Fez is a wonderful, labyrinthine medieval city, less discovered than Marrakesh. It has almost two thousand winding narrow streets and passageways to explore with every twist and turn revealing something new. While there, I've discovered everything from rows of stalls selling wedding clothes, bakeries where you can peer right into the heart of the mudbrick ovens to the exquisite intricate detailing of an ancient mosque or fountain.
I grew up reading stories and myths from all over the world, then caught the travel bug aged 16 on a trip to Italy. I graduated from art school and spent ten years working in the family business. Then my fascination with North Africa led me to return to university to study social anthropology in London, focusing on that region. After working for the civil service my love of travel triumphed and I embarked upon a year long round-the-world adventure.
On returning, I joined the Middle East team, working in Witney, Boston and London, then from home. Morocco is a feast for the senses with its diverse landscapes, time-worn, labyrinthine cities and vibrant cultures, while the interface between ancient and modern Egypt is intriguing. Turkey is vast, and a fascinating melting pot of cultures, and I have recently been able to explore compact Jordan and visit awe-inspiring Petra.
When I'm not working or exploring the world, I enjoy walking and creating artefacts from recycled objects.
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The Kempinski Nile Hotel is brilliantly situated in downtown Cairo fronting the Nile, and five minutes walk from the Egyptian Museum. It is a smaller property with a total dedication to superlative service, incredibly comfortable beds and even a pillow menu. The restaurants here serve excellent food — either Mediterranean or Turkish inspired. Try out the small but perfectly formed heated swimming pool on the rooftop as the sun goes down and the lights of Cairo begin to glow.
I'll never forget when…
Snorkelling in the Red Sea has to be one of my best memories of my time in Egypt. Many of the hotels have 'house reefs' which literally start where the beach ends. I hired a mask, fins and snorkel for a few pounds and as soon as I entered the water, the brilliance of the diverse corals looked like an underwater garden; not visited by butterflies but by shoals of fish in every form and colour.