Ibn Battuta set out for the city of Mecca and expected to be gone for a little over two years, maybe three if he took his time. He had no way of knowing that he would not see his home city or town for another 24 years. In that time, he will have traveled almost the entirety of the Islamic world, gone for over 75,000 miles, and write a travelogue that scholars still refer to understand the world of the 15th century. He's also a bit of a narc.
Ibn Battuta had finished the hajj but decided that since he was already in the area... why not take a small trip to India? And since he was going to India, he might as well make some side trips along the way! We recount Battuta's travels along the east coast of Africa, the Mongol conquered lands off the Arabian peninsula and some of the stranger sights that he wrote about in his book!
Ibn Battuta meets Uzbeg Khan and finally makes his way to India! And at first, things seem fantastic. Ibn Battuta is showered with gifts and that's even before he has a job. But soon he'll find out why Muhammad Bin Tughlaq is known in some circles as The Mad Sultan.
After spending 9 days under house arrest and awaiting execution, Ibn Battuta was sure that his time had come. But fortunately, when he was finally called, the sultan greeted him like an old friend. Ibn Battuta was lucky, but he knew he had to escape Delhi. And so began the ups and downs of Ibn Battuta's fortune.
Having fled India to China, Ibn Battuta found that China's cultures and customs were too different for his comfort. But there was no mad sultan here, and he settled into a small routine for a while. It wouldn't be long before Ibn Battuta was back on the road, fleeing a new foe. This one microscopic in size but larger than anything he has yet to face: the Black Plague.
Ibn Fadlan might not be as popular or as well-traveled as Ibn Battuta, but his travels took him north where he ran into some of the strangest people he had ever met. The Vikings. Ibn Fadlan fawned over the impressive Rus Vikings, but was also disgusted by their habits. But most importantly, he wrote down all of his observations, including a Viking funeral.