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A visit to the worlds longest Hotel, the Emirates Palace

Today, we took our second try to get into the famous Emirates Palace, our first try ended at the gate not being let in, because I had worn flip-flops and shorts…

This time, with proper clothing (my female company was wearing hot pants and me with long trousers), we were allowed to enter the holy halls of pure luxury. but only into the lobby of course, which was totally enough luxury as you can see on the pictures below. you could even get a cappuccino with a real gold-topping! (which we had, of course)

The way back was quite a walk, because we had to go to the crew-drop-off point for our crew-shuttle, but the way had a nice view 😉

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Dubai seen from “On the top” of Burj Khalifa

Today we will go where we went in our first visit to Dubai, but this time we will go up on the viewing platform of the Burj Khalifa!

The journey is quite a walk and a bit confusing, because you enter the building in the basement of the Dubai Mall, where you have to start your way through alleys and escalators, getting darker and narrower every turn. After a few stops (with a bit of waiting) we arrived somehow inside the building in front of THE elevator to the top. Everything looks like being in a spaceship, so does the elevator do when we finally entered it and where being shot up on top of the world.

The panorama is just amazing… unfortunately you can not go really on the top of the building, the visitor platform is at the  124. floor, about 452 m, so you still have 376 meters to go, which makes the platform not the highest in the world… not this time, Dubai 🙂

But enough bla bla, enjoy the views! And as a new feauture, you can take a closer look in one of the panoramas, just click on the link, it will open a new window.

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Kayaking in the Mangroves of Abu Dhabi

Its time for some water-fun, but this time combined with a bit of sport… we participated once a gain a crew tour, which started a bit chaotic because we arrived a the wrong place, better say the wrong kayaking-company. after a few discussions an confusing phone calls everything worked out and we were ready to board our 2 person kayaks.

and of we went into the mangroves, unfortunately this was only a beginners tour (phew… afterwards I’m glad…), so we didn’t went really into the mangroves, just besides. nevertheless, it was quite amazing. unfortunately, we didn’t get big chances to see the fabulous wildlife of the mangroves, I had only two encounters with wildlife, one was already a wild-dead…

Please excuse the poor resolution and quality of the photos, but because of understandable reasons I left my big baby back on the safe (dry) big ship, so I had to shoot with my two water proof cameras…

Dolphin watching at the coast of Mascat

After some rather dry trips to the desert etc, this time we joined a crew-excursion to hopefully see some dolphins!
We started in Muscat and drove a bit to a marina where we entered our boats, two medium size motorboats, which took us out in open water. And, better than my last try to see some Dolphins, we encountered quite a few.

After this nice experience we had to get in the water by our self’s, unfortunately not with the dolphins, but we made a quick stop in a nice bay with quite nice underwater life. We finished our trip back with a tour along the coast of Mascat with its nice luxury hotels and stunning cliffs.

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City-tour through Dubai

Today we decided, because we are lazy, to do a Big Bus Tour again. This time through Dubai, where you can choose out of 4 different lines, we took the “beach and city” line, covering all the mayor shopping malls and big sightseeing-spots. Our plan was to do the other lines another day. This day will be in the future forever… but you never know 🙂

Our trip lead us to the Burj al Arab, The Palm with its 5 star hotel “Atlantis” where you can buy gold at an ATM, then to the Dubai Mall with the Burj Khalifa (we will visit that one later in this blog, all the way up to the top) and finally to another not so important shopping mall (still with hundreds of shops and brands, as the tour guide repeated quite often…).

Looks like quite a tour for a few hours, which indeed got a bit stressful at the end because of heavy traffic and the ticking deadline for returning to the ship…

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Dune Bashing time!

Hello there, next city next adventure!

This time its time to hit the dunes. We took some nice Off-road vehicles and went out to the desert of Dubai. There we started our adventurous and quite moving drive through some dunes where we met some camels to a little camp where we got some refreshments and a relaxing time for all those, who became offroad-sick… if you know what i mean 🙂

on our way back we encountered a fire on top of a skyscraper, quite impressive when you imagine how high those buildings are…

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A tour through Abu Dhabi

Hello everyone, now, that i found some time to get around my thousands of pictures, I will wrap up the hole story from the beginning.

This time, its our first “touristic” visit to Abu Dhai, we made a Big Bus Tour throughout the whole city including the Big Mosque and the Emirates Palace. The later one we will visit again, than from the inside too.
Enough writing, not much more to add, here are my impressions of this amazing, crazy, beautiful rotten city.

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Welcome to the Orient!

Welcome back on the ship!This time, we start in a whole new area, the middle east. Its already been 4 weeks now since I arrived with a 30 hour day in Dubai, aprox. two weeks later I found the time to get of the ship the first time, and it was Dubai.

So how is Dubai? Hm, its just like in the TV, just bigger and even more richer. We went to the Dubai Mall, the biggest Mall in the World (the term “the biggest” will accompany us now more often). Its simply amazing and shocking how big it really is. And besides that, just around the corner is another “biggest” thing, namely the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa. It its so high, that you almost cannot distinguish the the uppermost windows. And, its quite tricky to get it on a picture the full length… that produces quite funny moments, when people try that and get a person on it too.

Just in front of the Mall and the Khalifa is a big fountain, which is surrounded by the Mall and another, more classical oriental style Souq (Market). We decided to just do a walk around the fountain, which took already one hour (photo-stops included). During this walk, we were able to see the fountain-play, which is simply amazing. A really nice show with music and the fountains are synched to the music. wow. At night this show will be also illuminated, unfortunately, I never will be able to see it, because I always have to be back on the ship for show preparations.

But I hope, that the photographs you see down here will give you a view, how it was, walking between the tallest building and the biggest shopping mall. After this walkabout, I took a taxi and went back to our mighty ship.

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First visit to Oman

so well, Dubai was impressive, but it was not “the” orient…
“the” orient can be found in Mascat, Oman. There you will find a nice Souk, little alleys and very friendly people, surrounded by a landscape that looks like the mars. or something like that. If you are interested in geology, Oman is the place to be. But just look at the pictures 🙂

And the water… Our stay on the beach of the Oman Dive Center ended with a short moment of panic, because the one and only road leading to the beach was closed due to a bike-tour. this was not so nice, because we had to go back on the ship in time and we had no time left… this was the moment of light panic, but than we had the idea to rent one of the boats they use for the diving tours. Luckily, the women in charge was speaking Italian and one of our italien dancer was a diver too, so they had a quick conversation together with the owner of the boat and off we went. to the pier. and not further. because, the tide was low and the boat was on sand. yeeha.

But we tried our best and with a lot of screaming and pulling we got the boat loose and we had a high speed trip back to the ship. Adventure adventure!

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Invergordon Part II

still in scotland, again a second visit to a city. in the citys i have been the second time there was not much difference to the first visit.
this time there was something to see that was not so nice. just look at the pictures and watch out for the differnece. here you can find the last time-post. a small hint, the differnce is green…

but nevertheless, it was the same small scottish village like last time. but this time with a free wifi and coffee-service in the local church, just for the crew of the mein schiff 2… nice gesture 🙂

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