Dubai. The entire city is a man-made miracle. Its a fine example of what great vision, honest leadership and innovative business models can build. Its beautiful, clean and safe as any city can possibly be. And we’re sad to leave!
We had our own challenges moving in and out. But the journey in between was full of memories. I can’t express what it means to arrive in a new country and find an old friend Continue reading The sun sets on Dubai. Adios!
Long weekends are hard to find in the UAE. And with the weather getting better for a change, it was just the right time for camping. As amateurs, Balan & I picked up the entire kit from Lulu and packed it in the trunk. Yes, the camping list is planned for another post.
After a lazy start, we set on the road to Khasab via Ras Al Khaimah. We got a bit lost and instead landed on the road to Jabal Jais – the highest mountain in the UAE. It’s a 30 min detour that goes uphill through rocky mountains and serves a view from the not-so-high summit.
We headed back to RAK to join the coastal road and stopped by at a local bakery for a quick bite. The freshly baked pizza & assorted fatayer were just delectable – only to release that the delivery boy had baked them in absence of the chef 😉
Next stop was the border. On the UAE side, we had to park to get exit stamps. This is where they verify that the visa is eligible for visa-on-arrival in Oman. There’s an exit fee of 35Dh per head, only accepted via the e-Dirham card. So if you have one, carry it along. We were given a slip mentioning the number of people & vehicle number which we had to give at the UAE border exit.
We stopped again in about 100m at the Omani border to get our visas. Lucky for us, there were no queues. The visa fee of OMR 5 (~50Dh) is not accepted in Riyals, so we paid by card. A 30 day permit was stamped in exchange for the fee and a small form. Back in the car, Omani customs took a quick peep in the boot and let us go. 5 minutes in to Oman and the views were heavenly. We were just in time for sunset.
We kept driving on the coastal road for the next 40 kms and kept finding camping spots that we’d marked on GPS. We thought Continue reading Camping trip from Dubai to Musandam, Oman
We happened to learn about the Al Ain air championships at a restaurant in MoE. I got Aditi & Bijon to agree to going, and we all loved it. Here are a few shots from the event. For more, follow me on Instagram
Saudi Hawks’ paint a heart in the sky as a tribute to the ladies at the Al Ain Air Championship on 18-Dec
After a saddening experience in Izmir, we were back in Istanbul for the last day of our Turkey trip. Weather was once again not reliable, but we still headed to Princes’ Islands after breakfast.
We took the cheapest ferry to Princes’ Islands for 6TL one way.
On the train from Selcuk, I was reading about how close Greece was to Izmir. With daily coast-to-coast ferries, I regretted not planning a trip despite of a valid Schengen visa. On arriving, we were all extremely hungry and headed to a cafe on the main street connecting Basmane station with the coast.
We noticed an unusual transition in the anthropological scene. Instead of an European influence, we noticed more Arabic features. We saw garment stores selling life jackets & tubes. Some suspicious men were walking in and out of the cafe. In a flash second, all dots connected in my head. Izmir was the starting point for refugee death boats headed to the Greek coast. The unraveling of facts and accompanying images only saddened us.
We woke up in the morning to go around the city, Continue reading Day 7: Saddened by Izmir’s refugee death boats
Our bus from Pammukale took us straight to our seaport hotel in Kusadasi. The view from the room was to die for. But the room itself seemed to have been designed for the 60’s; no one had imagined there would be personal devices that would need additional electric points in the room.
We negotiated with Ondur the taxi driver, to drive us to Virgin Mary, Euphesus and drop us at Selcuk railway station – for 120TL.
From Kayseri, we got off the bus near Pammukale and were driven to the city on a free feeder bus. It later turned out that this was an agent selling his own local services. We teamed up with Balan & Kavita to rent a car and head straight to Aphrodisias.
We headed back to Pammukale to visit the world heritage site of Hierapolis.