I doubt Georgia would have been on my holiday radar from the UK, but that was then and this is now. The world map looks different from Dubai and the cheap flight schedules put Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, within easy reach. Georgia lies to the south of Russia, where Eastern Europe meets Asia and the flying time is only three hours from Dubai. (more…)
Our final stop is Tehran, Iran’s capital city, a sprawling metropolis of eight million people where we hope to glimpse a little of the modern Iranian lifestyle. Our friends Saeid, Rita and their dear little boy Sherwin are our guides. Aged four, Sherwin is a fan of the children’s characters Topsy and Tim and is delighted to meet a real-life Tim. That makes me Topsy. Even though we don’t seem to behave much like the story book people, he seems happy enough to share his Mum and Dad with us for a couple of days.
The 300-mile journey north to Isfahan takes at least five hours by road so we make an early appearance at Shiraz bus station, with a helpful taxi driver in tow to make sure we head off in the right direction. Isfahan is the ancient former capital of Persia, renowned for its historic sites, art and architecture. (more…)
‘Yeah, it was really good fun.’ I quote Tim, the erstwhile ‘non-actor’ among us, after making his highly effective stage debut in Dubai at the biggest ten-minute play festival in the world. Turns out he’d love to do it all over again. Just one of the unexpectedly wonderful things that came out of writing, directing and performing at this year’s Short +Sweet Festival of Theatre. (more…)
It seemed as if it would never happen but finally – after all the official documents were in order – a six-night stay in Iran became a reality. Tim’s been travelling from Dubai to Tehran for work quite regularly but this was our opportunity for a trip together. With a seven-day visa, we only had a couple of days in each city to access the history, heritage, beauty and cultural achievements of this remarkable country. No problem. They are everywhere! (more…)
It’s hard to believe our second and last Christmas in Dubai is fast approaching but the calendar doesn’t lie. A momentous decision has been made and so far, no regrets. Lunch on Christmas Day will be a home-cooked affair and a turkey, currently enjoying an organic life on a farm somewhere in Tipperary, is destined for our table in the UAE. (more…)
I wake up to the news that against all predictions, His Donald Trumpness – the ‘joke’ candidate is the new US president elect. Television pictures show that even Mr Trump seems slightly startled by the new reality. Let’s not forget that before the vote he had his sights set on exposing a Hillary Clinton ‘rigged’ win, but enough of him. There’s something else that is leaving me breathless with disbelief and causing my legs to fly out at unusual angles to boot. Strictly Come Dancing? Nope. It’s a dip in the Dead Sea.
I feel like I’ve been hibernating indoors for the past few months but now that the constant, searing heat and humidity is abating I’m venturing out of my air-conditioned protective shell again. Of course, my really sensible friends high tail it out of Dubai when the heat is on and only return when the worst is over, but staying put for most of it has been an interesting challenge.
A couple of writing projects have kept me busy indoors, and I’ve been motivated by the thought that having a block of time to really focus is precious and will soon be gone. Dubai is a ‘feast or famine’ sort place. There can be nothing much entertainment-wise going on for weeks and then everything seems to suddenly ramp up and special events, invitations, recommendations and new attractions all come along at once to fill the spare time. (more…)
Ask anyone living in Dubai for suggestions on places to visit in Oman and they will probably list one of three destinations.
The capital city of Muscat is reputedly a must-see, with its fabulous Souk and impressive historic architecture. It’s on our list. Or they might mention Khasab in the Musandam region, a mountaneous peninsula with a jagged coastline, within driving distance from Dubai. We enjoyed dolphin spotting on board a traditional dhow there so much we’ve done it twice. Those really in the know will also mention Salalah, the capital city of southern Oman’s Dhofar province, a two-hour flight away. (more…)