and the surrounding area, you can also travel via Aqaba airport in the south of Jordan. Very cheap flights (some from 150 €) are available from Brussels with Jetairfly or from Amsterdam with ArkeFly . When traveling with the Belgian airline Jetairfly, the visa fee of about 20 € is already included in the fare.
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Return of the World – Bardenas Reales, the Wild West in the Basque Country

Sep Bardenas Reales, the Wild West in the Basque Country

A few kilometers from the foggy hills, there is in the depths of the Basque Country, on the border of Navarre and Aragon, an unsuspected and surprising landscape. A desert carved for millennia by water and wind, a paradise for the curious in need of landscape, the Bardenas Reales.

We then left the humidity of the mountains of the Country Quint and Aldudes valley to sink a little more in the heart of the Spanish Basque Country, driven by a desire to discover more and more. After leaving the mist of the Urkiaga Pass, we took the N-135 road, which descends gently from the mountains. We are still in the middle of the countryside, crossing the road to many rivers and lakes, often stopped by dams, such as the small village of Eugi .

It was about that time that a question arose. Are we going through Pamplona or not? Still in our bubble, we are not super motivated to fetch the hustle and bustle of the city, which is just recovering from the season of feria. Plus, we look at the map, the more we realize that the Bardenas Reales Park is not so far. We have often heard about them, these photos have always made me dream, and moreover just before leaving, a friend has mentioned the idea: “Are you going to Pamplona ? I hope ou will push to the Bardenas ! “.

Well it is true that we did not really think long, we swallowed our sandwiches and we took the road to swallow the miles. When we arrived on Valtierra and Arguedas we went through a road lined with forest without really suspecting that just behind was hiding dry lands.

Well as you say, arrived to the Bardenas , we were a little lost, we landed in the almost deserted village of Arguedas . And no doubt, it feels like lost in the depths of New Mexico . A rocky village, a restaurant with Mexican haciendas architecture, a wind to decorate a buffalo, sand that crosses the road … in short, a true western landscape.

We tried to take a road, and we reached the foot of the Ermita Nuestra Senora del Yugo , a church placed on a hill, erected after a shepherd saw an apparition and which dominates the vastness of the 42,000 hectares of Bardenas. In the distance, the clouds seemed to announce the rain, so we resumed the road to get to the real entrance of the Bardenas, Aguilares .

Before returning to the heart of the park, an answer to the question you ask is needed, the Bardenas Reale s, kezaco? To put it simply, it’s an American desert in the heart of Europe. To be more technical, it is a semi-desert landscape, composed of clay and sandstone that as time has worked. Landscapes are quickly thought Monument Valley (a good few kilometers separate them, but both have about the same geological composition), but also the plain of Montana , and then to Iceland and then … In short you’ll understand , the Bardenas Reales , it is several landscapes gathered in 42 000 hectares.

After a visit to the information center, we took the track (only 4 reserved for cars, a dozen for bicycles, and a multitude for hikers) pebbles, rolled at 30 km / h (maximum speed) and we began to take our first visual slaps. The landscapes are grandiose, from a promontory we are facing the immensity of the landscapes, we feel small, elsewhere, without really knowing where.

It is even hard to say that until the middle of the 17 th century , the Bardena Blanca (located in the north and composed of dry landscapes) was covered with vegetation. It was in 1675 that a fire destroyed 3000 pines , and in 1752 , 6000 pines were cut, which made the Bardena Bianca definitely white.

The road takes us past a small mountain surrounded by barbed wire, overlooking a white building and antennas of all kinds. In the middle of the Bardenas , is a huge military ground reserved for the Spanish army since the 50s . A shooting range exactly, regularly flown over by fighter planes. In short a boil in the middle of the park, which is subject to various protests.

The road advances, sinks in the landscapes, makes us pass in front of mountains with ocher and salmon reflections, and one arrives in front of the Castildetierra , the emblem of the Bardenas and the logo of this article. It’s a fairy chimney . A poetic name for a column of rock. At its summit, a harder rock (like sandstone), more resistant to erosion, protects the more friable layers below.

