About Me

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am married to my loving husband for more than 37 years now. I am a mother to 3 beautiful children, until 10 years ago when I lost my youngest son. Since then my life is forever altered but yet unbroken....

My Travel Journal

"There isn't much I haven't shared with you along the road and through it all there'd always be tomorrow's episode" - Elton John

I started traveling around the world since early 80s when I had the opportunity to combine business trips with vacations. Then later when my rezeki is in abundance, there were numerous other trips along the way for vacations, most of the time with hubby and the kids when the timing is right. I have also started to compile the journal and photo-pages covering almost more than 25 years of world wide travel. Some destinations I visited just once, others many times. Many of those places are the obvious famous places people would like to visit but some, the casual traveler doesn't even think to try. I have placed links to my travel at the side bar of my personal page, My Life Reflections, and will be updating them from time to time.

My wish is to continue my travel and complete circumnavigate the globe, insyaAllah…

Sunday, 16 October 2016

My Algerian Story...

“The traveller was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects interesting things to happen to him. He goes sight-seeing…” – Daniel J. Boorstin

(Djemila Archaeological Site)

It is generally safe to move around Algiers and the other main cities in Algeria.

Before going for this Algerian trip, we have scanned the web for any travel alerts and advices and learned that there is no nationwide advisory in effect. However, one should exercise a high degree of caution due to the risk of civil unrest and the threat of terrorism, banditry and kidnapping. It is advisable to take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

During the entire trip, our vehicle was closely escorted from point to point. Travel documents exchange hands at every check points. We were guarded by armed policemen or National Guards during visits to historical sites, museums and mosques. Plain clothes policemen escorted the group even during our shopping excursion in the cities. 

When we strolled the streets on our own we avoided isolated places and would be back to the hotel before dark.

It was a challenging trip, yet exciting! 

The Algerian Itinerary:

Day 01: The beginning of our Algerian Adventure
Day 02: Tipaza - Bustling Fishing Port and Sandy Littoral
Day 03: Tipaza - The Royal Tomb and Roman Ruins
Day 04: Oran – Paris of Algeria
Day 05: Algiers - Glistening White Buildings
Day 06: Djemila - Ancient Berbero-Roman City
Day 07: Constantine - The City of Bridges
Day 08: Timgad - Ancient City in the Aures Mountains
Day 09: Biskra - The Queen of the Transparent Dates
Day 10: Ghardaia - The Home of the M'zab Tribe
Day 11: Goodbye Algeria

fb photo album: My Algerian Story

Algeria Day 01: The beginning of our Algerian Adventure...

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world...” 
- Gustave Flaubert

(Flying Qatar Air to Algiers via Doha)

Day 01: 04 October 2016 (Tuesday) 
Route: KL - Doha

The group of 13 gathered in KLIA around 10:30 pm for group checked-in.

(A 3-hour transit in Doha)
(Flying with Qatar Air)

Our Qatar Air QR853 flight from KL to Doha departed at 2:00 am. It was a 7-hour flight, spent mostly napping on and off in between in-flight movies. We arrived at Doha International Airport at 4:20 am, ample time to perform Fajar prayers before we proceeded to the gate for our onward flight to Algiers scheduled at 7:30 am.

(Arriving at Algiers International Airport)

Algeria Day 02: Tipaza - Bustling Fishing Port and Sandy Littoral...

“Some beautiful paths can't be discovered without getting lost...” - 
Erol Ozan

(The fishing port of Tipaza)

Day 02: 05 October 2016 (Wednesday)
Route: Algiers - Tipaza
Distance: 93 km
Hotel: Corne D'or Seaside Resort

Our QR1379 flight from Doha to Algiers took more than 6 hours.

We arrived at Algiers International Airport around noon. Although there were not many flights arriving at the same time, it took more than 2 hours for immigration and baggage clearance.

(Arrival terminal at Algiers International Airport)
(A cheery bright blue sky greeting us)

We were met by our local agents Mr. Fayiz, Mr. Kamal and Mr. Aziz, our driver. After airport clearance we performed our prayers then boarded a 20-seater van which was too small to accommodate all 15 of us plus our over-sized baggage.

(Arriving at the fishing port of Tipaza) 
(Dauphin Restaurant, a popular seafood outlet)
(Fishermen selling their fresh catch)

From the airport we traveled to Tipaza, a town 93 km from Algiers. Tipaza is the Berber-speaking city and capital of the Tipaza Province. When it was part of the Roman Empire, it was called Tipasa. Tipaza is chiefly remarkable for its ancient ruins and sandy littoral.

We had a late lunch of grilled fish and prawns at Restaurant Dauphin, one of the many seafood restaurants around the fishing port. We had the opportunity of watching the sunset from the man-made reef barrier by the Mediterranean Sea.

