Posts Tagged ‘Fujairah’

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Al Bidyah Forts

March 15, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

stone ruins

We returned to the Bidyah area to take a look at what remains of a Portuguese fort. In the background is a roof structure which protects a much older fort that we visited previously.

stone ruins

The Portuguese fort dates from the 16th Century.

stone ruins

If you are wondering where this fort is, it is in Al Bidyah behind the Ice Palace.

three story building with ice palace restaurant

More information here and here

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Al Tarboosh

March 14, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

I have fallen way behind on posting. My apologies. I was spending my every waking moment working on a consultancy project, which is done now. Even though I had my nose to the grind stone, there were a few food moments in the last month.

About three years ago when we were preparing to move to Fujairah, we had breakfast at Al Tarboosh restaurant on one of our apartment hunting weekends. It was an interesting experience (click here), so it took us a while to go back for another try.

artificial rock-face waterfall inside the restaurant

It was good to see that they still have their indoor waterfall feature, although they have removed the bridge and added more tables. It is kitschy, but they have kept it in good condition.

bowl of lentil soup

We weren’t sure what the complimentary items might be, so we kept our ordering to the minimum. First complimentary was lentil soup.

basket of fresh pocket bread

The bread was lovely. I resisted because I need to stick the diet better than I have been. DaddyBird indulged and deemed it good, but not amazing.

green salad, hummous, mutabel

Additional complimentaries included green salad, hummus, and moutabel.

plate wrapped in aluminum foil containing mixed grilled meats

Then came the mixed grill – arayes (grilled flat bread with a finely ground meat filling), chicken & lamb tikka, chicken & lamb kabab, and lamb chop. Notice the fancy aluminum foil presentation.

desert bowl with fresh bananas, orange, apple, pomegranate seeds

To top it off, I ordered the fruit cup. Yummy. All freshly cut fruit except for the light drizzle of strawberry sauce.

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In Search of Petroglyphs

February 8, 2014

Posted by Kanga

old stone structures

In case you hadn’t noticed from previous posts, DaddyBird’s new hobby is researching and finding archeological sites in Fujairah. He noticed this one right along side the new Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road which we drive every time we go to Dubai. Why it took us so long to notice it is a mystery.

stone foundation of a khaimah house

There are three surviving structures. Two khaimah houses – low stone foundation which would have been topped with a palm branch tent – and one rectangular stone house with wooden beams supporting the roof. The fact that the wood beams are still part of the structure means that it is probably a fairly recent structure, abandoned only a few generations ago.

rectangular stone house with wooden beams across the top

We continued our exploration by driving up Wadi Sahm which was just recently paved. We stopped here.

dry valley and hillside

Which might not look like much, until you get close enough to see that there are several large boulders around which stone shelters were built long ago.

large boulder with a low rock wall built around it

We didn’t do an official count, but would estimate that there was a sizable settlement here of 15-20 structures. They took advantage of the large boulders to form at least one wall of their shelters and provide support. It is likely that these were low rock walls topped with thatch roofs made of bushes.

large boulder with petroglyphs

There were a few petroglyphs at this site. This boulder has both old designs and more modern markings, including Arabic script.

large boulder covered with petroglyphs

Further up the valley is a large boulder right on the side of the road covered on all sides with petroglyphs. A short distance from this is a small plateau with a few piles of stones and quite a few petroglyphs.

two snake markings on a soccer ball sized rock

Snakes

camel petroglyph

Camel

It’s too bad we don’t have time travel technology. I’d love to take a little peak back in time to see how these people lived. What they valued. What made them laugh.

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Biker’s Cafe

January 13, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Biker's Cafe restaurant sign

Recently, the Biker’s Cafe opened a branch in the Fujairah International Marine Club compound. They serve breakfast until 3 pm, so we dropped in Saturday “morning.” (It was nearer to 1 pm, but it’s all relative on Saturdays).

In America, the word “biker” has a very definite and complex connotation. Something like this:

Biker

By Visitor7 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

So we laugh a little bit when we hear “biker’s cafe,” because none of the patrons look like this, except maybe DaddyBird. The Vespa on display outside the door of the cafe implies that Mods are welcome, too.

black vespa on display

I ordered English breakfast. The eggs were bland, as were the beans. It was nothing to get too excited about.

scrambled eggs, potato patties, link sausage, fried tomato, beans, toast, beef bacon

DaddyBird ordered the “omelette” which turned out to be layers (in a clay pot) of bread, fried eggs, beef pepperoni, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cheese. Nothing like the expectations the word “omelette” inspires. “Style above substance,” he says.

clay pot containing layered bread, fried eggs, tomatoes, bell peppers, pepperoni, cheese

We’ll probably go back and try something else on the menu. Maybe that crab and avocado item I noticed after I had already ordered.

