Tangier - The White City Of Morocco

Tangier – The Gateway to Morocco

The Adventurous playground called Tangier in Morocco

Tangier, the White city of Morocco was an adventurous playground for the rich and famous from the 20s to the late 50s, till it was relinquished by Spain and returned to Morocco. From artists and authors to aristocrats and spies, Tangier was visited by Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Barbara Hutton (Woolworth heiress) and the likes.

Today the souks and the traditional cuisine, the historical and cultural richness all beckon the traveler to make Moroccan holiday the most memorable one. One of the highlights is the port with its state-of-the-art technology dealing with imports and exports along side which yachts of millionaires beautify the coastline. Tangier also holds the reputation of being the first gay resort in the world, though it is not quite as popular for that status now. Tourists not only find the beautiful beaches mesmerizing but are also absorbed into the energetic, likeable and individualistic enduring charm of Tangier.

Getting there and staying

Akin to Moroccan cities, Tangier has Ville Nouvelle and Medina which makes moving around the city pretty easy. Public transport city buses ply between train station, airport and popular sites like Caves of Hercules and Grand Socco. To visit other places taxis are available in 2 types – one that carries up to 6 people and a smaller metered one that can accommodate 3 people. However after 8pm till morning the rates are hiked by 50 percent.

Being a tourist haven there is no dearth for hotels and motels that suit every budget. Campers get to choose from 2 sites Miramonte and Tingis that are not only close to city center but also within walking distances from the beaches. These sites are reputed to be safe and convenient.

Places of attraction

Asilah – The venue of Asilah Arts Festival held here in August, this otherwise quiet fishing village is filled with world renowned artists and performers. Being close to Paradise Beach, Asilah is a popular seaside resort the rest of the year and has a relaxing ambience. One of the places worth visiting here is the picturesque Andalusian medina built in the 15th century. This small town can be explored on foot but the donkey carts are a fun way of enjoying your holidays. While at Asilah don’t forget to try seafood variety at the renowned restaurants. Regular trains ply between Asilah and Tangier.

Chefchaouen – is an exquisite medieval town with distinctive Spanish quality situated in the mountain region of Tangier. The town’s medina looks most charming with whitewashed and blue-rinsed gabled houses and buildings. Craftsmen sewing caftans or embroidering jellabahs is a common sight here. A must visit place is the Great Mosque built in the 17th century in front of which today stand mulberry trees and restaurants cooking up mouth watering delicacies. While here don’t forget to shop for leather goods, carpets, copper ware and pottery in the souks surrounding the square.

For most part the biggest attraction of Tangier are the beaches where tourists enjoy camel rides, acrobatics, or wind surf or play football on the pristine and clean beaches. The beaches are well equipped with shower places and deck chairs. Food and drinks are also available in plenty however most of the beach bars are open only in summer and only some host cabaret shows in the night

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Travelnowsimply.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Feb 17, 2011.

Australia Travel Blog: Part 7 - Qantas International Business Lounge

At Melbourne Airport: Going to New Zealand

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 1

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 2

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 3

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 4

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 5

Melbourne Travel Blog: Part 6

At Melbourne (MEL) airport I went to the Quantas Business Class counter to get my boarding pass. I was expecting a lot more hospitality like what I got at EVA AIR counter, but it was nowhere near that. Actually, it felt like an economy class counter. Once I was done at the counter, I was heading to the security gate.

Unexpectedly, I was chosen, along with a couple of female flight attendants, for a special random security check. All airports do this kind of random checking, but this was my first time I had this experience pulling me out from the regular queue.

All of us were taken to a small room, asked to open our luggage and lay it flat. I did what I was told. A security person went through my bag and ran a detector. It was very quick. After finishing there, I had the idea that I didn’t have to go through the regular security check, but I was wrong. I had to go through the usual security check again, but this part was quick as well.

Where Is the Lounge?

Quantas Business Class travelers to foreign destinations get to experience the Qantas International Business Lounge. It took me a while to get to the lounge because I was looking for the lounge on the ground level.

