Where I took this photo! :)
We checked out of the Palm and were taken down a side road (3 lanes!!) to the port and boarded Splendour of the Seas. We couldn't take our eyes off the Burj as we sailed out ...it looked higher than ever against the Dubai skyline.
The original QE11 was in the port looking sad and rundown but I expect the sheikhs have plans to do something with it.
We were trying to identify the Palm Atlantis as we sailed out.
I wore my roses dress while I could still get it on before the onslaught of croozefood.
...and we woke up in Oman, in Khasab, where we jumped into a taxi with 2 very nice Arabs who took us to the dhow boat which would take us into the Strait of Hormuz, often referred to as the
"fjords of Arabia."
The skip made us all a cup of tea (yay)
and after half an hour of crazy rock formations (a geologist's paradise)
he whistled up some company.
We had one swimming with our dhow but it was much easier to watch the dolphins of the other dhow.
I clicked at JUST the right time!
Our final point was Seebi Island where Skip dropped anchor and we jumped off the dhow for a swim in the beautiful turquoise water.
Well two of us did (Husb wasn't the other one) and it was fast becoming a fabulous day.
I was LOVING IT.
I've swum in the Strait of Hormuz!! which separates the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.
It probably looks like there was absolutely nothing to see but the rock formations were fascinating - a chap with us was photographing EVERYTHING - and anyway the DOLPHINS had made my day :)
and on our return we passed Telegraph Island (a tiny island but with a bit of history)
where the British laid the first cable under water in 1864 connecting India to London. Wow.
It was not an easy posting for the operators, with the severe summer heat and hostility of local tribes making life extremely uncomfortable. Because of this, the island is, according to some travel agents and journalists, where the expression "go round the bend" comes from, a reference to the heat making British officers desperate to return to civilization, which meant a voyage around the bend in the Strait of Hormuz back to India.
Today, Telegraph Island is an eerie reminder of the British Empire. Abandoned in the mid-1870s, the island has remained deserted and only the crumbling ruins of the repeater station and the operators' quarters can be seen. As tourism has grown in the Gulf region, so the island is regularly visited by dhows carrying tourists to view the ruins and to fish and snorkel in the waters around it. However, the intense heat (particularly in the summer months) endures.
The whole experience had been delightful, we loved it.
Husb's eyes lit up again when he saw an Omani supermarket as we walked back to the ship. We were both curious to see if it was any different to an English supermarket but it wasn't and although we had no idea of any prices, LuLu was much more of a Waitrose than an Aldi with its neatly stacked produce. There was a security guard/assistant down every aisle making sure the stuff on the shelves remained perfectly arranged and fanatical floor sweepers seemed to follow us round the shop.
and we bought some nuts because we wanted a LuLu carrier bag.
Castle, football pitch, supermarket and mountain...all in the same photo :)
Back on ship and it was Captain's Cocktails which meant Mikey3Glasses of
free champagne...schneaky work by us :)
and some weird acrobatics in the atrium.
We may not have had a chocolate on our pillow but we had a pooch on our bed.