Small-Group Cultural Tours by Adventures Abroad
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  • Arabian Gulf and Middle East

    Posted on March 26th, 2009 admin No comments

    The enigma that is the Arabian Gulf will cause you to ponder societal directions and intentions. The rapidly modernizing Middle East is in a constant tug-of-war between the traditional past and the pressures of our times. Oil is big business, but trade is much bigger, leading to an awful appropriation of resources and workforce into stunningly ambitious projects. Some of the wealthiest countries on the planet are oases of excess, founded on under-appreciated foreign labour. The surprises continue along the gulf until we reach Oman; jaw-dropping scenery, exciting remoteness, and unspoiled beaches seemingly presented solely for you.

    This is a unique opportunity to explore a corner of the world previously misunderstood and almost ignored.

    Browse our Middle East Tours

  • Ethiopia Timkat (Epiphany) Festival

    Posted on March 17th, 2009 admin No comments

    Leading the tour of Ethiopia during the Timkat (Epiphany) Festival this past January was amazing. The whole country goes NUTS! We were in Lalibela for the actual festival and waited along the edge of the spectacular rock-hewn Church of St.George for the procession of the tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) to begin. Not utilizing modern technology, the priests of each individual church signal to the other that they are ready by blowing loudly on a horn. When they finally decided they were ready, it was complete chaos. We followed the procession for the next two hours and it was unforgettable. There’s no way to stay together as you all get caught up in the crowd, but that’s the fun part. So much going on and so much colour! Music, chanting, pushing, laughter, and chaos!

    The festival in Lalibela was great, but what I’ll never forget was our drive the following day when we drove through scores of tiny little villages and towns having their own Timkat celebration and more often than not, our vehicles would get surrounded by locals caught up in the frenzy of the festivities. At one point, my vehicle was completely surrounded by local men all chanting and jumping up and down while waving sticks in the air. They seemed thrilled to have foreigners there to watch and everywhere we went we were greated with cheers and smiles.

    What a beautiful country. It certainly doesn’t live up to any stereotype or preconception I might have had. For me Ethiopia is far from a desert-like country plagued by famine. To me it is gorgeous mountain scenery, unique wildlife, waterfalls, rivers, strange food, great music, a unique culture, and a bizarre and fascinating history bordering on mythology.

    Check out some great tours to Ethiopia