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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 » United Arab Emirates » Dubai April 1st 2019

The Burj Khalifa is currently the world’s tallest building at over 800 metres. We too the brave step to firstly spend money and then to soar to level 148 for a sunset view over Dubai. Unfortunately the sunset was not so good. We thought we would watch the dancing fountains at 6.00 pm. That did not eventuate, so headed to floors 125, then 124 for exit. Proceeded down the lift and as we reached ground we noted the dancing fountain show was on. Raced along corridors passed the photographer and raced outside, only to be met by an influx of people coming back from the dancing fountains.... 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

Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 25th 2019

Dubai 23rd & 24th March Well its a hard life. Our second day in Dubai (at leisure) gave us time to explore the QE2 more with an afternoon tour (more Structured) to give an insight to what they are going to preserve and what to modernise. It’s a busy ship, I know its a hotel but to us walking up the gangways, you do come on board. Today there were conferences, a birthday party (Paddington themed) for a 2 year old (no expense spared) and business meetings. This evening we were in the Queens Grill for a 5 course dining experience, and it didn’t disappoint. From the Amuse Bouche, Soup (potato & leek), Fish (Sea Bass, curry butternut, samosa, Coriander crusted potato & pickled shallots), a main of Angus Beef Tenderloin (with braised beef cheek, a ... read more
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Middle East » United Arab Emirates » Dubai March 23rd 2019

Saturday 23rd March I now realise why we don’t like flying. Ok, the initial boarding at Birmingham was tolerable, the flight tolerable but when we landed at Dubai so did 22 other flights within 30 to 40 mins and that caused chaos in passport control and immigration. Our accommodation looked good as we circled waiting to land, the Queen Elizabeth 2 looking majestic in Port Rashid lit by a watery morning sun. She looked to all intent and purposes ready to set sail but sadly her cruising days are long gone but from a distance she was looking good. This holiday is to reacquaint us with Queen Elizabeth 2, the first ship we ever cruised on and we jumped at the chance to stay on her when the package was announced a few months ago. We ... read more
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Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra March 21st 2019

We arrived at Petra with apprehension that it would rain. The walk in from the entry gate took us past many Nabatean monuments built more than 2000 years ago. The Nabateans buried theIr dead in intricate tombs that were cut out of the mountainsides. Petra came under lots of other influences including Roman and Byzantine before being deserted following an earthquake and changing trade routes. The Siq, the narrow gorge that leads visitors into Petra, resulted from a natural splitting of the mountain. Originally there was a triumphal arch spanning the entrance to it. We walked along the cobblestone paths dodging horse drawn carriages, camels and donkeys and many other tourists. The entrance to the Treasury reveals Petra’s most impressive facade. It is 40 metres high and decorated with Corinthian capitals, friezes and figure. It is ... read more
Ride rather than walk
The Siq
Gutters for water




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