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Fujairah Historical Sites

January 4, 2014

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

museum display case room

We took BabyBird on a mini Fujairah history tour beginning with the Fujairah Museum.

ancient jewelry made of carnelian (red) stone

The museum has displays of artifacts from ancient sites – forts, burials, etc. – that have been excavated. Carnelian and sea shell jewelry were prominent in the days before pearling.

inside of a restored 300 year old fort

The Fujairah Fort was open (which has been rare in the past) so we took the opportunity to go inside. The fort is approximately 300 years old and has been recently restored.

two people at the top of the fort tower seen between the crenallations

DaddyBird and BabyBird climbed the tower for a good view of the area.

ruins of ancient copper smelting site

Then we drove up the Madhab wadi (valley) to see an ancient copper smelting archeological site.

funnel holes in the dirt indicating the presence of ant lions

I also noticed the many funnel shaped holes which are most likely ant lion traps. (National Geographic video of ant lions)

ancient water channel used for watering a date palm garden

Not far away are the remains of an ancient falaj (water channel) which was used to bring water to a date palm garden. Unfortunately, a gravel road has cut through this channel.

model of well and date palm watering system

Next, we stopped in at the Fujairah Heritage Village. The village includes models of several types of traditional houses and buildings. Above is a model of a typical well and watering system used in date palm gardens. A bull would walk down into this trough pulling the water “bucket” up out of the well. The water would then be poured into a channel (falaj) that conducts the water into the area around the trees.

interior of house with coffee pot, clay pots, woven mats

This is an interior display showing mats woven from date palm branches, clay pots, and a coffee pot ensemble. The coffee pot is nestled in a square container that would have had hot coals in it to keep the pot hot.

There is very little written history about this region, even as little as 300 years ago, so the physical sites and artifacts are even more precious. Unfortunately, they are disappearing under new roads, dams, and buildings.

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Bull Butting Friday

December 30, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

two brahma bulls tied to posts

Friday we ventured out to the bull butting competition on the Fujairah corniche. This is an old tradition brought to the region by the Portuguese.

two bulls butting heads

Two bulls butt heads and push in a feat of strength.

two bulls butting heads in a dirt arena

It is held every Friday afternoon between prayers and sunset. As near as we can tell, there is no money or prizes involved. Pride in having a winning bull is the reward. Some drive from as far away as Abu Dhabi to participate.

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Al Meshwar

December 19, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

Al Meshwar was the first Fujairah restaurant where we dined back in 2009. We’ve been back a few times, in part because it is one of the few places open during “siesta” time. We dropped in again yesterday afternoon.

a glass of watermelon juice and a glass of lemon and mint drink

Fresh lemon mint and watermelon juices resulted in unintended Christmas colors.

rocket salad, mutabel, bread, and olives

Our usual salads and appetizers – rocket salad (jarjir), mutabel (eggplant), freshly baked bread, and olives.

chicken livers

One of my recently acquired favorites is chicken livers. They are served in a pomegranate sauce. Yummy.

lamb chops and french fries

The lamb chops were spectacular. The food has always been good here, but it seemed a step up this time.

Al Meshwar is easy to find. It is in the heart of town, across from the World Trade Centre. It was described in a travel book as “Flintstones meets the Crusade Castle” which pretty much sums it up.

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Kickers Ice Cream

December 16, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

business sign for Kickers Ice Cream

On an impulsive lark, we stopped by Kickers Ice Cream for dessert. We walked in even though these businesses are used to customers driving up and honking. We didn’t know the menu, so we went in to find out what was available. The huge ice cream machine is so loud that I fully understand why they don’t have inside seating.

plastic glass of white and pink soft serve ice cream layered with pomegranate seeds

This is what I got – pomegranate ice cream. Based on the cartons of full cream milk that were on display, I expected it to be much heavier. It was very light like ice milk instead of ice cream. Still doesn’t beat Finjan’s tea in clay pot as a dessert.

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Meandering through UAE Archaeology

December 8, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

entrance of the park

We headed out to Maleha with the intention of visiting the wildlife center there. Unfortunately, this is a private park and not open to the public. So, the closest one can get is these pictures and this video.

From there we went just down the road to the Umm an-Nar Tomb of Maleha.

round stone structure

This was interesting, although it was clear that no one visits this site or uses the park around it.

stone structure

This tomb dates back to around 3000 BC. There are eight chambers.

brown road sign

Next we went across the road to the fort archeological site.

partially restored stone structure

The structure has been partially restored. The lower, rougher wall in the foreground is most likely the original wall remains.

camel laying by the side of the road

We headed north a bit to look for the camel race track and saw this fellow just taking a rest by the side of the road.

stone ruins of a tobacco drying shed

On the way back to Fujairah we stopped off at Al Fara to drive past the remains of Sheikh Suhail bin Hamdan’s home and tobacco farm. These walls were a tobacco drying shed. Most of the site is not easily accessible due to a current residence near the site. We didn’t want to trespass.

covered archeological site, stone riuns

After a quick, late lunch in Fujairah, we headed up the coast to Bidya to search for the ancient fort site. This site dates to back approximately more than 4,000 years. This is one of the oldest archaeological finds on the East Coast of the UAE. It was a small, round fort built around a well.

These places are not necessarily easy to find (although some are right on the side of the road). They are also not necessarily set up for visitors as there is little to no information displayed at the sites. (A bit of a missed opportunity for education and tourist attractions.) However, information on some of the sites is available at area museums. Information and artifacts related to the archaeological sites in Maleha are on display at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum in downtown Sharjah city. Fujairah Museum- located near Fujairah Fort- is small, but very nice, and includes information and artifacts from the fort at Bidya in its archaeological section.

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Thunder Bolt and Lightning

November 15, 2013

Posted by Kanga. Please do not reblog.

We had a wild rain storm last night in Fujairah. The lightning was hitting close by. One hit was so close it was more like a pop than a rumble.

http://instagram.com/p/gsqylOpUjT/

The electricity went out all over town. At least in the buildings without their own electricity generators. We found ourselves in the dark except for the battery run light in the entry way. We expected it to take quite some time – hours, if not days.

a book, candle, and make-shift aluminum candle holder

I settled down with a book and a candle, but before I could finish reading the first page, the lights came in. That spoiled the reading mood, but it was pleasant since it was starting to get a bit stuffy and warm without any air conditioning or fans running.

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