Manal H

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Manal H

Manal H

Work Hard, Play Hard, Dive Hard, Live Strong Tricutural is me! Grew up in Egypt, brought up in french schools, lived in France and USA is now my home for the last 13 years You will have to figure it out or you already did! Ok! since I am creating confusion, here is my bio: Cleveland has been my hometown for the last 13 y, before that was Paris, France ( best years of my life!) and before that Cairo, Egypt where I grew up, graduated and obtained my master and doctoral degree. Check my channel on you tube http://www.youtube.com/manalihassan

Aug082014

Tour/Activity

Istanbul Food Walking Tour of Beyoglu by Night

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

I loved this tour. I was the only guest and I had 2 guides and another guide who was training for this pariticular culinary tour joined us later. Hakan is a gourmet cook and writer. A well spoken highly educated businessman who has great interest in his country and its diversity. He was educated in the states and Britain and he really caters and delivers. Aicha is equally highly educated passionate guide and was genuinely trying to make the tour as enjoyable as possible. And it was! I know a little bit about the turkish cuisine but I was quite surprised by what they offered. First, we walked the surreal Istiklal Street and went through the back door of a very old well known restaurant where a salted chicken was being served litterally on fire. Quite a show. We tasted some exquisite kebab and Humus with " bastirma" served with freshly baked bread and Sherbet. We continued on istiklal and tasted some delights from another old establishment. In between, we stopped at a couple of churches and had some history background of the area. We went through the fish market and stopped at a restaurant offering black sea cuisine. Very very interesting. Hamsli Pilaf, some warm marinated vegetables, special dolmades and corn bread. Very very tasty. We went through the flower passage with its cafes and night life. We then went to another old establishment to eat special clotted cream and pastries. It was then time for coffee which I declined in favor of turkish tea. This was enjoyed on the terrace of a very ancient hotel. Last we visited a well known opulent hotel where Ataturk used to stay. You can visit his room in the morning. And then it was time for the final stop at the terrace of another amazing spot with amazing views on the Golden Horn. Well done! I highly recommend this tour. It is not delivered by half knowledgeable guides. Rather you get top notch experience. Next time I visit Turkey, I will try their morning Kadikoy and Karakoy tour, also on viator. Thank you guys!

Aug042014

Tour/Activity

3-Day Cappadocia and Ephesus Tour from Istanbul with Flights

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

I had a great time in this tour. Both my guides in Cappadocia, Burcu and in Ephesus Gulner were very knowledgeable and passionate. We stopped at several spots in Cappadocia. Starting with the Rose valley hike and Cavucin spectacular village, we followed by visiting the Ushistar castle, pigeon valley, lunch and then the amazing underground city. We also visited some fairy chimneys on the way. Dinner at Dilek Kaya hotel. Next morning we visited Avanos, the ceramic capital, the imagination valley ( the devrent valley), surreal fairy chimneys and Goreme open museum. Then I was transported to the airport for my flight to Izmir. Ephesus tour was amazing so was Mary's church and Selcuk. I was then transferred to the airport for my flight to Istanbul. I think it is a great value tour. There was a glitch in arrangement and Akeen ( he arranged the trip) called me at least 3 times to apologize. They really care. The 4 stars instead of the 5 is because of Cappadocia hotel. Although the view was great, I did not like the dining experience. It was not inviting and felt like a cafeteria. The staff looked tired and unhappy contrary to everything I experienced in Turkey where practically everyone was very welcoming and friendly. Otherwise, all the meals offered were really very good. I took the optional tour of hot air balloon. It is not to be missed. It is magical. One in a lifetime experience. Be warned though, they pick you up at 4:15 so you can watch sunrise in the balloon. They offer snack and you return early enough to have breakfast before they pick you up for the second day of the tour of Cappadocia. They were always very punctual. I calIed Burcu when the glitch happened and she was able to make the necessary phone calls. I highly recommend this tour. You won't be disappointed. Oh! And you visit a carpet, ceramic and jewelry centers so you can make all your necessary purchase there avoiding Istanbul inflated prices

Aug032014

Tour/Activity

Bosphorus Strait and Black Sea Day Cruise from Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

My Rating
4 star rating: Recommended

My Review

Nice way to spend a day on the Bosphorus. We visited Ortakoy village, Rumeli fortress and kuzuksu palace, all very interesting. Lunch was simple but good and was served on the way to the black sea. There you can swim jumping from the boat or you can disembark to swim at the beach or you can walk the hill for an amazing view of the rocky coastline to watch some daredevils diving using ropes attached to the rock. There are 3 cafes on top of the hill if you don't want to do either

Nov202012

Tour/Activity

Salvador Dali Museum, Figueres and Cadaques Small Group Day Trip from Barcelona

Barcelona, Spain

My Rating
5 star rating: Highly Recommended

My Review

A must if you are visiting Barcelona! Bizarre world of Dali! Make sure to visit his house too. It is an option in the tour for an extra 11 euros.

My Photos

  • Figueres
  • Cadaques
  • The bizarre world of Dali!

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