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    Travel stories, adventures and photos from around the globe

Merkato is Africa’s biggest market

A chaotic place at first sight, Merkato Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is the biggest open air market in Africa employing 13,000 people. The market is organized in sections for spices, coffee, metal scraping, recycling, textiles, second-hand clothes, pots, baskets and many more – dotted with tailors and shoe-shiners.

There is a constant flow of people, cars, trucks and donkeys, carrying merchandise on narrow alleys. It is quite overwhelming. Heavy weights, such as a stack of three or four mattresses, are carried on the head by merchants while keeping the balance and navigating through the busy alleys.

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“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

It is the time for Christmas – a time for joy, celebration and reflection, a time to look back to the year that has passed and prepare for the year ahead.

Looking back many years, the Christmas caught me in some unusual places such as in the airplane flying from Toronto to Bucharest, in a deserted lounge of the Lagos airport, near the bridge over the river Kwai in Thailand, on the top of Carpathian Mountains or at a cabaret show in Havana.

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First touch Portugal and what a pleasant surprise!

Olá Lisbon! is an introduction to my trip to Lisbon (Lisboa), followed by “Lisbon in One Day”, “Modern Lisbon – Parque das Nações” and “Sintra – Palaces and Mysteries”.

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This post was originally published on 2014 and updated on 2018.


Tibet was a tough trip. With only 60% to 70% available oxygen at these high altitudes, especially the nights were more like a nightmare. Four hours sleep and the rest of the night struggling to find oxygen. The Tibetan high altitude pills didn’t help too much. The highest point reached was at 5, 248 m.

I arrived in Lhasa with a small Air China plane coming from Kathmandu. The view from the plane was impressive. The entire chain of Himalayas covered in snow can be seen. Mt. Everest was on the left side of the airplane.

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Street Photography by Ash Shinya Kawaoto

Getting closer to his subjects – and sometimes too close to be safe – is part of Ash Shinya Kawaoto’s photography style. Strolling the streets of Tokyo for hours, Shinya captures the expressions and emotions of his subjects – young and old, poor and rich – in this dynamic and changing metropolis that looks like a “huge living creature that continues to grow”.

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“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

The best time to visit Canada is in the fall. Warm weather and beautiful autumn foliage, with gold and red coloured leaves.

Get a glimpse of a Canadian fall through photos and quotes.

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