Australia and the Other Side travel blog

Dubai from the Cruise Ship Docks

Dilemma in the Souk - Which should we get ?

How about some Fresh Spices !

Interesting Flower Vase

1st Semi-Private School in Dubai - now a museum

The School's Courtyard

The Inquiring Student

In the Musica Dining Room

Toasting the Journey

Rosemary & George at the Cruise Ship Terminal in Abu Dhabi

Al Bahar Towers (w/ 100's of sunscreens !) in Abu Dhabi

Searching for birds

The Sultan's Palace - The whole thing you see !

Interesting group of buildings

Apple advertising in Abu Dhabi

Champagne at Sunset

I wonder how many channels they get ?

Bi-Lingual Advertising

Artistic Street Lamps

That Big Incense Burner Again

The Sultan's Seal

Standing Outside the Al Alam Palace in Muscat

With our driver/guide to Wadi Abayeen

Muscat and the Surrounding Mountains

This could be Arizona

Well, maybe not !

The Road to the Wadi Abayeen

I'm sure glad we had 4WD

At the Oasis

The Water was Delightful - Didn't drink it, but loved the swim...

The Green Surrounded by the Brown

Rosemary, George, Lidia & I spent a day exploring Dubai before departing on our cruise to Venice, Italy. As Lidia & I had seen much of Dubai the previous stay there, R & G (saves a few key strokes !) did some exploring on their own. We did explore together, especially the Souks (marketplaces), and visited the first semi-private school in Dubai. George was sent to detention for asking too many questions ! We did buy some fresh saffron, which would cost a fortune back home; and it was so fragrant & softly moist with vivid color.

After the overnight cruise to Abu Dhabi, we explored separately & together the next day. Cocktails beach side at the Emirates Palace Hotel was an afternoon delight. We also hired a taxi driver and we four could explore more of the city together, and go directly to where we wanted. Saw more interesting architecture, though the one that really stood out was the Al Bahar Towers. These twin buildings are unique in that they each have 100's of computer-controlled sun-screens that function like umbrellas; quite innovative.

Next port of call was Muscat, and we re-visited the Al Alam Palace and spent time wandering the souks. The following day there were excursions to the Wadi Abayeen; an oasis about 2 hours from Muscat. The excursion prices offered by the cruise ship were too expensive, were on larger buses, and probably, invariably, included shopping. So, we bargained with the collections of hawkers awaiting the ship's exiting passengers. After walking away from and re-negotiating with one fella a few times we settled on a personal tour in a four wheel drive (4WD) comfortable new Jeep; leather interior, AC, etc. As it turned out, those who left on big buses had to transfer to 4WD vehicles in order to actually get to the Wadi/Oasis - a whole nother logistic pain which I'm gald we avoided. We drove there directly, and were able to enjoy the oasis before the hoards arrived. It was a luxuriant green sweet smelling garden in the middle of brown rocky dry nowhere. Swimming in the clear cool fresh water was a tactile delight.

It was a real pleasure to re-visit the three cities with dear friends R & G as they explored them for the first time.

Back to the Musica for 5 days at sea as we proceed around the Arabian Peninsula, up the Red Sea, and into the Gulf of Aqaba.

In order for the Trip Journal Map to 'simulate' the water route I take liberties with a couple 'location' sites to better duplicate the actual ship route. The Journal Map wants to/insists on drawing travel in straight lines.

Ciao for now

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