But the lounge is actually located on the basement level 1. Quantas Business Class lounge is used by Quantas, Oneworld partner airlines, and even non-alliance partners such as China Eastern.

In the next post, I will talk little more about the Quantas Business Class lounge. I am flying to Auckland, New Zealand, but I will be back to Australia again, in Sydney from Auckland.

A Non-techie’s Guide to Setting Up a Professional Blog

How To Start A Blog

First Published Date : March 12, 2009 ADawnJournal.com

I get emails from my readers asking how to set up a blog. I always reply and try to briefly explain to them how to set up a blog in simple terms. Sometimes these replies turn out to be long emails, which  made me think: instead of replying to each individual separately, I can just write a post explaining everything.

Today, I will discuss how to set up a blog even when you are not a tech-savvy person. If you have always wondered if it is possible to start a professional-looking blog without knowing programming codes, DNS, FTP, domain forwarding and so on, this post is for you.

Before we start, you need to know what a domain name is and you can learn it by reading this post How to Make Money from Domain Names. I am going to explain three different blogging platforms you can use to start your blog. Once you finish reading, you should be able to decide on your own which path best suits your needs.

Option 1 – Use Free Hosted Blogging Platform

This is the easiest way to setup a new blog. It should not take you more than ten to fifteen minutes to write your first post and see it live online. A hosted blog service that hosts your blog for free is the actual owner of your blog. Because they own everything, you have no control over your blog. If they want, they can delete your blog or ban you from posting at any time. Some of the more popular hosting platforms are WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad. With a hosted blog, you do not need any domain name. Your blog address will be like yourname.blogspot.com. To start your own blog, just visit any one of these sites. If you know how to surf online, you can also set up a blog with these hosted blogging platforms.

Option 2 – Use Paid Hosted Blogging Platform

Squarespace is a paid web publishing or blogging platform that lets you create a professional-looking blog very easily. Squarespace provides a lot more flexibility than those mentioned above. It provides you with all the tools, design templates, and hosting to create a professional-looking blog. Using Squarespace’s setup, you can have a professional-looking blog live online in an hour. You do not need to have your own domain, but you can choose to go with your own domain if you want. In that case, you need to buy a domain with a domain registrar like GoDaddy,HostGator, or Bluehost. Then you have to point your domain to Squarespace. This is not hard to do. The Squarespace website has step-by-step instructions on how to do it. A Dawn Journal was actually hosted by Squarespace for eight months when it started.

Option 3 – Use Stand Alone Blogging Platform

A stand-alone blogging platform is hosted by you on your own domain. This gives you full ownership, controls, rights, and privileges to your blog. You need to have your own domain name and web hosting (server space) to host your blog. A domain name and hosting plan are not expensive. It would cost you about $10 annually to have your own domain and about $7-10 monthly to buy web hosting. WordPress is a popular stand-alone blogging platform and I recommend it strongly. The problem with Option 3 is that it requires technical literacy to install WordPress on your domain server.

But what can you do if you are not tech-savvy enough to do it by yourself? Have someone else do it for you. If you have friends or relatives who know how, ask them to do it. If you don’t have anyone, I recommend using Kevin’s Free Instant Blog Setup services. Kevin is the one who looks after all my websites, and he can setup your WordPress blog in a snap. How much is the cost? It’s free. Yes, you heard it right. He will do it for free; however, there is a small catch. You have to sign up for hosting through Kevin’s website. Kevin is an affiliate with those web hosting sites mentioned on his blog, and he gets paid by those sites when you sign up through his site.

If you already have a domain and web hosting, Kevin can still do it for you for minimal fees. Contact him directly through his contact page for more info. The reason I recommend Kevin is because he is knowledgeable, friendly, and someone you can rely on. Let’s say after one year you messed up your site and need help to fix it, or you decide to change your site design (template), or you would like to install new stuff – Kevin will do it for a reasonable cost. In this line of business, you can easily get ripped off if you don’t know who you are dealing with. Also, you will be able to find similar free installation services by doing a Google search with these keyword phrases: free WordPress blog installation service.

