Been all over, so here is a quick rundown. I will embellish more later.
Spent 4 days in Istanbul, Turkey, and it was the most surprising city I have been to so far. Super easy to travel in, friendly people, modern, clean etc etc. I would love to go back and spend time touring around the country because there are some really unique and beautiful parts of Turkey that would take at least a month to explore.
From there, I flew through the Kingdom of Bahrain to Dubai. That city is AMAZING!!! It was everything I hoped it would be - the buildings and infrastructure there are just spectacular! There are something like 5000 multi story buildings under construction right now and I heard 2/3 of the worlds tower cranes. That seems high, but I counted up to 7 tower cranes on 1 building, plus the surface cranes, rooftop mounted concrete pumps, etc, and you get the idea. I have a ton of really cool pictures, just need to post them! Alongside all the construction there are still the traditional souk markets, the ancient wooden dhow boats and the same culture that has existed in the middle east for ever. It is quite a contrast, but it fits well together. Probably the most modern city in the world; the whole city is completely planned out, they are building massive amounts of infrastructure and their goal is 10x the current construction for the city - so another 50000 buildings over the next decades. Also caught the final day of the Dubai golf classic, so I got to see Tiger, Sergio and Ernie Els play which was way cool! I had to leave before the end so I missed the close finish, but it was really neat to see those guys play!
My flight to Johannesburg had a stopover in Cairo, Egypt, so I added 1 day there and did a quick tour of the city. It was very overwhelming especially for just one day. It is quite dirty, crazy busy and a lot people working with the same methods they have for generations - mules, carts, cows, hand labor etc. etc. The pyramids, sphinx and tombs were very impressive - they are just so massive and have been there for so long it is just blew my mind. I think i would have had a better time there if I had stayed longer and gotten used to the flow of the city, but being so quick I didn't adjust very well, so it was a bit nerve racking for me.
Flew to Johannesburg, then to Capetown, South Africa, where I am now. This is another of the most beautiful cities in the world! Great beaches, lots of sun, lots of fun travelers, and a very laid back culture. This is somewhere I could totally get used to traveling to! If it only wasnt so far from Idaho...
Leave Monday for Australia (through Singapore!) so I will have been here a week. It feels like vacation here instead of traveling, so I am really enjoying relaxing on the beach. In fact I am late to meet my friends at the beach, so gotta run! priorities!