Travelling to Australia During the Pandemic

Travelling to Australia During the Pandemic

Outraged tourist operators are describing Australia as the the Hermit Kingdom of the South Pacific – given its extreme anti Covid-19 measures and ongoing closed borders in the face of the pandemic.

They say the “lucky country” could lapse into semi permanent isolation.

Have a read of our article, ‘Extreme Australia‘. Australia is a land of extremes. Extreme nature, weather ranging from scorching desert hear to below freezing, extreme geographical wonders, vast landscapes, hair-raising history and colorful characters that make it such a fantastic destination. Check out our list of Australia’s extremes here.

Mosques in the Islamic World

Mosques in the Islamic World

Written by Ian Cross

The Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem is home to one of the holiest sites in Islam. It is also the only famous mosque that lies in disputed or contested territory. As tensions once again erupt in the Holyland, check out our guide to the world’s must see mosques here.

We list 10 of the most beautiful mosques in the world. From the stunning architecture to the intricate geometric tiling and ancient calligraphy, a visit to one of these places of worship is sure to take your breath away! Give it a read here.

Under the Spotlight: The Pacific

Under the Spotlight: The Pacific

Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Pacific Region has remained relatively virus free compared to the rest of the world.

A combination of isolation and strict border measures has meant that the region has been off limits to the rest of the world. Previous pandemics have caused a huge loss of life for indigenous populations throughout the pacific islands and Australia.

Check out our content on the continent, that we’ve come to call the Pacific Bubble:

Read our article ‘Great Explorers: Pacific‘, that includes the explorations of the famous James Cook.

Watch our Globe Guide trailer ‘Eco Trekking The Pacific Islands’ here.

Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand

Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand

The 25th of April each year marks Anzac Day in Australia and New Zealand, the biggest wartime commemoration event and an important day. This annual national day marks the anniversary of the first military operation by Australian and New Zealand soldiers in the First World War in 1915.

The term Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, a group of fighters who landed at Gallipoli Cave in the Allies’ bid to capture the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman Empire.

The battle lasted for eight months and resulted in heavy losses on both sides including 8,000 Australian soldiers.

Anzac Day honours the sacrifices made by the soldiers and commemorates their lives. More than a century on, it’s come to be a source of pride, patriotism and a day of great importance.  

To learn more about Australia and New Zealand’s involvement and their losses in the world war, check out our three part ‘Ultimate Blitzkrieg – The WW2 Battle of Crete’ documentary here.

Read our article on The Gallipoli Campaign on its 100th anniversary here.

Read about the Kokoda Trail, the first time when Australia’s national security was threatened.

Read our study guide on World War 1 and what caused it here.

We have three study guides on World War 2 for you to enjoy. To learn about the Battle of Crete, click here. Have an in-depth understanding of WWII in Europe here. And specifically, click here to read about WWII in the Pacific.

The Significance of Ramadan

The Significance of Ramadan

This month, millions of Muslims around the world will observe the month of Ramadan. It’s one of the five pillars of Islam and sees followers abstain from drinking liquids, sex and smoking and they’re expected to fast during the daylight hours.

It’s the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and Ramadan places an emphasis on charity, community, worship and faith. As it’s time of appreciation, connection to one’s faith and community, charity and prayer are also emphasised and particularly encouraged. Followers hope that it’s a month of consciousness, reflection and nourishment of the soul. When the sun goes down, they can then break their fast with a meal ‘iftar’.

The end of Ramadan is marked with Eid, a 3-day period of festivities and it’s the time to cave in to life’s culinary pleasures: great food surrounded by your family and friends. This year due to Covid-19, it is likely to be a different affair for Muslims celebrating around the world.

To all our Muslim readers, Ramadan Mubarak!

If you enjoyed this article, then check out our documentary presented by the lovely Mehreen Baig. She looks at the motivations and challenges facing the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims during their greatest month of the year. Click here to watch.

