Monday, June 30, 2014


June is about to end within few hours from now and July will be showing up with its warmth, blue sky and a special fragrance in the air. Intentionally, I chose the above photo of a water-lily, I took last week when I paid a visit to Sintra, a very romantic town near Lisbon. I don't know the name of the insect that was having rest on one of the petals but it seemed that he was feeling not only pleased but also relaxed as he laid on such a velveteen-like 'mattress'. This makes sense, considering that water-lilies symbolize pleasure and peace.
The first image that will come to mind when we talk about these floating flowers is the elegance of the bloom. I'm sure you know well that all ancient cultures around the world have associated the white lilies with gods and spirituality, which explains why the bloom became associated with Buddha himself. Mind you, the lotus position commonly used for meditation!

I wish you a pleasurable July filled with peace of mind along with an excellent physical condition.

Thank you!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Char Minar, Bukhara, Uzbekistan
The Russian rehabilitation of the chimney-tall minarets and its mosques made me wander in fascination.

A Shadow of The Silk Road, nicely crafted by the British travel writer and novelist Colin Thubron, was another interesting book that gave me a very pleasurable reading. The author trudges from the Chinese tomb of the Yellow Emperor, in the Chinese Xian, to southern Turkey, more precisely the Mediterranean port of Antakya (known as Antioch in ancient times), in search of the lost hope of struggling with transition.

In this epic journey through China and Central Asia, the literary travelogue, with elements of history, anthropology, personal experience and quest, I found a lot of information about places where I have already been and others that have been in my bucket list for a long time, already.

Bukhara (the most complete example of a medieval city in Central Asia), the Holy and Noble, still burgeons with crafts and merchandise: rugs, silks, furs are sold everywhere, even in old madrassas (educational institutions). 

Today, I end this post by mentioning an 'intriguing'  reference made by Thubron about an inscription he saw at a memorial park for the II World War, near Samarkand.  Roughly translated into English, it would be: 'You are ever in our hearts, my dears.'

Do you think this might relate to the arrival and expansion of American goods, such as Nike or McDonald's, in Islamic lands??? I would like to hear your comments about it.

Meanwhile, I wish you all, a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


One of the books about history and travels that I have recently read was titled "The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean" by Professor David Abulafia who considers Dubrovnik as one of the most important trading ports in the 16th century. Its merchants possessed what was probably the largest merchant fleet. The secret of their success was that they were neutral, paying tribute to the Ottoman sultan in return for his protection. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was a Roman Catholic city, whose inhabitants called it 'Ragusa'. The Ragusans were great specialists in trading woollen cloths manufactured from Balkan wool. 
I love Dubrovnik that still preserves that charming architecture from the Italian Renaissance and sooner than I had ever expected I will be strolling once again those city walls.

        Enjoy every day of the week

Friday, June 20, 2014


European travellers left us with fabulous descriptive writings over many centuries. "Persia through writers´eyes" is a selection of writings about history and customs of the Persians during three thousand years. I think I could say that one of my favourites is the description of Shah Abbas´s capital of Isfahan by the end of the XVI century.

Isfahan was "most pleasant, elegant as to building, populous for inhabitants, rich in trade and noble by being the usual residence of the court".

 Have an enjoyable weekend! 

 Thank you!