Tuesday, 27 August 2013

some Middle East places...

From Dubai to the southern tip of Oman.
 Monsoon land. After arid deserts, into a misty hilly countryside. Luxuriant and very very green... see pix! Sometimes when we were driving along a narrow winding road, the mist rolled swifly over us, thick white softness enveloped us; this could last for a long time, the car crawled, sometimes there were rear lights to follow, often there was nothing.
This is the southern part of Oman, around the town/city of Salalah. We had a delightful hotel booked by Judy, the Marriott Hotel resort right beside the sea, where the air was warm and humid (though very cold and air-co-ed inside!).
This was my birthday treat. All one delight after another.
Lots of adventures, hills to climb, pools to swim in, delicious meals to enjoy (I particularly recommend the splendid extensive breakfasts provided by our hotel). On my birthday they spontaneously made me a cake complete with candle and greeting in choloate letters decorating the dish. It was  a most happy occasion.
the verdant valleys (mosquito filled...)

the arid coast (castle ruins)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Dubai days ... heat blaze

We are prepared ... the heat is similar to what we have been experiencing in Turkey, but here we have the advantage of airco and high ceilings...
Oh the delight of space to stretch one's limbs!
I am drawing up an inventory to explain to myself the startling differences between living in a smallish boat (about 40 foot long and 10 foot wide) and a spacious house with high ceilings.
And the company of two rumbunctious boys, wow, I do love my grandsons but they certainly keep me bouncing!
More tomorrow...

Friday, 16 August 2013

More metaphorical quills...

Well, yes, this is another picking-up of pen... Have now reached the marina in Finike, west of Antalya, the latter city where I arrived by plane (direct flight from Amsterdam, most convenient!) which I reached exactly 10 days ago.
Time is so strange at sea ... the days stretch out from dusky dawns, as when we watched a turtle hatch on Cirali beach, to purple sunsets when the light drops behind tooth-edged mountain ridges.
It is magnificent here. The hills grand but friendly, the sea clear and deliciously warm (we slide in without a shriek!), the air buzzing with cicadas, the sun gloriously fierce -- but the shelter of shady trees is quick to find.
Still too many languages rolling round inside my head.
But gradually the boat becomes home again. So small a space in which to srtech one's memories.

In Finike harbour we were adopted by a small kitty. Quite well-behaved, altough there were some minor thieving incidents (my freshly baked wolemeal bread ... in fact  I took it as a compliment! )
Here she is: we just called her Kitty.
One of the most wonderful experiences was when we slept outside in front of a beach restaurant, woke at five a.m. and walked along the beach in search of hatching turtles. And found one.
For almost an hour a crowd of watchers stood on either side of the tiny creature's path as s/he struggled across shingle and pebbles, sometimes falling upside-down, then righting himself (like a beetle that lands on its back), flippers flailing, occasionally losing direction when a person blocked the sun... then off again, heading for the light (the sun rising above the horizon across the sea) and we the watchers lining either side of the perilous path, not daring to touch him, sometimes moving a stone from in front of him, sometimes smoothing a little runnel for him to speed down more smoothly... and finally, a wave picked him up and tossed him -- back onto the pebbles, we cried out in despair -- but then another wave washed higher, picked him up again and launched him into the grey green waters. One turtle had made it to the sea. We all cheered.
One of the watchers was a boy from Englad who named the turtle Shelley, and called out encouragingly to the small creature: Come on Shelley, you'll make it.  And he did. As one person said, it was an epic struggle. So many humans observing one tiny being floundering towards his home...
turtle sets off for the sea

sun rising over the waves

turtle so tiny, pebbles so large

nearly made it ...
And on some days, there was just gentle sea and hours of sailing to a quiet haven. And the delicious swims. And even more delicious meals. We treasure our life, small creatures floundering towards the light...

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Is this home again?

I pick up my pen once more (metaphorically speaking) in Amsterdam, where I have just jetted in fro Boston, to encounter the annual Gay Parade; this time it seemed to center on the stretch of Prinsengracht just round the corner from where I live.
Happily, I arrived at dawn, and was taxied home through silent streets, under gently blowing branches of the very green trees lining the roads. So I had time to sleep before the trumpets began...
Thousands of people happily dancing in the streets, not too much drunkenness observed, and many very exotic costumes, with a quantity of elegant flesh revealed.
Tomorrow I'll try to recapture some of my impressions from the superb New York and Boston museums I visited.
Now I have to re-establish my Europena time zone and re-pack a suitcase for Turkey.
A final view from Brooklyn (the Roman touch)...

This is the delightful stained glass in the back door in Jane and Rafael's house. Brooklyn brownstone. As I already mentioned. Seems a good pic on which to close...