GoPuffin

Beirut: Historical, Beautiful, and Complicated

Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, is its largest seaport on the Mediterranean, and has existed for at least 5,000 years.  The city is well known for its beauty, and was widely regarded as the “Paris of the Middle East” for many years before the Lebanese Civil War.  Today, much of the European architecture that existed before the war is still standing, and the cafe culture that defines both Europe and the Middle East is integral to the experience in Beirut...

Experience Ethiopia’s Harar, A City That Fascinates

Ethiopia has recently been having some serious political strife, so the East African country may seem to be a strange suggestion given the current climate.  While there are parts of the country that currently are not particularly safe for the ordinary tourist, including much of the surrounding area around Addis Ababa and the legendary Gonder, the ancient city of Harar has been relatively free of problems.  Harar is not necessarily the first city that one thinks of when...

Visit Istanbul – The Ancient City On The Bosphorus

Istanbul is Turkey’s most populous city, is a massive tourist destination, and is the center of Turkish culture, economy, and history.  While Istanbul is not Turkey’s capital, the city is still incredibly important culturally and politically.  The city is bisected by the Bosphorus Strait, which links the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara which ultimately feeds into the Mediterranean.  The city is also unique in that the Bosphorus divides the city between...

Stroll The Canals During Your Visit To Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands, though not the location of the seat of the kingdom, which is in The Hague.  It is The Netherlands’ largest city, with close to a million residents and has existed since the late 12th century when a bridge was built over the river Amstel.  The city was granted its charter in either 1300 or 1306, and by the 16th century the city was the epicenter of the War of Dutch Independence against the Spanish Hapsburg king, Phillip II...

Make Berlin Your Next Stop In Germany!

Berlin is one of the most famous cities in the world, and is the current capital of Germany.  It is Germany’s largest city, and also happens to be one of Germany’s sixteen states.  Evidence suggests that the city was first settled in the 12th century, and was the capital of Brandenburg by the 15th.  Berlin was severely damaged during the 30 Years War, however, once Brandenburg and Prussia merged in 1701, Berlin was made the capital of the new state.  After...

Visit Medieval Bruges On Your Next European Adventure!

To the average person, Bruges is hardly a city name that resides at the tip of the tongue.  In recent years, film buffs may recognize the medieval Belgian town from the Martin McDonagh film In Bruges, however, it turns out that the city is much more important historically than merely being the setting of a fantastic film.  Bruges is the capital of the province of West Flanders in Belgium, deep in the heart of the Dutch portion of the country.  Much like another ancient...

Best Things To Do When Visiting Cairo

Cairo is one of the most ancient cities in the world and is a mix of both old and new.  In many ways, the focus on Cairo’s ancient roots when discussing the city can lead to a jarring experience for tourists who do not expect to be dropped into a very busy, very modern metropolis.  Consequently, the city can be quite overwhelming for the inexperienced traveler, and even those who have traveled elsewhere in the Middle East may be surprised by what they...