We had the majority of the week off for Eid Al Adha, so my friend
Avani and I got busy looking up good getaway deals. We were initially envisioning
a girlie time away on the exotic Greek islands, or a laidback beach-bum break
in the Seychelles. There were great deals going around!
However, after a brief chat with a local travel agent, our
laidback holiday plans took a 360 degree turn into something far more
action-packed and adventurous! Turns out early August is the best time of year
to do a Kenya safari as the migration is happening. Add to it the love for The
Lion King, and a trip to Kenya was, as they say, ‘meant to be’.
The waters of Dubai Creek host a wide number of floating restaurants, the majority of which serve up buffets onboard gaudily decked up wooden dhows. Bateaux Dubai is a far cry from the norm. This glass-enclosed air conditioned luxury cruise, complete with a set gourmet menu and live entertainment, makes for a very memorable experience and it is therefore no surprise to learn that Batueax Dubai has been touted as one of the top 10 things to do in our city.
My husband and I set aboard Bateaux Dubai last Friday. Docking time is between 7.45 to 8.15 pm, and the cruise sets asail at 8.30 pm sharp.
London has always been synonymous for its cultural heritage. The city’s deep-rooted history spreads well beyond the prim, manicured lawns of Buckingham Palace, and who better to ask than someone who has spent a reasonably long time working for the well-reputed travel website Cleartrip.ae?
In today’s guest post, Steven Nazareth takes us on a virtual tour around London. From familiar sites to well-reputed museums, if London is on your travel list, these sites are a must-visit. Read on for more.
It’s been over a month since I got back from my whirlwind trip around North East India this summer. We spent most of the holidays in my husband’s hometown of Shillong (Meghalaya), and I am really missing the cooler weather, the lazy midday siestas and the food… oh the glorious street food!
I believe the food offerings of a city are a direct reflection of the cultural norms of the region, and what better way to explore Shillong than to take to the streets and eat like the locals? Being a Shillong boy himself, my husband was my most trusty food-exploring guide.
My whirlwind trip to India now feels like a distant dream. Where did a whole month go? We spent the major chunk of our holiday in the beautifully picturesque town of Shillong.
My Hubby calls Shillong home, and spent his entire childhood here. Every nook of the city seems to hold a fond memory for him, and despite being away for countless years, he proves to be an expert tour guide, leading me through miles of endlessly narrow streets and cobbled stairs.
Guwahati is a maddening chaos. The streets are jam-packed with traffic, hawkers and bystanders.
We walked through its streets this monsoon-laden Monday. The air is hot and muggy, and the humidity shrouds the body with a permanent layer of perspiration, making my flimsy cotton t-shirt stick on like a second skin.
My father in-law has a very endearing caretaker who originates from the Garo Hills. Swing is a short, middle-aged man with a rather muscular stature and a deep, dark chocolate-brown complexion, and has been a part of this family ever since I married into it. Yes, his name is Swing! Given his fondness for the bottle and a very jovial disposition, this name seems pretty apt for him. Sparse teethed yet ever-smiling, Swing has formed a special friendship with my daughter who he last saw as a 2 year-old. My daughter does not speak any Indian regional languages, and Swing has very limited use of the English tongue. Yet the other afternoon, I saw him sitting there trying to tell her a story in colloquial Hindi.
Always keen on hearing some regional-style storytelling myself, I sat down to listen and offered to be the translator between the two. Swing narrated the story of Gangbo Raja, a folktale that has been passed down generations in the Garo Hills.
“The bus was a carcass of a vehicle, a mere tin box with faded paint and prison bars that housed an entire crowd of perspiring strangers. Each grasped on to any available solace as the driver took frivolous turns on the rocky, uneven roads ahead. I stood there, balancing my luggage and child with hands and legs, praying the next swirl will not deplete my balance, lest I end up crashing out of the glass door behind me.”
About a week ago, I headed off with the family for a mini break to Tilal Liwa Hotel. Located 175 kilometers beyond central Abu Dhabi, Tilal Liwa Hotel is located in Madinat Zayed – the Western region of Abu Dhabi, in close proximity to the Saudi border. Getting to the hotel from Dubai entails an infinitely long road-trip across the desert, and adds to the thrill of adventure and exploring a brand new territory right in our very own backyard.
Tilal Liwa Hotel is a strikingly Arabesque 4-star property that was originally created for VIP guests and royalty visiting the annual Camel Beauty Contest. Yes, such a thing exists – and only in the UAE! Celebrating its tenth year, this event showcases the best breeds of camels both from the UAE and beyond. During the event, the occupancy at Tilal Liwa is on record high. However, given the unique concept of this beautiful property, the hotel has been opened up to the public and is slowly but surely gaining a steady stream of tourists and local staycationers alike.
My father was a very active member of the community at Palmerston North (New Zealand). He was a member of the Rose Society, had acted as president of the cultural society three times over, and was always involved in fund-raising events for the local Islamic Center. In retrospect, his social life has definitely been more varied and meaningful than mine.
On 21st February, Palmerston North held its annual Esplanade Day at the very popular grounds of the Esplanade. Here, small businesses and communities take up stalls selling all kinds of nifty, often handmade items, at exceptionally good prices. A makeshift stage is set up with live music and local entertainment, and members of the Islamic Center also put up a stall here to raise funds for the upkeep of the center’s needs.