December 21, 2019 Abu Dhabi and the Grand Mosque
Here’s an odd fact: on the way from Dubai to Doha, the clocks go back one hour, and from Doha to Sir Bani Yas the clock goes forward that one hour. And these are very short distances between places. Odd, I thought.
Today we are anchored off Sir Bani Yas which is primarily a wild life sanctuary with half of its area set aside for conservation. Azamara is using their Tenders to float the passengers back and forth. Terryl and I have decided to take a pass on this man-made island sanctuary and hit the gymnasium for a first workout in Azamara’s beautifully outfitted and handsomely designed facilities. This was one of my commitments because I just wasn’t doing it at home. My ‘Sport’s Medicine Doctor’ had recommended Physiotherapy and/or Accupunture to relieve some of my issues and concerns for which I did receive 5 sessions of Accupunture as well as a few exercises from a chiropractor named Neil. His treatment is all well and good but I really don’t think there’s anything like old fashion gym work, especially for me.
I’m now in Azamara Quest’s beautiful Library which is on the top deck occupying the width of the ship and a depth of thirty-five feet and completed by comfortably padded chairs, deep coloured wooden tables, soundproofing carpets below painted-coffered ceilings and of course, numerous walls of books and materials housed in mahogany shelving. A perfect place for doing exactly this.
It’s about 12:20 and Terryl and I will meet at 13:00 for a small little drink, perhaps a tid bit or two and discuss the tour, of which there are several options, that we will take while in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. Its feature is and probably always will be their Grand Mosque boasting over 80 domes, four 350-foot-high minarets, and 100,000 tons of white marble rising above manicured gardens. This sacred place will accommodate 40,000 faithful. The rules upon entering are strict with regard to appropriate dress and use of cameras. One small consideration newly minted is that one’s shoes may now be left on when entering the Grand Mosque.
December 21, 2019
Last evening was delightful. Both of us had deliberated over the Shore Excursions options and marked the ones we wanted. In Abu Dhabi it’s today at 13:30 for the ‘Grand Mosque Visit’ and on December 23 it’s ‘Panoramic Muscat’ in Muscat, Oman at 08:15; and then in Mumbai, India on December 27 at 09:00 it’s ‘Mumbai on the Move’ when many of the passengers will disembark and head for the airport.
We met a nice couple before dinner who originated in Scotland for Roger, and China for Ilia. They now live and work in Bahrain and had plenty of information about their working and social lives as ex-pats. We will be sitting down with them at dinner sometime soon. Our meal in the Discoveries room was delicious, the entertainment in the Cabaret featuring the songs by Stephen Millet was very nice - Stephen also subs as Assistant Cruise Director - and we ended up in the Living Room listening and dancing to the Fancy Triplets, three young women singing and playing saxophone, guitar and keyboard.
And today all passengers were asked to pick up their passports, leave the ship and surrender them to the UAE customs. At that point one could go about their activities in Abu Dhabi. Our trip in Abu Dhabi will start this afternoon at 13:30 so we passed through the terminal building and went back on board for breakfast.