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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Historic Cairo at Night

Historic Cairo is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage. Founded in the latter part of the 10th century, Cairo developed into the center of the Islamic world, reaching its zenith in the 14th century. Here is how UNESCO puts it,
"There are few cities in the world as rich as Cairo in old buildings: the historic centre on the eastern bank of the Nile includes no less than 600 classified monuments dating from the 7th to 20th centuries, distributed over various parts of the well-preserved urban fabric, which represent forms of human settlement that go back to the Middle Ages."


The city is fascinating and we wished we had stayed far more than the five nights we'd planned. We loved walking along al-Mu'izz Street in the quarter near our hotel, Le Riad.
Built in 1764, the building below is the elegant Sabil-Kuttab of 'And al-Rahman Katkhuda, clearly designed for its prominent spot. If you are interested  in walking in this area I can highly recommend the wonderfully illustrated guide, Historic Cairo; A Walk through the Islamic City by Jim Antonio. It's put out but the American University in Cairo Press and you can get hold of a secondhand copy online. We loved the care and attention he put into this book and  it remains a fantastic architectural and historical guide to this part of the city.
Below you can see how the lights are set into the pavement, we observed that  they use an interesting mix of red and green lights. Apparently this was a very costly project and was finished relatively recently. It make the entire area so beautiful to walk around at night literally shining a light on the history!

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