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Zegrahm Expeditions Travel Resources

Welcome to the Zegrahm Expeditions resources page! Here you will find inspiration for your next adventure and information from your last adventure, produced by our field leaders, Seattle office staff, and contributing writers. From blog posts and field reports (daily recaps of a past expeditions with images) to photo galleries and videos, explore your world from our perspective.

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India, Sri Lanka & the Maldives
August 27, 2015
Blog Post

Exotic figures striking Kathakali poses grace the famous frescoes of Kochi’s Mattancherry Palace, and appear among the stone carvings in Kerala’s many temples, as well. Indeed, colorful Kathakali images adorn everything from travel posters and guidebooks to T-shirts and coffee mugs, and have become the de-factor symbol of this southwest Indian state.

One of the world’s oldest theater forms, Kathakali—which translates to “story-play”—is rooted in Hindu mythology, particularly...

Antarctica, South Georgia & the Falkland Islands
June 12, 2015
Blog Post

For 25 years, we have taken inquisitive travelers to the ends of the Earth and 2015 is no different. We’re thrilled to be returning to both the Far North and the Far South this year, exploring two true polar extremes.

Departing September 4, our Northwest Passage expedition explores western Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. You’...

June 11, 2015
Blog Post

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama once proclaimed, “In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” Such sentiment earned a Nobel Peace Prize for Tibet’s spiritual leader and sustained hope for his homeland’s future.

The Tibetan Plateau’s mystical past has certainly been marred by struggle. Bounded by the Himalaya mountain range, the “Roof of the World” was first unified around 600 CE under the rule of Namri Songtsan, king of the Yarlung Dynasty; some 40 years...

What is the Silk Road?
June 3, 2015
Blog Post

The Silk Road—most of us have heard of it, and many of us can explain where it was located and what it was used for. But often, people are left wondering, ‘What is the Silk Road?’ Here are five intriguing facts that will help you understand the history of this legendary route. Going on our 18-day Silk Road expedition, which...

June 1, 2015
Blog Post

As Christianity spread throughout Northern Europe during the Middle Ages, those who refused to believe the new dogma were driven underground. Pagans across Scandinavia secretly held onto their ancient Norse myths—particularly those of Thor, the god of thunder, noble warrior, and divine protector. Devotees of this cult of Thor would go on to become the most notorious gang of marauders the world has ever known.

While the Vikings—a Scandinavian term for “pirate,” which has Norse roots—...

Bhutan
June 1, 2015
Blog Post

While visiting Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, the esteemed Indio-Anglian author and journalist Khushwant Singh heard numerous references to what he called “a wandering ascetic who combines preaching religion with sex and liquor.” This “Divine Madman” was, as Singh recounts in his book, The Freethinker’s Prayer Book: And Some Words to Live By, the “most unconventional holy man the world has ever known.”

To be fair, Lama Drukpa Kunley (1455-1529) comes from a long line of historic...

Baffin Island
June 1, 2015
Blog Post

Mariner John Cabot was living in Spain at the time Columbus returned from his first voyage, unsuccessful in his quest to find a new route to the Far East. In an effort to one-up his fellow Italian, Cabot proposed a radical idea—instead of a second voyage to what would be the future Americas, he would sail a northerly route to Asia, where the longitudes were closer.

So began the long list of intrepid explorers who would set out in search of the Northwest Passage. It was not Spain,...

Cruising the Northwest Passage
June 1, 2015
Blog Post

At the end of Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein, the monster drifts away on an ice flow near the North Pole. In the real world, only a few people have the opportunity to visit one of the last frontiers of our planet.

Towering crystalline castles break off from the many glaciers of that “Mother of Ice” Greenland, whose hundreds of children drift south every year into the Atlantic Ocean. Fantastic curtains of shifting bands of color across the night sky, loudly trumpeting...

Persepolis, Iran
May 29, 2015
Blog Post

In 1931 while on commission for the University of Chicago, professor Ernst Herzfeld led an archaeological expedition about 525 miles south of Iran’s present-day capital, Teheran. There he would uncover a glorious palace complex lying at the foot of Kouh-e Rahmat, the “Mountain of Mercy.”

The ancient Persian capital of Parsa—better known by its Greek name, Persepolis—was shown little mercy by Alexander the Great, who conquered and looted the complex in 330 BC. Plutarch wrote of great...

Children's Peace Monument, Hiroshima
May 29, 2015
Blog Post

Back in 1915, Hiroshima’s governing assembly opened an exhibition hall along the eastern banks of the Motoyasu River. The three-story brick building—crowned by a copper-covered dome that stood some 80 feet high—was used to highlight the prefecture’s various commercial enterprises. Just 30 years later, the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall would encapsulate something far more nefarious.

At 8:15AM on August 6, 1945, a B-29 Superfortress aircraft named the Enola Gay...

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