Well the weather has at last turned hotter… For the last three days it’s been up in the 80’s….
Due to the scheduling of my classes (which has been chopped and changed so much) I was able to actually get out on deck in the daytime for the first time in the three weeks I’ve been on here. So the tan is at last being worked on. Now however they have changed my times again so… that plan has been scuppered!
Oman was great… the people were lovely and friendly… none of the frantic, manic persistent forceful hassling that we got in Egypt! Wandering through souk’s (markets) was pleasant and I actually bought a few things because of that fact. I escorted a tour in Salalah (or as our Captain called it Salalalalalaland) we went to a ‘picnic spot’ and fort/palace ruins before going to two souks and then a museum. The picnic spot was lovely situated at the foot of a mountain range (pointy hills really) around a natural spring and I got a little wildlife fix there with birds and fish.. and, of course, en route the free-ranging imperious camels with total disdain for all traffic. The fort/palace ruins was supposedly used by the Queen of Sheba! I didn’t get to look round the first souk as some passengers on another coach asked me to check their coach out, as they had no escort and they had some problems they needed taking note of and witnessing. At the museum I wandered off along a wadi to watch herons and little dabchicks and saw a harrier swoop through!
Dubai was… well there’s money there… I think that sums it up. Big BIG hotels, we passed one built like a pyramid complete with huge statues and gold hieroglyphs on the surrounding walls. We went to a Mall… not the biggest but much bigger than any mall I've been in. Inside the mall there were lots of water features and marble flooring, sparkling lights and all very glam and decadent. One mall even had a huge ski slope built into it - though I didn't actually see that one... just heard about it from passengers and crew who did. There's lots of road building and even the underpasses and flyovers were decorated and architectural not just concrete coloumns!
Mumbai I got off with two other ladies on ship (one passenger, one other guest lecturer) and we went shopping in local shops away from the touristy ones! It took some persuading of our taxi driver that this is what we wanted to do. Great fun.. also got a quick few photo’s at the Gateway of India.. the archway through which all foreigners arriving by sea to India used to pass through… so they say.
In Cochin I stayed on ship… had appointment at ship's hairdressers (tis cheaper on port days)… and had no-one to go ashore with. So sat up on aft end top deck and sunbathed and watched, photo’d and sketched the kites that had a nest in one of the dockside light stands that was conveniently close to the ship.
Now on our way to Phuket……