Postcards from Sharjah

The problem with three people going on holidays with cameras and smart phones is that there are too many photos to sort through! And I can’t throw out a bad photo if it’s attached to a memory… #ihaveLOTSofphotos

But finally, here is a very SMALL portion of the photos taken while we were in the United Arab Emirates, as a part of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival. (See previous post for pictures from the festival.)

Strolling around Khalid Lagoon, including the Blue Souk. (Most people didn’t do this in the middle of the day. #weworehats #itwasstillhot) Between the sky, water and architecture, there’s a lot of blue in Sharjah, giving it a very tranquil appearance.

The Sharjah Heritage Days Festival runs for 3 weeks in April – and I would definitely recommend it! (I still wish we’d had longer.) Holding a falcon. … awe. The music and traditional dancing … so very beautiful! There were all sorts of interactive, working displays capturing Sharjah’s rich heritage days. It’s a free event with so much to see and do – and food stalls available, so you can make an evening of it!

Again – most people wouldn’t do the desert in the middle of the day, but evening presentations meant I couldn’t do the sunset tour organised for the group, so US author Kate Messner organised a special trip – and it was super-special to have the desert to ourselves … along with the camels!! (My hubby and son went with the sunset group tour, and whilst the evening meal and entertainment was quite spectacular, they saw hundreds of Landcruisers dune-bashing at the same time – and didn’t visit the camel farm.)

The real significance of these photos, is that I am scared of cows and horses – and grumpy camels at the Show … but look at me here! I surprised myself, up close and personal with all those camels. (I have no idea what happened! Maybe it was the heat…) But I was so brave – and they were the sweetest things.

Did I say scared? There are (atleast) three things I’m scared of; big spiders, cows and … heights! I cannot will not ride on a Ferris wheel – but nor could I go to Dubai and not go up the world’s tallest building. It was just something I had to do… (I’d done the Empire State Building as a teenager…) If we didn’t talk about it, I’d be fine. Truly, it was not that bad. (If you don’t look down. Or if someone doesn’t put their hand/phone/camera out the little gaps. That was swoon-freaky!) I have a gazillion photos to prove I did it – but here are just a few. (My Shadow is one of my faves!)

I got back to the Festival mighty-chuffed about our adventure up the Burj – to have my two lovely helpers inform me that The Frame was even better, and much cheaper. We had one free day before we left – and we had planned to head in and see Dubai by night – so we added The Frame to the list… (There is also a zipline in Dubai… but it was NEVER going on my list!! #justsaying)

The Burj stands 829m – though we ‘only’ went up 456m. 150m would be nothing… or so I thought! The Frame has a glass floor – and standing on that was waaaaaay outside my comfort zone. These photos don’t even HINT at the fear that somersaults your heart when you catch even a glimpse of the ground waaay way down through that glass floor. (There are pics that do show it – but I have too much dignity to share them here. :D) Be assured that whilst I was persuaded onto the glass, I was ‘not looking’. And not at all relaxed! But I had to get those photos for proof – so whilst my head was down, my eyes were everywhere except down. (Very often closed!)

If you look closely at the ‘feet’ photo (bottom right) you will see people near the shoe/blue water feature. Yes – that tiny speck is a group of people! You will also see cars in the carpark… just to put things in perspective.

I haven’t cured my fear of heights – but I did do some amazing things in Sharjah and Dubai!

See that peak of the Burj (with me) in The Frame collage above? That was our next stop, to see the aquarium, night light show and dancing fountain… Having been caught in a taxi in peak-hour traffic the previous day, we thought we’d get ourselves onto the main road before hailing a cab, and save us some dirhams. But part way along, it looked like the Burj wasn’t that far at all… that we were almost there… and if it wasn’t the next block, it was the one after it… And two hours later, we actually were there! I guess that’s the thing with a very tall building – looks can be deceiving. (I suspect there aren’t too many people who can say they’ve walked from the Frame to the Burj – more than 7km!! 😑 )

Thus far I’ve had two poems come from my travels. One is about camels, written in 5mins as I was dropping off to sleep – then tweaked for a day, shaping it to my satisfaction. I’m hoping to sub both poems for publication, so I can’t share them here. But I can share this writing prompt pic. ☛

What’s your caption … or poem? Feel free to share in the comments. Here’s mine;

Hey!
Straw blonde;
You got writing fodder?
I’ll bite!

This post is light on poetry – but you can read heaps more at the Poetry Friday link-up, hosted by Brenda at Friendly Fairytales. Rumour has it Matt Forrest Esenwine will be including a link to his reading of our fresh-picked Progressive Poem, Poet’s Jasmine; Blooming Lovely.

You can also pop over to the Team-Imperfect blog, where I’m featured with my mini mistake-maker poem resulting in a food we all love – lightly salted with a little Aussie slang.

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24 comments

  1. Ooo, thanks for this fabulous virtual trip, your photos are wonderful! I have a bit of a problem with heights too – I might have made it up but I wouldn’t have looked down that glass door either. Here’s a quick take on your lovely camel pic
    ey whatcha look’n at
    a camels a camel
    anyway you look!

    Thanks Kat!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hah! Straw blonde! I love that.
    This whole trip sounds like it was just fantastic! I’m glad you put aside your fears (and that you didn’t see any gigantic spiders … apparently they make ’em big out there).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What an amazing experience! I so admire your facing your fear of heights and being so open to all the adventures. Thanks for sharing them all with us via your wonderful pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t like glass doors & walls elevators, either – but I was in the middle of the one up the Frame, and the distant view didn’t seem to change – so that was okay! 🙂

      Like

  4. I enjoyed taking a tour of Dubai, etc. with you, Kat. I remember way back when I traveled to Morocco when I visited the southern coast of Spain and got on a camel so your camel photos are fascinating to me. Are there any photos (like the one at the bottom of your post) that I can post in the travel section of my upcoming gallery, Sense-sational Spring from you? Any image poems???

    Liked by 1 person

    • Both the Heritage Days Festival, and the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival were incredible events – well worth a trip to Sharjah during April. 🙂 (The SCRF is an off-shoot of the even bigger Sharjah International Book Fair, held in November.)

      Like

  5. Thanks for taking me to places I’ll likely never see in person! LOVED the desert shots. That baby camel!! All legs and neck! I’m glad you got to meet Kate Messner. She’s one of my favorite people!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you enjoyed, Mary Lee. Kate is lovely! And there were collective ‘Awww’s when we spied those bubba camels. The first (older) one so tufty/fluffy, and the second, (less than 1wk old) so gangly.

      Like

  6. What an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing it with us! (And by the way, I loved your poem in the Imperfect anthology about your fear of cows!) Ruth, thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What an absolutely awesome experience – I think I’ve seen a few photos of this festival from other writer friends on FB who have also been invited to this event. Thank you for sharing this!

    Like


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