Abu 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!”
Dubai has more to offer than I ever imagined. While I expected the parade of architectural marvels competing as if in a skyscraper beauty contest, the dancing fountains, edgy art and old world alleys were just a few of the surprises Dubai held in store. Continue reading “Dubai | Two Days of to Dos”
Something old, something new, something borrowed (although nothing blue) could sum up the food scene in Dubai. During our three day visit, we enjoyed traditional Emirati meals, outstanding Thai and Indian food, and a veritable mash-up of western and eastern cuisines. Continue reading “Foodie Friday | Old and New Dubai”
Oman exemplifies “good things come in small packages.” We only visited the northern part of the country and still experienced every kind of landscape. For our last few days we left the mountains for the desert and then the sea. Continue reading “Oman | the Desert and the Sea”
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”
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 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”
Jebel Shams and Al Hajar Mountain Range
I had heard that the mountains of Oman were majestic and had vague knowledge of its “Grand Canyon,” but nothing prepared me for the reality. Continue reading “Oman | Heading for the Hills part I”
From the majestic mountains to to beautiful beaches, with history and culture to boot: Muscat is a must-see city . Click to read more. Continue reading Oman | Muscat Love
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.
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”