A Travellerspoint blog

Day 41

Dubai

sunny -40 °C

Sorry for the delay in this post, the last of this trip. We were so busy on the last day in Dubai and with travelling, jet lag and catching up with all the other things that have been neglected during our 6 weeks away, I have only just got to this.
Our last day in Dubai was fantastic. An early start as we needed to take a taxi at 6:30am to get to the Els Club for our tee time of 7:30am. For those interested, the Els Club is a golf club in Dubai Sports City (a gated residential and resort development on the outskirts of the city) and it is wonderful. If you are interested, see http://www.elsclubdubai.com/index.php/golf/visitor-experience/. Everything they claim is true. The weather was fine and hot and it would not be very pleasant walking the golf course in the conditions but a golf cart, iced water available at every tee, a drinks cart always at the ready and iced towels at regular intervals around the course, it was quite acceptable. All in all, a wonderful mornings golf and a really great experience.
In the afternoon, from 4.30pm, we embarked on a Arabian Adventures "Sundowner" Tour. This tour carried out in a large fleet of Toyota LandCruisers was about as good as it gets. We accompanied 4 other Aussies in our vehicle and while I tend to avoid Australians as much as possible on our overseas trips, this was a great bunch. We talked, joked and laughed all the way and our Driver/Guide, Waqar, said he had never come across such a well matched group. The tour involved a 30-40 minute drive into the desert passing a number of serious camel farms/studs and other assorted desert enterprises and including a short visit to a man made oasis to get our photos taken with camels and see a display of falconry (quite interesting). This was followed by about 30 minutes of radical, thrilling, sand dune bashing in convoy. A bit scary at first but our driver was very skilled and it soon became apparent that he wasn't taking any risks. The safety around the whole tour was first class. At the end of this we stopped to view the sunset over the desert dunes, very beautiful and peaceful, and then travelled a short distance to another "oasis" for dinner and belly dancing. Dinner consisted of a wide variety of Arabian food including lamb and chicken cooked on wood fired barbecues, and unlimited quantities of beer, wine and soft drinks. The food was great and the beer and wine were appreciated. The journey back to the city was also fun with jokes all round including some from Waqar which lost a little in the translation but we laughed anyway. This was a wonderful night and I recommend the tour. But I think the group we were with contributed greatly to our enjoyment and others may not have had the time we did.

To those who have followed us through this blog, I thank you for doing so and hope you found it interesting.
For those who were following my Google photos album, I am sorry that I have not added to it for some time. It just hasn't been possible. But I will update it as soon as possible. The link will be as before: https://picasaweb.google.com/102388890402872979047/Europe201502?authkey=Gv1sRgCMjS8Obv46z0Fg

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Posted by John McReynolds 20:53 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Days 39 & 40

Dubai

sunny 34 °C

Yesterday, Day 39, was a travel day flying from London to Dubai and then getting to our hotel in Jumeirah Beach. All went well but I didn't know Dubai was so big. It took so long to get to the hotel given there was no traffic.
Today, we had a late start and then spent a lot of time and two taxi rides to find our friends Liz & Michael's hotel at the other end of Dubai. We were supposed to go out with them in the morning but by the time we found them it was too late as we had a car booked in the afternoon for a tour. So we had a couple of beers and then back to Jumeirah Beach to pick up the car.
The tour was very good. The driver/guide had been recommended to us and he was excellent. We has an enjoyable and interesting 4 hours touring old & new Dubai.
Pizza for dinner tonight. Funny eating pizza without red wine but the restaurants generally don't serve alcohol here. Oh well, good for the liver.
Tomorrow we are playing golf at The Els Club in the morning and going on a desert tour in the evening. A busy day for our last day before we head back to Australia.

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Posted by John McReynolds 10:54 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

Day 38

St. Andrews to London

semi-overcast 25 °C

Today is a travel day with London as our final destination. Reluctantly leaving St. Andrews, we drove the coastal route back towards Edinburgh passing through the fishing villages of Crail and Anstruther and having lunch at Kilcaldy before heading of to Edinburgh airport for the short flight to London. Overnight in London then an early start as we head off to Dubai at about 9.00am.
So Dubai tomorrow. Will be interesting I think.

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Posted by John McReynolds 13:48 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Day 37

Carnoustie and Broughty Ferry

sunny 24 °C

Decided to drive to Carnoustie as a first stop today and then see where that led. To get to Carnoustie, about 55 km away, you have to drive through Dundee, a big city, but the rest of the drive is through picturesque Scottish countryside. The town of Carmoustie is nothing like St. Andrews, much quiter, like a little village really, and apart from the large Carnoustie Hotel right on the course, there are no recognisable buildings nearby. And you can't see much of the three courses as the ground is quite flat. The Carnoustie Golf Club is a quaint little club, more like a museum than a functioning club, which it is, and very quiet when we were there. Next door to the club is the also quaint, Simpson's Golf Shop. In both these places we had long conversations with staff about Carnoustie and district and got some good advice about what to see, where to eat etc. They were all very friendly and keen to help, but as it was so quiet, they had nothing else to do really.
On advice from the golf club, we drove to a village called Broughty Ferry where we visited the Broughty Castle and Museum. The attendant at the museum, who was also up for a chat, sent us to the Fishermans' Tavern for lunch. It was a nice, very old pub with good food and beer. There we met a Texan couple who were touring Scotland and had a nice lunchtime conversation with them.
So, today was spent doing a little sightseeing and a lot of talkinking with people. All in all, a good day.
Tomorrow, we head back to Edinburgh as we commence our trip back home. But we will visit a few villages on the way. And of course there is Dubai on the way home. Less than a week to go now.

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Posted by John McReynolds 12:28 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

Day 36

St. Andrews

semi-overcast 24 °C

Today we played golf. We started the day with a leisurely breakfast at our B&B and then a little further exploration of St. Andrews. Then to golf.
As most of the people reading this are not golfers, I won't go into the detail but the course we played, the Eden Course, was very enjoyable and we both managed to play OK. We were lucky with the weather which was dry and relatively warm and there was little or no wind. So the conditions helped a lot. I managed to stay out of all the bunkers but Liz wasn't so lucky. Neverless, we both had good rounds and it was a very enjoyable day.
We were very tired after golf but while Liz went for a nap, I managed to have a couple of pints at the "Dunvegan", one of a number of "golf pubs" quite close to the Old Course.
An early dinner at another pub just down the road and an early night.
Will take a drive tomorrow to see what we can find.

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Posted by John McReynolds 13:11 Archived in Scotland Comments (0)

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