Trip to England, classical Europe tour, Sultanate of Oman, China.

























Barcelona - Summer 2010


United Arab Emirates - Spring 2010

Picnic near Ras Al Khaimer February 2010


Edward & Verity rest on the way to the summit


Picnic near Ras Al Khaimer February 2010


Drying mud after the spring rains


England vs. Pakistan 20/20 Cricket 19th Feb 2010, Dubai Cricket Stadium.




Dinner and dancing fountains - Burj Khalifa - April 2010


England - May 2010

A business / leisure trip to England in blazing May sunshine gave me the opportunity of the quick tour of the country - including: Manchester (my old University town); Bedford (where I was at school) and nearby Woburn (near my parents house), and Exeter (near a client factory site).


Manchester City Centre- two pubs in Shambles Square


Swan Hotel,  Bedford - overlooking the River Great Ouse.


Cricket at Bedford School


Bedford Law Courts


Bedford's Shopping Mall - The Harpur Centre


Bedford's Shopping Mall - The Harpur Centre


Bedford Tourist Information Office


Shops by Exeter Cathedral - May 2010


Exeter Cathedral by moonlight




Woburn Abbey and the Duke of Bedford's Deer Herd.



Barcelona - Summer 2010

Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya                                                                           Poble Espanyol                   


Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya


Gaudy Gaudí   architecture and modernistic statues


Poble Espanyol


The Salvador Dali Museum kindly allowed us to take photographs (unlike the Picasso museum)


Photographic flash can degrade delicate pieces of artwork, and was consequently banned in most museums.  For this reason I have never used flash photography for art exhibits.  Unfortunately many camera users were incapable of switching off their flash when photographing the exhibits.  Galleries had no choice but to ban photography completely.  Consequently I have no photographs of the Picasso gallery or many other art treasures throughout the world.  An exception is the privately owned collection of Salvador Dali works in Barcelona.


Monte Carlo - Summer 2010

Monte Carlo


Florence - Summer 2010

Ponte Vecchio from the Uffizi Galley


No photography is allowed inside the Uffizi gallery.  However there is a fantastic collection of paintings by Cimabue (1240-1302), Giotti (1267-1337), Botticelli (1445-1510) and Leonardo da Vinchi (1452-1519) which demonstrate the development of depth and use of backgrounds in paintings and the application of mathematics to portray perspective. The Uffizi also houses some fabulous Caravaggio works (1571 - 1610) demonstrating a beautiful and dramatic use of light.


The Basilica di Santa Maria                                                                                   Statue of David by Michelangelo 



The Basilica di Santa Maria


Gates of Paradise, Florence Baptistery                     The Rape of the Sabine Women, The Loggia dei Lanzi,


Ponte Vecchio


Piazza della Signoria                                                                                                View from Ponte Vecchio



Rome - Summer 2010

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City



St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican CitySt. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City


Flavian Amphitheatre (Coliseum), Rome




Flavian Amphitheatre (Coliseum), Rome


Palatine Hill, Rome


St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City



Pompei - Summer 2010

Pompei with mount Vesuvius in the background


Trek to the summit crater of mount Vesuvius                                                 Street in Pompei




Pompei Brothel (bordello) - Informative Fresco and Stone bed


Luxury Villa in Pompei


Fast food outlet                                                                                                                  Floor of  Luxury Villa


Casts of volcano victims in Pompei - they were probably poisoned by toxic gas and then buried by fine volcanic ash in 79 AD



Mykonos - Summer 2010


Istanbul - Summer 2010

Blue Mosque, Istanbul


Hagia Sophia mihrab in the apse where the alter stood                                Ceiling of Hagia Sophia


Hagia Sophia was built between 532 and 537 AD as an Orthodox patriarchal basilica but later became a mosque.  The building was designed with the alter facing east for Christian worship.  The Islamic mihrab was built later pointing toward Mecca which is 15° south of east.

Ceiling dome of the Blue Mosque


Shopping - The Covered Bazaar.


Topkapi Palace


Topkapi Palace


Topkapi Palace



Ephesus - Summer 2010

Library of Celsus (distance)                                                          Nike, the winged goddess of victory


Roman Villas, Ephesus




Roman Villas, Ephesus


Library of Celsus (135 AD)


Temple of Hadrian


Athens - Summer 2010

Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion (built 440 BC)


Graffiti on Temple of Poseidon - including Lord Byron


The Parthenon temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Athens


View of Athens from the Acropolis


Erechtheum temple in the Athenian Acropolis


Odeon of Herodes Atticus at Athenian Acropolis


Venice - Summer 2010

St Mark's Campanile (bell tower of St. Marks Basilica) and Doge's Palace (to the right)




20th Wedding Anniversary in Venice, where we began our Honeymoon.  Pino Grigio and classical music in St. Mark's Square


Gondola on a canal                                                                                                          Doge's Palace


Doge's Palace


Back to Dubai - August 2010

Dubai welcomed us back with a hot day 119°F (48°C) but we missed a heat wave in July when temperatures exceeded 123°F (51°C)!  Ouch.  Roads and shopping malls are eerily quiet as many people have left to avoid the ferocious summer heat.  The economic downturn has caused many expatriates to leave for good.  This has occurred just as many housing developments were being completed, leaving many housing estates with hundreds of beautiful but empty properties.  Rental prices have plummeted.

Deserted Estates in the Desert


Autumn 2010


Desert Sunset - October 2010


The iconic Burj Al Arab                                                                                        Henna Hands


A chance to buy and drink some camel's milk



Sultanate of Oman - October 2010

Dhow cruise around the Musandam Peninsula near Khasab, Oman.


Within a 3 or so hours drive from Dubai (including the border crossing) is the Arabian version of the fjords.  Not as beautiful, or as green perhaps but ruggedly spectacular.  The sea teems with butterfly fish, groupers, angel fish and wild dolphins.  Friendly locals will take you out on a Dhow for the day, serve you mint tea and fruit, show you the spectacular scenery, let you swim and snorkel in the warm sea and then barbeque fresh tuna for lunch.


Wild dolphins racing our Dhow                                                                         Swimming in the Arabian Gulf near Telegraph Island


Telegraph Island is the most famous landmark in the area.  Here the British laid the first telegraph cable in 1864.  It ran from India to Basra, Iraq. 


Esra apartments, Khasab


Desert Girls


Dhow cruise around Musandam Peninsula, Oman - October 2010


See other trips to Musandam in 2009, 2012 and 2015

China - November 2010

Winter sunset at the Summer Palace, Beijing


Lao She Tea House



Building close to Temple of Heaven


Temple of Heaven


Temple of Heaven


Tiananmen Square


Pre-dinner drinks at the Beijing Shangri-La (with sister 3/4 and family)


Great Wall of China at Badaling


Great Wall of China


Changling Museum (Ming Tombs)


Changling Museum (Ming Tombs)


Summer Palace


Summer Palace - World's longest corridor


Marble Boat at Summer Palace


Summer Palace


Roof architecture at Summer Palace


Winter scene at Summer Palace


Lone fisherman in Summer Palace grounds


Winter Sunset, Summer Palace


Winter Sunset, Summer Palace


Forbidden City - Through a Beijing pollution haze


Forbidden City


Lama Temple


Lama Temple


Incense shops near Lama Temple


It was mildly surprising to see people openly praying in this former communist society


Sunset from Ming Tombs



England and Scotland - December 2010

Tower Bridge and a very cold river Thames - London, December 2010


HMS Belfast - London, December 2010


Edinburgh, Scotland - December 2010


Happy New Year!


Burj Khalifa fireworks display from our garden - Dubai, New Year 2011




Living in Dubai   

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