Goodbye 2017 … Hello 2018

A review of the things that went well in 2017 and what I want to get even better in 2018.

Did 2017 seem to fly by as quickly for you as it did for me? As I’m preparing and planning for 2018 I’ve realised that most of my planning is actually what I was planning on doing in 2017, but never got round to. Not because I couldn’t be bothered, but because it seems like the whole year has gone by in a blink and I had so much going on I barely had time to think about my action list let alone act on it.

Maybe the year went so fast because lots of good things happened and I seemed to be leaping from one good thing to the next. There is definitely truth in the saying ‘time flies when you’re having fun’. Continue reading “Goodbye 2017 … Hello 2018”

Muscat Fish Market – A Photo Essay

An early morning visit to the new Muscat fish market in Muttrah was a fascinating glimpse into ‘life behind the scenes’ in Oman.

Earlier this year Muscat fish market moved into a new purpose-built hall. I wondered if ‘health and safety’ and, you know, basic consideration for the comfort and well-being of the men working there might have made it less atmospheric and photogenic, but I still jumped at the chance of an early morning visit. Continue reading “Muscat Fish Market – A Photo Essay”

Spending the Day on a Boat in the Gulf of Oman

What better way to spend a day than having your bottom thrashed as you are dragged behind a speeding boat. This is just one of the things that happened during my boat trip in the Gulf of Oman. Read on to find out what else happened.

Sometimes I feel very lucky. This was one of those times. Why? Because not only do I have friends in the beautiful desert country of Oman and not only do these friends invite me to visit them and show me around, but … big but … a couple of them even have a boat and invited me to spend the day with them on a boat trip in the Gulf of Oman. Continue reading “Spending the Day on a Boat in the Gulf of Oman”

Swimming in a Sinkhole

A beautiful desert sinkhole filled with warm, clear water and fish that nibble your feet. Why go to an expensive spa when you can swim in Bimmah Sinkhole?

On my recent visit to Oman I was lucky enough to have a friend take me out for the day to explore some of the desert near Muscat. After starting our day at Muscat’s fish market we hightailed it out of the city (or would have done if it hadn’t have been rush hour) and headed first of all to the Bimmah Sinkhole. Continue reading “Swimming in a Sinkhole”

Wadi Shab – A Spectacular Gorge Walk in Oman

I didn’t get time to explore Wadi Shab fully, but the bit I saw makes me want to prioritise a revisit next time I’m in Oman. However, there are some things I need to do first. Like improve my swimming.

A Wadi is a dry riverbed that in times of rain can quickly become flooded and inaccessible. As it doesn’t rain very often in Oman this is unlikely to be a problem if you want to visit. However, if it has rained do take advice before visiting.

Wadi Shab is about 90 mins drive from Muscat on the road to Sur. The entrance is spoilt by the modern highway bridge that straddles the two sides, but it doesn’t take long to lose sight of it once you start walking into the gorge. Continue reading “Wadi Shab – A Spectacular Gorge Walk in Oman”

A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat

One activity that needs to be high on your ‘must-do’ list if you visit Oman is a night at the Royal Opera House in Muscat.

On my first visit to Muscat four years ago, I wandered round the outside of the white building, but couldn’t get inside even for a brief glimpse. Of course, what I really wanted to do was get in to see a performance, but I never got the chance. Continue reading “A Night at the Royal Opera House Muscat”

What I Read in October

Each month I look back at the books I’ve read and write a very brief review. This is what I read in October.

This isn’t good – I only read three books in October. I was working, travelling, planning travels and erm, just reading stuff other than books. Oh well, I’ve still got two months to try to get my annual total up to something reasonable. Read on to find out more about what I read in October. Continue reading “What I Read in October”

An Afternoon in Caldea Spa, Andorra

Caldea is Europe’s largest spa. When I found myself passing through Andorra on a road trip I couldn’t resist the opportunity to relax in its pools and hot tubs filled with water straight from Pyrenean hot springs.

The first thing I came across when I started researching ‘What to do in Andorra’ was the Caldea Spa. And as soon as I came across it I knew I had to go there.

I love a good spa. I haven’t been to many, but I’ve really enjoyed the few I have been to and at 6,000 square meters this is Europe’s largest. How could I resist? Continue reading “An Afternoon in Caldea Spa, Andorra”

Andorra in Sculptures

Andorra is usually known for its ski resorts and its duty free shops. I think it should be known for its street art. There were sculptures everywhere. Even a Dalí. Walking the streets felt more like walking through a giant art gallery.

Last month I got to visit Andorra as part of a road trip from the south of France to Bilbao in Spain.

I wasn’t sure what to expect as the blogs I’d read on Andorra hadn’t been too enthusiastic about it. Not that there were many. Unless you’re a skier it seems to be a bit of a forgotten destination. Continue reading “Andorra in Sculptures”

What I Read in September

Each month I look back at the books I’ve read and write a very brief review. This is what I read in September.

September was a bit of a strange month (strange in a good way!) I came back from one holiday (Shetland and Orkney), was home for a day and then went off to Norfolk for the weekend. Came back from Norfolk, fitted a bit of work in and then flew out to Beziers for a road trip through France, Andorra and Spain.

Consequently my reading was as much all over the place as I was. Though I did manage to finish four books in September, I actually read more than this,  but because I haven’t yet finished any of the other books I started reading I haven’t included them here.

Read on to find out more about what I read in September. Continue reading “What I Read in September”