UAE | Abu Dhabi Do!

Sheikh Zayed Mosque Abu DhabiAbu Dhabi is an easy day trip from Dubai if you cannot spend a night or two in the emirate. There are fabulous hotels and plenty to do if time permits. We opted not to change hotels and avoid packing, unpacking, repacking…so left Dubai at 9:30 a.m. and arrived at the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in a little over an hour.  Continue reading “UAE | Abu Dhabi Do!”

Foodie Friday | More than Dates in Oman

No one can not live on dates alone, although the intrepid Bedu and other explorers often subsisted largely on dates for long periods of time when traversing the desert. In Arabian Sands, Wilfred Thesiger’s epic account of five years traversing the wilds, he confesses to hoping he never sees another date and certainly could never eat one.

Our local guide told us there are five items in every Omani household: Omani coffee, dates, fish, Halwa and lemons.  During our week there, these foods were central to our days, too. Continue reading “Foodie Friday | More than Dates in Oman”

Oman | Heading for the Hills part II

Jebel Akhdar and surrounding area

I love mountains. When I am not traveling, I spend my time surrounded by and exploring the Tetons. My first exposure to the Al Hajar mountains blew my mind (Oman | Heading for the Hills part I) but I had no idea what still lay in store. Continue reading “Oman | Heading for the Hills part II”

Oman | Great Day Trips from Muscat

Oman merits at least a week of your vacation time. However, that is not always possible. Even a visit of a few days provides opportunities to explore some of the historical villages and forts within an easy drive of Muscat. For the most part, the main roads are excellent and marked in Arabic and English. If you only have one day, then I would recommend Nizwa, Bahla and Jabrin. If possible, include a visit  to the lovely hillside town of Misfah. Continue reading “Oman | Great Day Trips from Muscat”

Foodie Friday | Oman

Dates, Glorious Dates

Until I started traveling in the Middle East and North Africa,  I had no appreciation for dates (the fruit, that is). The lone boxes purchased to make Christmas cookies often languished well beyond their “sell by” date. Better late than never: I am now a convert.

dsc_8960
These merchants invited my friend and I to share a cup of Omani Coffee and dates

Omanis consume dates from sun up to sunrise with the average person eating almost 1/2 pound a day. Dates are an excellent source of protein, vitamins and mineral and their high sugar content (40–80 percent) protects them against bacterial contamination and means they can be stored for years.
Continue reading “Foodie Friday | Oman”