Fujairah Trip

August 20, 2008

Two days ago, Ross, Eena and myself took a very relaxing and well deserved recharge trip to Fujairah. Fujairah is one of UAE’s seven emirates and is known for its rocky mountains and rich seas. It is also home to UAE’s oldest natural forts. The ruling family of Fujairah is the Al Sharqi Family with Sheikh Hamad bin Muhammad holding absolute power.

Fujairah’s natural territories are somewhat confusing because one can find sub-territories of the emirates of Sharjah and Ras al Khaimah within its jurisdictions. Even the country of Oman has a city within Fujairah. Now that’s a little screwed up, isn’t it?

Since the weather in Fujairah is way cooler than the other emirates, we decided to take our little vacation there.

We stayed in the Rotana Al Aqah Beach and it was a marvelous resort! The 2+ hours drive from Dubai was definitely well worth it. Along the road going to the hotel were rocky mountains which provides for a scenic trip. The hotel itself was great and the staff were all nice. Although I could still say that Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai is the best place to be.

We went into action straightaway upon arrival by kayaking into the vast Indian Ocean. The ocean was pretty calm so we had a great time paddling and checking out the whole scenery. Word of caution, the currents can be very unpredictable , so it would a smart idea to always check the weather forecast and speak to the boathouse people. It was pouring in neighboring Oman when we did our open sea kayaking and we were kinda lucky the seas didn’t get rough.

Determined not to get the downpour in the mountains get into the way of our snorkling, we headed out to an isolated island off the coast to explore the underwater life of Fujairah. The sky was a little overcast and the sea was a little choppy on that day. But for us, that did not seem to matter.

The water was a bit murky because of the rain on the highlands, but I think these shots are still fairly decent.

We spent the afternoon of the second day exploring the city of Fujairah. We stopped by the museum, which was empty save for one ticket guy. The exhibits were very disorderly and were poorly labeled. I even thought that one fire extinguisher was an exhibit item. Considering how small a place Fujairah is, I wouldn’t wonder why people don’t bother visiting their museum.

Dinner was at Pizza Hut. Not the most original idea for a dinner in Fujairah, but Ross and Eena were so hungry and insisted. Funny part of the story was Pizza Hut was about a only couple hundred meters from where we stood, yet the cab driver did not know where it was!!! The hilarious thing about it was the look on the poor guy’s face when Eena and Ross instructed him to drive us to Pizza Hut and he did not know what to do! Not until Ross mentioned KFC did he realize where he was supposed to take us (KFC was just right beside Pizza Hut).

When we got back to the hotel, we lounged by the pool until late. I had a pint of Becks, Ross a breezer and Eena a Stella Artois. The weather cooperated the whole day. At around midnight, when the ladies went up to their rooms, I hit the sauna for some serious sweating (which was what I needed) before going to my room for a very nice shower and some leftover pizza from Pizza Hut.



Long Overdue Pictures

May 5, 2008

The environment friendly and ever reliable source of ventilation in Arab homes.A humid summer night at Segreto with the views of the wind towersThe Arabic SoukOne of the small alley ways of the soukBoxesmy favorite - Cherry and Mint flavor in a PineappleThis is where I have my weekend breakfasts

Ahhh… Dubai. The land of Sheikhs and Belly Dancers.

A Wedding in Boracay

April 1, 2008

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More Photos

March 24, 2008

Here are a couple of pictures I took during my visit to Ilocos, Philippines. Some of them were taken in Vigan, Ilocos Sur where the heritage site is, but most of them were taken in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.

Bangui is such a great windy place. The people may be grumpy at first, but it takes a whole lot of effort to get them to lighten up to strangers. The perfect time for photography in this place would be very early in the morning or late in the afternoon as these are the times when the town would spring to life. As you take an afternoon stroll in the town plaza, you could see street hawkers vending all sorts of goodies like grilled corn; or the strange barbecued chicken head, awkwardly called the helmet (it was appetizing at first until the eye popped inside my mouth); frozen ice cream (as if the is such a thing like a molten ice cream – or is there?); the famous Ilocano empanada and a lot more. Morning photography is best taken on the beach with most of the townsfolk up and helping each other harvesting what meager bounty the sea could offer them (the effect of the sunrise on the people pulling in the fishnet set against a backdrop of the Bangui Bay windmills is just so dramatic). Seafood is not a very easy option if you wish to have delectable dining in Bangui as the sea is very rough most of the year. The best alternative is vegetable products. Ilocanos eat all kinds of vegetables and they have got the best recipes for anything that grows out of the earth.

I hope you enjoy them.

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