At its foot, a pedestrian path sinks into the bed of an old river and winds towards the horizon. We cross a small sheepfold, empty, with the name of the owners engraved on the lintel, which awaits the period of transhumance to be able to see there reign the agitation. There are also tourists who seem to be bogging down danger signs and bans on approaching ravines or climbing fairy chimneys. A fragile landscape.

All the more fragile, it must be known that the Natural Park was created in 1999 before that, there have been major disturbances of wildlife, a disrespect for flora, and a large number of fools from all over Europe having fun playing Paris-Dakar in the desert landscapes.

While the road runs, we like to imagine the many stories of the Bardenas. Bandits, smugglers, great characters having crossed or hiding here, a jailed queen, a chase between the villain Sancho Errota , self-proclaimed “King of the Bardenas” (or Prince of the Bardenas), and the King of Spain Don Juan . The bandit who can not bear to lose the battle will commit suicide in the Bardenas, in his territory.

The history, the passages, the hiding places, we see them, we imagine them rather well while passing by the stony roads. This dry and dry land is not devoid of fauna. In winter you can see foxes and wild cats. All year round, you can see adventurers, vultures and golden eagles flying overhead. We will only see little birds.

We still cross other sheepfolds , reminding us then the first use of Bardenas: they are for the shepherds valleys, a wonderful winter pasture. And every year the Sanmiguelada takes place, the third weekend of September. Immutable ritual dating from the Middle Ages , where the ewes of the Pyrenees arrive to the Bardenas after several days of transhumance.

Each hole , valley , mountain , makes you want to venture and discover a little more this magnificent park classified since 2000 at UNESCO as “Biosphere Reserve” . This “label” obliges countries to reserve part of the park for the sole development of species, without any presence of humans, so that animals can reproduce quietly.

We then moved away from the loop, we took another path reserved for cars that go up north of the park, arms tired of rolling on the rocks, dust full mouth, but landscapes in the eyes.

In the distance, like a lighthouse, we saw the statue of a shepherd several meters high, indicating that the Bardenas Reales road ended here, or began for others.
The Bardenas for sure, we will return, just to enjoy a sunset or a sunrise on these breathtaking landscapes, but also to discover the south, Bardena Negra greener and with more vegetation. In short we can only advise you to go see this unique place in Europe, now well maintained, and well preserved. In the Bardenas, to immerse yourself in the landscape, all means are possible: on foot, on horseback, by bike or by car.

As a bonus , and history to impregnate the best of these landscapes, we leave you with a small video, our first, tour only with a Go Pro, on a music bluesmen T-Bone Walker . Because yes, let it be confessed, when we crossed the Bardenas, we listened to blues, open windows, landscapes scrolling, and fucking what was good.

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Bees’ Honey

Afternoon with the bees and the whole team

A very nice afternoon of immersion in the Apiary with the whole team A roof for the bees … A real moment of sharing, and in a good mood, against the backdrop of our precious little bees …  Small improvised picnic to start. Then visit the apiary and the bee hut.

   

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How a travel assistance insurance works

How a travel assistance insurance works

Know in this article how to cover your back to an unforeseen event and what to do if something happens to you abroad

What you value most deserves the best protection, discover the BBVA Insurance Find out now

If you plan a trip abroad , it may be interesting that you should hire travel insurance for this purpose. With this type of policy, not only will you have unforeseen health coverage, but also, you can receive financial compensation for loss of luggage or delays in your flights.

Learn from BBVA in this article what it offers you and how a travel assistance insurance works. So, in your next getaway, you can focus only on what is really important: enjoy the trip.

The profile of a travel assistance insurance

Whether one travels a lot or sporadically, travel assistance insurance can be a great help, if necessary, to get out of an unexpected mishap without major hassles. An unforeseen health and a travel delay can make you have a hard time, and in some cases, become an economic impairment.

