Thursday, 26 June 2014

End of a journey, Dubai then the green green grass of home!

After our little foray into Athens and the Greek Islands, it is time to fly to Dubai for a few days, to have our desert adventure, city tour and to celebrate another birthday. Birthdays do seem to be coming a lot quicker these days. The flight from Athens to Dubai took 4 hours, we arrived late evening, checked into our hotel and was ready after a good nights sleep for the next day to sightsee. You can imagine how delighted I was to find a 24 hour department store, within walking distance of our hotel. First task, shopping to get some gifts for the family, managed to do a little shopping whilst travelling, but also mindful of what we had to lug around for 6 weeks.
My first purchase a camel, I know a souvenir, but what the heck if you cannot buy fabric you may as well get something useless!.
Shopping is not DH favourite time, but as I was on a mission, what could he do......but follow.
In the afternoon was our desert safari, apparently, this is a popular tourist attraction. we were picked up at 4 pm, did I. Mention that it was 40 degrees plus.
Proceeded to drive out to the desert and do burn outs on the sand dunes, not sure who's idea this was, but here goes, not for the faint hearted or if you have a back injury. First stop was a pith stop ( loo break) and to let air out of the tyres, before driving over the sand 

All the 4 wheel drives involved in the sand duning.
Sunset in the desert, did I mention the heat!!! Now cooling to 38 degrees!
After the sand dunes were shattered, we were then ferried to our dinner in a Bedouin.
On offer were camel rides, quad bikes and henna tattoos.
As my back was slightly tender after the sand duning, I declined the camel and quad bike ride.
Of course always up for a henna tattoo, DH also got one surprise, surprise !!

During dinner we were also entertained by a belly dancer and a Tamuoro dancer.

We were picked up the next morning for our city tour. First stop was Dubai Creek and the ever expanding skyline of downtown Dubai. Al Seef marina.

On this tour we also had the opportunity to visit the Dubai museum, located in an old fort, this museum depicted the past and now future of Dubai, a delight to visit.

As the most of the museum is located underground, you had to walk down a circular path.
Some of the displays, describing dress, culture and religion.

Display of some early jewellery worn by the women.
Bodies entombed and laid in a fetal position.

In Dubai there is a mosque located every 500 metres.
Below is the Burj Al Arab, we did not enter this building.
Atlantis the Palm, lovely hotel along the beachfront.
Downtown Dubai, a new twisted building being built.
Burj Khalifa, an amazing building with 162 floors, we reached the top in 15 seconds. Dined on the 122nd floor for my birthday.
Dubai Mall, ice rink, waterfalls and aquariums, great shopping as well.

Part of the old Dubai mall.

Aquarium in Dubai Mall.
And a very Happy Birthday to me on the 24th June.
This post has been delayed due to fatigue and trying to recover from jetlag, after  6 days at home finally sleeping through the night, now to get to task and dedicate some energy to our inaugural quilt show in September.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Greek island's and wind down with some pampering

After saying goodbye to Turkey, we are on our way to Greece, the flight took 1 hr and 15 mins to fly from  Istanbul to Athens. We transferred to our hotel, and was delighted to have a wonderful view of  the Acropolis which is situated on top of a hill. This was my first view of the Acropolis, although still not sure and to be reassured that it was the Acropolis, had to ask the question" is that the Acropolis?... Yes was the curt reply. We are so close and within walking distance 1.2 KM's. After checking into our hotel, we had rain, lightning and thunder, so Athens exploration was delayed until after we return from our Greek cruise.
This is a close up shot of the Acropolis.
The view from our hotel.
Our hotel is centrally located to the tourist area and displays some nice art works.
Icons of Greece.

The next day saw us leave our hotel and board our cruise ship for some R & R, delighted to discover we were allocated our grand suite, which had a balcony and our own steward" Ferdinand" just what we needed after 2 hectic tours.
Our cabin in the Grand Suites.
DH on our balcony
A nice pool area.
I feel so spoilt!!!
 Our first port of call was the island of Mykonos.
Quite charming with its own beach, no sand, all pebble beach.

Could not resist any longer had to buy a smaller version of Mary icon.
More pic 's of Mykonos 
The white buildings with blue, came around in the last century when cholera was a plague and all the residents in Greece had to whitewash their houses! blue doors, domes! represent the Greece flag.
Note the old windmills, these are storage for grain. I have to do these shops!!!!!
Small private Catholic Churches 
Small sailing vessel just near the beach.
After Mykonos we sailed to Kusadsi (Turkey) and Patmos, where we had to take a tender boat to shore.
Kusadsi is close to Ephesus and as we had already toured Ephesus we chose to explore the town.
Patmos in the afternoon.
View of Patmos from the ship.
Wednesday we docked in Rhodes, known as the Island of roses, " Citadel of Knights"
Rhodes is enclosed within these walls that circle to city.
Ruins within Rhodes 
Typical scene in Greece.
DH had to sample the local beer, Mythos! 1 litre!, my fault I ordered it for him! was asked large beer! reply.. yes and this is what you get.
Next stop Crete, not much in Crete, primarily an industrial port. Heraklion
In the afternoon we toured Santorini, access to Santorini was also by tender boats. Below a view from the Monastery of prophet Llias.
View overlooking the village "Oia"
Mamma Mia was not filmed in this village the filming took place in the village of Skiathos.
More windmills.
We visited the most gorgeous church in Santorini 
One of the many paintings on the ceiling.

Goodbye Santorini.
Hello Athens!
The audio arena in the Acropolis, still being used today, great acoustics.
Temple of Ifestos.
Temple of Athinos
Restoration work of the Parthenon
Many small churches, this one is near the Plaka.
Some street art near the flea market.
Restoration work on the Parthenon.
Goodbye. Greece, hello Dubai.