By Kaz Bosali

3,000 old ‘lost golden city’ of ancient Egypt discovered

3,000 old ‘lost golden city’ of ancient Egypt discovered

It has been dubbed the most important find since the unearthing of Tutankhamun’s tomb in the 1920s by experts. Almost a century on, we’re still uncovering hidden artefacts, treasures and in this instance a city!

Egyptology experts have said that Aten is the largest city ever to be uncovered (so far), labeled as the ‘lost golden city’ and is located close to Luxor. Among the finds are statues of Queen Tiye, the wife of Amenhotep III who ruled for almost 40 years from 1390 – 53 BCE.

Jewellery, pottery, a bakery and sewing equipment were also reportedly found, offering glimpses into the everyday life of ancient Egyptians.

This find adds to another astonishing breakthrough into our understanding of ancient Egypt. The treasures and everyday items from back then still captivate audiences today thousands of years after.

Learn more about the awe-inspiring ancient Egyptian tombs and temples along the banks of the river Nile with our Tough Boats: Egypt Down The Nile show.

Check out our Empire Builders: The Ancient Egyptians episode to travel through time and appreciate 3000 years of ancient Egyptian history through the amazing stories of ten of its most famous and spectacular buildings.

Written by Kaz Bosali

Ancient Egyptian Mummies Paraded in Cairo Spectacle

Ancient Egyptian Mummies Paraded in Cairo Spectacle

A historic parade took place in Cairo, the capital city of Egypt to relocate 22 ancient rulers to the Museum of Egyptian Civilisation under tight security.

The 22 pharoahs, 18 kings and 4 queens, were transported to their new home in the chronological order of their reign in specially made vehicles. Amongst the monarchs, included the infamous King Ramses II.

The initiative is a bid to encourage tourism in Egypt. Although we may be living in Covid times, you can still experience Egypt the virtual way!

Explore some of the most spectacular ancient Egyptian tombs and temples along the banks of the river Nile with our Tough Boats: Egypt Down The Nile show.

Check out our Empire Builders: The Ancient Egyptians episode to travel through time and appreciate 3000 years of ancient Egyptian history through the amazing stories of ten of its most famous and spectacular buildings.

Written by Kaz Bosali

Commemorating Easter

Commemorating Easter

It is Easter on Sunday 4th April.

With Easter approaching, we look at the traditions around the world and explore how different cultures celebrate this religious festival. Easter celebrations (although no doubt different this year) is observed around the world. To learn how Jerusalem, Mexico, Spain and Antigua mark the occasion, click here.

One of the prominent and best place to witness the faith and celebration of Easter is in the Holy Land of Jerusalem, one of the world’s oldest cities (some 4,000 years) and the most holy site in the world. Pre-Covid, usually on Easter Day, Christians of all ethnicity gather in Jerusalem’s Old City to follow in the footsteps of Christ. Read our article on Easter in Jerusalem here.

Everyone at Pilot wish you a Happy Easter!

Happy St Patrick’s Day

Happy St Patrick's Day

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Celebrating will likely be different where you are due to Covid-19 and its lockdown restrictions, but as the world slowly starts to get back to normal, we are reminded of what we miss and how we would usually celebrate this occasion.

There’s always an atmosphere in the air on St Patrick’s Day: people wearing green clothing, leprechauns, overcrowded pubs and Irish bars. Whilst this year will be different, there are plenty of content you can enjoy. Read our blog here, about how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. You’ll feel nostalgia and excitement for next year. Click here for fun facts on the background of St Patrick’s Day.

There is plenty to keep you occupied during lockdown. In the meantime, everyone at Pilot wishes you a happy St Patrick’s Day!

Written by Kaz Bosali

Locomotive 3801 Restored in Sydney

Locomotive 3801 Restored in Sydney

One of Australia’s iconic stream locomotives has reportedly been restored and train journeys relaunched across the state of New South Wales.

Check out other great steam locomotive journeys in Scotland, Austria and the USA in our series Tough Trains and Great Railway Journeys of Europe, also available on DVD.

Written by Ian Cross, edited by Kaz Bosali