Another week bites the dust!

It’s the weekend again in Saudi:) this week seems to have flown and now our lovely relaxing weekend in Aqaba seems ages ago. This week has seen a return to school and the dreaded report cards to write. My class is the biggest in the school so I have the marathon task of writing 11! Compared to being a teacher back in UK a dawdle but here I envy those with 6 or 7 children in their class.
Anyway before last weekend fades into the dim and distant past here are a few pics of ‘in and around’ Aqaba.

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Evening view of the hotel pool.

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Watermelons for sale.

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Nets around the dates to stop the birds having a feast!

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Shop goods are commonly stacked up on the pavement.

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The remains of the ancient city, Ayla.

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Brewing up Turkish coffee for my husband.

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Sand bottle art is a popular tourist buy.

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Parasailing seemed popular this weekend.

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Enjoying a Lebanese mezze.

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Camel on its way to the public beach to give ‘rides’.

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Travelling to the ferry.
So and what of this weekend?
Finish my reports. Relax. Catch up with some knitting and reading for pleasure and on a sad note go to a ma’asalama party for a friend. (ie leaving party)
Enjoy your weekend whenever it comes:)

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Sea Fever

I must go down to the sea again, for the call of the running tide……wrote the poet John Mansfield in his poem Sea Fever. Maybe because my heritage and family have always been related to the sea after a few weeks of living in the desert I begin to crave the smell of the salty air in my lungs. On Wednesday I will get my ‘fix’ when we travel the 3 plus hours to Aqaba in Jordan. Although Jordan is also a Muslim country it is more liberal than Saudi Arabia which means – churches, alcohol, pork, women are allowed to drive and you don’t have to wear an abaya and cover your head.

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Sitting on the balcony of the hotel in Aqaba I always think how fascinating it is to be looking over at Egypt and Israel -amazingly close but 2 countries I have yet to visit! One day- Inshallah as they say in this part if the world:)
Roll on Wednesday for a little r&r and hopefully a nice sea breeze as the forecast is for 44degs C!!

Escape to Jordan.

As a non-Muslim living in Saudi can be a bit restricted at times so it is thankful that only 3 hrs and a border crossing is the more relaxed beachside resort of Aqaba, Jordan. A few times a year we make the trip for a weekend of r&r i.e. a few alcohol drinks, some nice food and if I wasn’t a vegetarian that would not doubt include some pork products.

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The first evening it’s just so lovely to sit on the balcony with a wee drink and watch the sun set over the Sinai. Aqaba is in an interesting locality with Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia all within view!

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Although the hotel is a lovely place to spend the day lazing on the beach or by the pool we always take a walk uptown to check out the couple of food shops that tend to stock some imported goods that we often can't get in Tabuk. This time I also hoped to bag a new Geocache that had been set up in a very public park area in the centre of the town.

20130406-224055.jpgIt proved impossible to find as there were so many people in and around the water feature area and sitting on the benches eating and drinking late breakfast, early lunch or just snacks. Being the only non-Arabic people in the whole park we were a bit of a novelty and were well observed by everyone!

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I love the sand bottle art that is so much a part of the tourist scene in Aqaba. It is quite skilful and although the coloured sand isn’t natural after visiting Petra and seeing the amazing range of colours in the rocks there it is quite believable that many of the colours could be found in nature.

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In the evening we enjoyed a mezze style meal in the hotel Lebanese restaurant. It's ages since I had tabbouleh, moutable and stuffed vine leaves and they didn't disappoint sooooo yummy:)

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After a stroll around it was getting a bit chilly so it was time to head back to the room and crash out after an enjoyable day.