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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai April 22nd 2019

Sunday 21 Apr 19 - Brisbane Testing the system to make sure the blog works on my Netbook computer that I am taking with me. Day of departure. Just about packed and a slow day of waiting ahead until we head to the airport at about 11pm tonight. Our flight departs at 2:35am tomorrow morning bound initially for Singapore and then to Dubai where we will arrive around 1pm tomorrow. The two legs of the flights are around 7.5 hours each and we have a 1.5 hour layover in Singapore. More once we get underway. Mon 22 Apr 19 - Departing Brisbane - 01:00hrs The departure from the unit (11:30pm) and the check in at the airport have gone well. Uber driver was very pleasant - but a lot more expensive coming from Indooroopilly than from ... read more
Sarlat La Caneda
Dubai
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Abu Dhabi April 21st 2019

It's been a long few months, and I'll go into some of my Saudi Arabia travels in a future blog, but for the moment, I will go into a much needed weekend of fun, rest and friends. Fortunately, at the last minute, our company gave us Sunday off for Easter, so I could justify spending two nights in a nice hotel in Abu Dhabi without having to go to work the next day. This was instigated by a former coworker of mine from Ventura who was coming to put on a workshop this week and I told her I would show her around over the weekend. So, I booked a room at a hotel near to hers that was super nice and resort-y. I was so looking forward to the weekend and even booked a massage ... read more
the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Emirates Palace
Grand Mosque

Middle East » Israel » Haifa District » Haifa April 9th 2019

we left haifa, israel yesterday evening and today we are cruising the mediterranean sea on our way to cadiz, spain. i am writing this blog from my cabin and the sea is quite choppy so hopefully i will get through it before feeling the effects of the white caps. we will be 4 days at sea now arriving in cadiz on the 13th. thank you to my arcadia friend vera from vancouver! i knew i could rely on her expertise to know what type of birds they were in my last blog. they are called northern gannets. a very stream lined bird that use their power to plunge dive for fish. i did see a few diving into the sea. after leaving muscat, oman we were 5 days at sea before reaching port suez, the start ... read more
oil rig in red sea
entering suez canal

Middle East » Cyprus » Limassol April 5th 2019

Limassol 4th April Our first visit to Cyprus and the city of Limassol, Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean and lies tucked away in the North East corner. The history of Cyprus goes way back with Richard the Lionheart seizing the island on the way to the Holy Land to do battle with Saladin. When he left to continue the Crusade he sold the island to the Knights Templar. Limassol is a city on the southern coast of Cyprus. It’s known for the centuries-old Limassol Castle, home to the Cyprus Medieval Museum and its collection of pottery and tombstones. On the seafront is the Sculpture Park, with sculptures by Cypriot, Greek and international artists. To the northeast is the Limassol Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts from the Neolithic to the Roman periods. As always ... read more
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Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah April 3rd 2019

today the arcadia is leaving the gulf of aden and heading into the red sea. for the past few nights we have been traveling at top speeds of 21 knots making sure to outrun pirate ships. these pirates are not like jack sparrow, they are from somalia. we all had to partake in an anti-piracy drill. everyone with outside cabins had to go into their corridor and sit on the floor away from their cabin door. and if you had an inside cabin they were to stay inside with the door locked. it was a chance to see who all of your neighbours are. we have had armed guards on board and are being escorted by the royal navy. at dusk the promenade deck is closed until dawn with the guards keeping watch. they have rigged ... read more
en route to mumbai
mumbai

Middle East » Oman » Muscat » Muttrah April 3rd 2019

i forgot to add these photos to today's blog. if anyone knows what they are please let me know! susan :)... read more


As recently published in the April 1, 2019 edition of Footprints - The Newsletter of the Howard County Striders submitted by Larry Stern, Strider UAE Chief Correspondent Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) is the northern most emirates in the UAE. Each winter in the month of February, runners from all around gather for its annual half marathon. This year, over 2500 runners toed the line in what is touted as “the fastest half marathon in the world”. I was one of these runners taking on a course that from an aerial view appears to be right out of the 90s adventure puzzle computer game of Myst. Run on Al Marjan Island in RAK, this series of 4 connected man-made islands extends 4.5 kilometers (Everything is metric in this country and it’s hard to get used to) into ... read more
Course

Middle East » Jordan » South » Aqaba April 2nd 2019

April 1st Aqaba After 3 sea days its nice to get feet back on terra firma. We came to Jordan and in particular Petra in 2014 (you’ll have to go back and read the blog) and it is still the main tourist attraction when you come to Jordan. As you arrive at the berth, you have four countries visible from the ship. Egypt is on your port side (left), Israel to the front, Jordan on the starboard (right) and behind you is Saudi Arabia. Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the largest and most populous city on the Gulf of Aqaba. Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy , through the vibrant trade and tourism sectors. It is Jordans winter resort on the Red Sea and as we ... read more
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Middle East » Oman » Dhofar March 30th 2019

Queen Mary 2 and cruising to Salalah Great transfer to QM2 and looking forward to 3 days at sea before berthing in Salalah. QM2 has been remastered since our last cruise on her in 2015. So what has changed, exploring shows not a lot. To me she is still imbalanced with the Queens room are the rear of the ship and access is still up and down. They’ve created a lovely Carinthia lounge which used to be the Winter Gardens, a very underused space but now a more airy area!!! So apart from extra cabins on and extra kennels, nothing much has changed, general decor and titivation!! Salalah is a southern city in the Sultanate of Oman, the capital of the Dhofar region I worked here in 1977, more in Muscat but there was a dairy ... read more
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Middle East » Saudi Arabia » Khobar March 30th 2019

Being assigned to work in a remote area where you can only see vast deserts and camels makes someone a stranger when the latter had a chance to visit the city. A lot has changed since I've visited this place. The developments in this area have made it more attractive to locals, tourists and expat like me. A nice sea view, lots of green and breezy weather compared to our work site which is dry and barren. Al-Khobar is a big city, and one of the cleanest and neatest with huge shopping malls, hotels, wide streets, and high-rise buildings. Btw, Al-Khobar has become the first city in the MENA region to benefit from a pilot project on the fifth-generation wireless network, or 5G network. Come now and visit Al-Khobar!... read more
Nice place to sit
Neat and clean
Nice to walk around




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