Archive for the ‘Sharjah’ Category

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Ukraine: Day One

June 29, 2013

Posted to Kanga.

view out plane window of airport control tower

We departed from the Sharjah Airport on Air Arabia. This was a new experience. We usually travel from the much, much larger Dubai airport. Sharjah airport is small and quite efficient.

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This is my food court breakfast (freshly made mushroom and onion omelette), which I had to gobble down because the loud speaker started calling passengers for our flight. We arrived at the “gate” and were bussed to the plane.

space between my knees and the seat in front of me

Happily, the flight was only half full, so we had plenty of space and no one reclining the seats in front of us. Air Arabia was a pleasant experience. They are a low frills airline, similar to Southwest Airlines. The tickets are cheaper, but you pay fees for things like the weight of your bags (which is nice because you can pay less if you travel light or if you know you will have a heavy bag, you can pay for the weight you need). There is food on the plane, but you pay for that separately, too.

airplane drop down screen showing safety video

The safety video was the best I’ve seen because they cleverly cast only children. It was actually interesting to watch.

Japanese style fan on an airplane seat

It was a bit hot, especially since we had been bussed out to the plane on the tarmac rather than walking through an air conditioned gangway. However, I always come prepared for these eventualities.

close up of the airplane safety guide sheet showing a red X through a remote control toy car

I was disappointed to find that I was not allowed to play with my remote control car. All that aisle space and I can’t race up and down it?

airplane safety sheet showing a red X through something indistinguishable

I never did figure out this illustration of something I am not supposed to do. My best guess is that when the plane crashes, before I exit, I am supposed to remove my shoes and leave my briefcase behind. I assure you, I will not be taking off my shoes during a crash. My bags are on their own, but until they provide ample leg space, my shoes are sticking with me.

cartoon on an airplane drop down screen

There was entertainment provided, beginning with a Bugs Bunny cartoon. It was nice to see old Bugs. I haven’t seen him in ages. We were amused at how much kissing and groping there was in this little cartoon. I wouldn’t be allowed to have this cartoon in my library.

view out the airplane window

After a short flight (less than 5 hours), we arrived in the verdant Ukraine.

Soviet style apartment buildings

For all the pictures and commentary, click here.

We ventured out in the evening just as a summer rainstorm let loose. We waited under a sheltered area until the worst was over. Thunder, lightning, rivers rushing down hill. All very exciting. Needless to say my shoes were soon soaked. I only brought one pair. 😦

Brief video of the fountain at Ocean Plaza mall.

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Sharjah Maritime Museum

June 25, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

After visiting the Sharjah Aquarium, we went to the Maritime Museum. (The entrance fee of 20 AED per person covers entrance to both.)

small wooden model of a galleon

They have several lovely wooden models, some small scale and some full scale.

full size pearling boat

To see all the pictures, click here.

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Sharjah Aquarium

June 24, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

After nearly five years in the country, we finally got around to going to the Sharjah Aquarium.

large ugly fish

There were lots of tasty looking groupers. These are also known as hamour, the most commonly eaten fish in the area. Unfortunately, they are now overfished. It doesn’t pay to be so very tasty.

diver hugging a sea turtle

Turtle buddies.

purple fish

The aquarium is quite pleasant. We were there on a Saturday afternoon and it was fairly quiet and peaceful. As we were leaving around 6 pm more people were arriving, so it may be more populated in the evening. The entrance fee is 20 AED per person and includes admittance to the neighboring Maritime Museum. Well worth it.

sign instructing not to use flash photography, rap on the glass, drop coins in the tanks, or offer your finger to hungry fish

Please don’t pay the fish, flash the fish, feed the fish, or punch the fish.

More pictures here.

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Life Springing Up in the Desert

January 23, 2013

Posted by Kanga.

dunes and grass

It has been a wet winter. The proof is in the grass sprouting up from the sands.

dunes and grass

close up of grass tufts

It’s a regular camel banquet.

sand and grass

There are even flowers.

small white flowers

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Sharjah International Book Fair

November 13, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

It is time once again for the Sharjah International Book Fair. It is even larger this year.

man demonstrating computer graphic art

We dropped in to see a demonstration of digital artwork by our friend, Ashraf Ghori.

dancers

In addition to miles of books, there were some traditional dance demonstrations.

The book fair is on through Saturday November 17th. We highly recommend it. Wear your best walking shoes and eat a hearty meal, you’ll need your strength.

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Sharjah Archaeology Museum

April 3, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

Our local vacation included a visit to the Sharjah Archaeology Museum.

showcase displaying ancient shell jewellery

The museum presents the history of Sharjah from the stone age up to 611 A.D. The museum is nicely arranged, fully bilingual, and multi-media. An audio tour is available and worthwhile.

diorama of an ancient house

Each time period includes a diorama showing a typical abode.

small golden figure

It is always amazing to see how delicate the gold work was in early times.

showcase displaying carnelian jewellery

In addition to shells and pearls, carnelian was a common component of jewelry.
petroglyph of a bull under a crescent moon

There are many petroglyphs in the Hajar Mountains. The stones develop a red pateena. Chipping this red layer off is a fairly easy way to leave behind art. The above image is a bull tied to a post under a crescent moon. The crescent moon is a common image in area petroglyphs.

bronze bracelets and shell beads and rings

These ancient metal bracelets are very similar to those used not too long ago.

metal sculpture of a man holding a bird

The two parts of this sculpture of a man holding a bird were found on two separate occasions and reunited here.

small mother of pearl carvings

Mother of Pearl gathered along with pearls was used in these carvings.

tiny gold buttons and beads

These gold decorations were amazingly small.

We recommend the museum. It is very well done, very educational, and well worth your time.

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Arabia’s Wildlife Centre

March 30, 2012

Posted by Kanga.

Yesterday, we ventured to the Sharjah’s Arabia’s Wildlife Centre. It is located between Sharjah and Dhaid. The centre is part of the Sharjah Desert Park which also includes a children’s farm (we’re assuming this is a petting zoo) and a natural history & botanical museum. Entrance to the park is 15 AED for adults ($4.00 US).

Photography is strictly forbidden in the wildlife center, so all you will get in this post is this picture of camels crossing the road which we encountered on the way there.

two camels crossing a road

We highly recommend the wildlife center. It is very well designed and most of the animals were visible and active. Included are animals of all kinds native to different areas of Arabia, not just the U.A.E. – snakes, geckos, lizards, frogs, mice, rats, gerbils, grasshoppers, locusts, beetles, scorpions, foxes, wolves, wildcats, sand cats, jackals, porcupines, hedgehogs, honey badgers, gazelles, ibexes, oryxes, ostriches, flamingos, pelicans, owls, bats, and so much more. If only I could have used my camera, I would have so many desert hare pictures – bunnies everywhere!

On our way out, we passed the big animal enclosures. Starting with the baboons. It was feeding time, so they were quite busy. The next enclosure had desert wolves, who can look over the pit separating the enclosures and see the baboons. They were pacing up and down undoubtedly thinking “those baboons look tasty.” Next door to the wolves were striped hyenas also pacing up and down looking at the wolves thinking “those wolves look tasty.” Next to them were the cheetahs. If the cheetahs don’t fancy a hyena meal, they can also see an enclosure of gazelles. I’ve never been so close to a cheetah, separated only by glass. And, last, but not least, came the leopard. He, being the king of all, was just chillin’ out.

This is definitely a value deal. Give yourself plenty of time. The exhibits are extensive and you’ll want to stop and watch the active animals. One little Egyptian Spiny Mouse had a grub and was being chased mercilessly by her roommates. I hope she got to eat it in peace, eventually.