(The bustling fishing port)
(One of the many light houses)
(Light houses and the man-made reef barrier) 
(Fishermen's boats docking at end of day)
(The boats neatly parked for the night)
(Watching the sunset from the top of the reef barrier)

(Panoramic view of Tipaza fishing port)

We checked in Hotel Club Corne D'or, a secluded seaside resort and skipped dinner.

The resort reminded me of Santorini with white washed buildings and blue coloured doors and windows. The hotel room was cave-like, with low ceiling and maze-like passageway leading to the washroom and toilet. The air-conditioning was partially working. It switched on and off a few times during the night. Fortunately, there was hot water but the shower curtain was too short to prevent water from spraying out while showering, wetting the entire bed room.

(A secluded seaside resort, Club Corne D'or) 
(White-washed and blue berber-like dwellings)
(Refreshment at the resort cafe)

It was not only us experiencing the flooding. The rest had their share of misfortune too… ha ha…

Algeria Day 03: Tipaza - The Royal Tomb and Roman Ruins...

“Anyone who needs more than one suitcase is a tourist, not a traveler…” – Ira Levin

(The burial site of Cleopatra's daughter)

Day 03: 06 October 2016 (Thursday)
Route: Tipaza - Oran
Distance: 450 km
Hotel: Alandaluose Resort

We woke up very early. After Fajar prayers and shower, we took a morning walk around the resort and watched the sunrise from the horizon of the Mediterranean Sea. By 7:30 am we had breakfast, checked-out and got ready to visit the historical sites in Tipaza.

(Small individual chalets)
(An early morning stroll around the resort)
(Kayak facilities available for rental)
(A quiet and peaceful surrounding)
(The rocky beach of Corne D'or)
(A beautiful sunrise along the horizon)
(Speed boats and jet-ski facilities available)
(An old garrison in the background)
(The Club Corne D'or Complex)
(Having Algerian breakfast at the cafe)
(Our 20-seater coaster throughout the trip)

Our first stop was at the Mauretanian Historical Grave, the royal tomb where it is believed to be the tomb of Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, the daughter of Cleopatra. The mausoleum is called the Kubr-er-Rumia, which means the tomb of the Roman woman.

(A UNESCO Heritage site)
(We were too early. The gate was closed!)
(The circular Mauretanian Royal Tomb)
(Edible cactus fruit, ripe and juicy) 
(Ardent travelers and explorers)

Next we visited the Cherchell Museum Located in the center of the seaport town. The Museum houses some of the best examples of Roman and Greek antiquities on the African continent.

(A small Cherchell Museum)
(Old mosaics on the walls and floors)
(Artifact and treasures from the excavation sites)
(An old Roman sarcophagus)
(A carved block of stone)

We later had a walking tour of Tipaza Roman Historical Ruins on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The ruins comprises a unique group of Phoenician, Roman, palaeochristian and Byzantine ruins alongside many indigenous monuments.

(Studying the layout of the archaeological site)
(Ancient carvings on a rock)
(Walking among the ruins)
(The many steps of the amphitheater)
(The ancient city by the Mediterranean Sea)
(Remaining pillars stood strong for centuries)
(Beautiful blue sky and blue ocean)
(A lone fisherman on the rocky beach)
(A delegation of foreigners visiting the historical site)
(Neatly carved tree trunk)

We started driving out of Tipaza around 10:30 am towards Oran, 450 km away taking the highway. Our van was escorted by the police throughout the journey. We stopped halfway at a restaurant along the highway to have lunch. While waiting for the rest to finish their lunch we visited a small zoo at the back of the restaurant.

(Desert Roses as souvenirs)
(Painted ceramic mugs and vases)
(Scenes of the Sahara on display plates)
(A souvenir shop in Tipaza)
(Long-eared foxes in captivity)
(One of the species of owls in the small zoo)

It was late afternoon when we reached Oran. We drove onward through steep mountainous road to a seaside resort about 40 km from town. We reached Les Andalouse Seaside Resort at dusk. After we checked in and sorted out our bags, only then we realised that the luggage of two of our members were missing. After much arguments with the local agent who already knew about the missing bags earlier, they promised to arrange for the left luggage to be sent direct to Algiers by tomorrow.

(Travelling to Oran in late afternoon)
(The sun is setting on the horizon)
(A winding mountainous road to the beach resort)
(Beautiful colors of the sky)

The seaside resort is modern and comfortable but we were supplied only with two small towels. We were told that it is a normal practice for resorts here to provide small towels. We were given towels after we made a request through the ground agent.

(A seaside resort a distance away from town)
(The view of the ocean at night)
(The cafe opens till late night)

After settling down, we had seafood dinner at the hotel restaurant. Again in this hotel we experienced water clogging in the shower.

(A platter of seafood dish)