Fertile Crescent

On the Road in Iraq

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 

We took a very nice tour from Baghdad to Basrah by car. The countryside is pretty amazing, from the relative lushness of the fertile crescent to the desert sands of the south to the marshes of the deep south and the distant flare gas fires on the horizon.

Flares_on_way_to_Basrah.jpg

Normal flare gas

[quicktime width=”560″ height=”310″]http://www.blackrosetech.com/gessel/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/blowout.mov[/quicktime]

Ut oh, blow out…

camels_herd.jpg
Camels in the desert… camels crossing the road:
[quicktime width=”560″ height=”316″]http://www.blackrosetech.com/gessel/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/camel_crossing2.mov[/quicktime]
Posted at 14:46:28 GMT-0700

Category: photoplacestravelvideo

Iraq sites

Friday, February 11, 2011 

carolyn on saddams throne.jpg

Baghdad was the recipient of Saddam’s largess (and the PLO too), but the south wasn’t really on the nice list and has been a cross roads for conflict for a long time, which has left a mark on the landscape.

landscape.jpg
Posted at 12:06:07 GMT-0700

Category: Milphotoplacestravel

Proof! There is Yellow Cake In Iraq

Saturday, February 5, 2011 

Finally, conclusive evidence of the presence of whole trays of yellow cake in Iraq, and at extremely low prices, well within the reach of any organization.

Proof-yellow cake in Iraq.jpg
Posted at 06:37:46 GMT-0700

Category: Milphotoplacespoliticstravel

A Few Pretty Spots at VBC

Friday, February 4, 2011 

Saddam managed to build a fairly pretty complex here, with lots of artificial lakes (originally filled with potable water). Along one of those lakes is the Gates of Babylon restaurant. The food is excellent and the adjoining room is a hookah bar. The Nex5 does a pretty good job at night.

The palace is pretty inside, though the construction is legendarily shoddy and parts of the palace are starting to disintegrate as salt in the sand mixed in with the concrete disintegrates it. The main hall is quite dramatic with a three story chandelier.

gates of babylon.jpg

palace.jpg
Posted at 13:49:56 GMT-0700

Category: Milplacestravel