First of all, the most important thing is health and, therefore, travel insurance will help you to meet medical expenses arising from an emergency. In many parts of the world, the health system is governed privately, so naturally you will be taken care of if something happens to you, but once the treatment is finished you will have to face an invoice. If you have travel insurance, however, coverage will cover medical fees or hospitalization expenses , as well as, if necessary, the costs of transporting the patient. An assistance insurance, in addition, will provide you by telephone the necessary guidelines to act correctly if something happens.

In addition, there are other contingencies when traveling merely logistics, for example, related to luggage . If you lose a suitcase, but you have travel insurance, this will refund an amount in case of loss, damage or theft during the trip, which is an important help in these situations. In many policies, in addition, the possibility of compensating the traveler economically in case of a delay in the trip is contemplated.

Therefore, without a doubt, travel insurance is a practical and simple way to deal with any unforeseen situation abroad.

Know all our insurance and choose the one that best suits your needs: more information

The operation of a travel assistance insurance

Travel insurance can be accessed through two main routes: hiring a travel insurance policy or registering a credit card.

  • The travel insurance policy . With this type of policy, the traveler pays the insurance premium in exchange for the coverages offered by the insurance. During the term of the contract, unless certain deficiencies are set there, the protection is activated from the first moment and coverage takes place whenever the policyholder is outside the habitual residence. Given that the coverage is global, there are different ways in which the insured can contact their insurer if needed. So, either by phone, email or through an app, it is advisable to contact immediately, because, if necessary, the insurance operator will tell the insured what to do in the event of an accident.
  • The insurance of the credit card . The most prestigious credit cards, for example a Gold Visa, offer their clients a travel assistance insurance of similar characteristics to the policies of use. In these cases, however, their operation is a bit different. The activation of the insurance here is punctual and takes effect only in the case that the trip in question is paid in full with this credit card. In other words, you do not pay a premium for insurance here, but on the contrary, you agree to pay for all your travel (flights, hotels, etc.) with the card you own. So, if you need help, the first thing you have to do is contact an operator of your credit card that will tell you how to act. In most cases, if for example you have to go to the doctor or you need an ambulance, you must first make the corresponding payment and, afterwards, the insurance company that collaborates with your credit card will reimburse you ( according to the conditions set in the insurance of your card).

Whatever happens, therefore, the important thing in case of unforeseen event is to contact the insurer in question immediately, as this will tell you what to do and provide you with timely help to solve your problem.

When do I need travel assistance insurance?

The question of the operation of travel insurance goes hand in hand with the question of when this insurance is really needed. The answer is ambiguous: it depends.

On the one hand, every beneficiary of Social Security can have the European Health Card (TSE), which will be served in any public institution of the Union. This card, however, will not cover the expenses derived from private assistance, which is widespread in many member countries, nor will it cover certain aspects such as salvage or repatriation expenses. Therefore, if skiing in the Alps you have to rescue a helicopter, you must pay that invoice.

The TSE, likewise, does not have validity outside Europe either, so if you travel to a country outside the Union, you will be without coverage. On the other hand, however, if your trip is paid in full with a credit card and this card is a Gold or Platinum card , then with that payment you may have activated an attendance insurance immediately. Therefore, in that case, you would not need to take out an extra travel policy. The question is: Where do you travel? What service do you want to obtain? What card do you have?

Maybe take a look at bbva.es help you clarify in this regard. Firstly, because you will find the insurance you need, such as the BBVA Travel Insurance, with which, in addition to unforeseen health problems, you will also ensure possible delays or loss of luggage for only € 1 a week. This policy, however, although it does not limit the number of trips and destinations, it does work with economic limits. Therefore, in case you travel a lot, you may be interested in hiring a first card, such as the BBVA After Gold Card, with which, in addition to the best financial benefits, you will always hire an Accident Insurance whenever you use it. in Travel of up to € 760,000 and Travel Assistance Insurance.

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