Final Word

If you are just trying to start a blog to see if this is for you, I recommend going with Option 1. I started my first few blogs with Blogger.com. If you are looking to start a professional blog all by yourself, I recommend Option 2. If you are serious about blogging, want to blog for the long term, and have Internet entrepreneurship in your mind, I recommend going with Option 3.

How Not To Be Depressed

Beat the Blues – With Natural Optimism

One of the most common causes of people today failing to achieve their best potential is a tendency to become depressed. With global recession, manmade and natural disasters wreaking havoc every day, and the many irritations of living your life in an increasingly complex world, no one can be blamed for occasionally heaving a sigh and wondering if things will ever improve. Fortunately, for most, something comes along to distract you from such gloomy thoughts, you get back on track, and life goes on.

For some people however, they seem to have had too many blows, too many things go wrong all at once, and they feel the classic symptoms of depression – locked in a place that they feel will never improve, they feel worthless, hopeless, guilty and sometimes angry at the situation they have got themselves into.

Perhaps everyone has had this type of feeling on occasion, but most will somehow pull through, and find for themselves, in the midst of the gloom, something positive and useful to do.

It is this ability to find the worth in a negative situation, and to be able to turn a bad experience into something from which you can learn and grow that will separate the world’s survivors, from those who will simply become depressed and go down in the undertow. 

People have different ideas about what is depressing and what might be a disaster for one person might be easily managed by another. That in itself gives a clue to the fact that all experience of depression is in fact subjective – there are no universal events or factors which will give you depression – only your attitude to them. Even events such as bereavements, job losses, loss of your home, major injury or illness do not need to cause you to have depression. You might have grief, and anger or pain, but you will find that depression is not the same as these most natural emotions, depression happens when you get stuck in a place where how you want things to be, simply is not going to happen.

People such as sportsmen, entertainers, salespeople or anyone who is focused on a goal, will often feel depressed if the goal cannot for one reason or another be achieved. If that failure continues to be the only focus of a person’s life, then they will continue to feel a failure and depressed. When a person meets with a failure, in order not to become depressed, they need to move on from the moment, and look for what they can do next. It has been said that it is not how many times a man is knocked down that forms his character – but how many times he gets up. That is the key to beating depression – no matter how low you feel, reach out to others, take what help you can get, realize that life is not about what happens to you, but how you deal with it, and you will start to get your life back on track.

To streamline and minimize blog maintenance, I will be discontinuing maintaining the Simplepersonaldevelopment.com website (however, I will still hold the domain). I will gradually move all articles from this site to Ahmed Dawn Dot Com site. This article originally published on the above website on Feb 4, 2010

Tims Rewards Program – What to Know

Tim Hortons New Loyalty Program

Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons started its Tims Rewards program, which is long overdue. Compared to other coffee chain loyalty programs, Tims Rewards provides more value and is easier to understand.

You can earn Tims Rewards either by using a physical plastic card or using the Tim Hortons app on your phone. You don’t need to buy to collect rewards via the app, but you have to scan it when you pay.

The Tims Rewards structure is fairly simple. You need seven eligible transactions more than $0.50 to get one reward. Rewards can be redeemed for any size brewed coffee, tea, or baked good.

Transactions have to have a gap of at least 30 minutes to be considered eligible for rewards. Meaning if you buy 7 items one after another, those will not count as eligible.

Tim Hortons is allowing members to bank up to 5 Rewards for 120 days. Transactions beyond 5 rewards will not be eligible and rewards will expire after 120 days.

It looks like to me Tims Rewards is based on transactions, rather than items. For example, if you buy 3 items such as a coffee, bagel, and a donut, it will count as one transaction to give you one rewards, not 3 rewards.

Tims Rewards loyalty program is generous and my take is that Tim Hortons is more interested in retaining its customers by offering them more. There are many competitors on the market and without a good rewards program, Tim Hortons would be losing more customers to other chains that are more innovative in offering freebies and rewards to their customers.

You can watch my Tims Horton Tim Rewards Video here. To sign up for Tims Rewards, visit Tims Rewards website.