Sunday, September 23, 2007

Al Hamra Fort Hotel and Beach Resort


We've just returned from a delightful stay at Al Hamra Resort near Ras Al Khaimah at the north-eastern tip of the UAE. We took the three hour drive up after work on Thursday evening (our Friday) and stayed overnight Thursday and Friday nights with six other friends.

After settling in Thursday evening we had a lovely dinner at an Italian restaurant, one of several restaurants at the resort. After dinner we returned to one of our friend's rooms for a drink and chat. Most of us were tired (helped no doubt by the wine), so we retired around 11:30 pm.

In the morning Chris and I woke up early and sat outside our room, had a cup of coffee and listened to music from her iPod ... Roy Orbison's "California Blue" and a few others of Celine Dion and John Farnham, the names of which I can't recall. I tried to take some photos of the wildlife, but the high humidity fogged my lens and made it impossible at that time of the day. Later I was able to take some shots as evidenced by the photos at left.

During the day we hit the beach for a swim and later in the day friend Michael and I went for a tour of the establishment to look at the "architecture" ... beautiful shapes and colours. We found a nice spot on a balcony where we had a couple of German ales while we watched a parade of scantily clad, lovely ladies (and just one or two stunners) walking to and from the beach. It was a very pleasant way to fill in an hour or two given the scarcity of visible female skin at Al Ain.

Later the seven of us went to another restaurant where we wined and dined and sang with a Phillipino singer who had a very nice voice and sang a lot of old songs from the 60s and 70s. While I can't remember the 60s, (I had to say that!) most of us remembered the songs and were able to make a positive contribution. After dinner we went to the Malibu Nighclub Disco for a dance or two and returned to our rooms at a suitably late hour after getting our daily exercise jiving and generally romping about the dance floor. Chris and I would have stayed longer, but the cigarette smoke drove us out. Some of our friends danced on.

After a drawn out, social breakfast, several of our group went swimming, I took several photographs, we packed, paid our bill and departed shortly after midday. We arrived back at Al Ain around 3:00 pm and although we had a totally enjoyable weekend, were pleased to escape the high humidity of the coast.

Best wishes

for Robin and Christina

PS: Double click on the photos to get a better view.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Ramadan and Great Photos


In muslim countries such as the United Arab Emirates the Holy Season of Ramadan has commenced. During the four weeks of Ramadan, muslims who follow the traditions of Islam fast from sunup until sunset ... no water or food of any kind. After sundown, they then feast. The shops are absolutely chock full of foods and food cooking implements ... some very large pots and pans to accommodate the large Arabian families.

At the college our day is condensed into a six hour day and many of our students turn up tired from eating and drinking all night and not sleeping. But we still endeavour to ensure learning occurs, it's just a bit slower than usual.

On a different note, while at Salzburg I took a photo of our friend Kel who spent some time with us for the first part of our holiday in Europe. We were having lunch at a restaurant and I looked up to see this perfect image for a photo ... a nice smile, colour, shape and contrast. Snap! ... and here it is.
I've entered this photo into a couple of photographic competitions, so wish me luck.
Best wishes
PS: I've been hard at work upgrading my site ... take a look here.