15.05.09 - Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
We have been really fast for once; as we made it through two countries within less than two months. But now itâ€™s been already quite some time since weâ€™ve arrived in the United Arab Emirates. We stayed for a week in Muscat even if the old town was not really what we expected it to be. Itâ€™s all very modern and glitzy here and there is hardly any arabic flair left. But who to blame - the world is turning here as wellâ€¦ and the western influence has doubtlessly its advantages too after all â€“ the air conditioned shopping malls and the cool beers are a great treat ;-)
By cycling a few hundred kilometers we have reached the UAE where we stayed in the lovely oasis of Al Ain for a while in order get our paperwork organised for further travels. A week of nerve-racking visa-marathon in Abu Dhabi and a quick trip to Dubai followed. Meanwhile the Turkmen have seriously rejected our visa application â€“ outrageous, and what a pain in the neck! So, how to get from Iran to Uzbekistan now? We shall seeâ€¦ Meanwhile we have packed all our stuff again and are ready to go â€“ a short bike trip through the desert to reach Sharjah where we hope to take the ferry over the Strait of Hormuz. Bye guys, till next time â€“ hopefully from Iran!
07.04.09 - Adam, Oman
It was really not easy to leave from Sanaâ€™a, to say goodbeye to the joyful staff of the hotel, to part from the hearty people of the city. On top of that we were not able to visit the eastern part of the country because roads were closed and due to the momentary security situation which left us no choice but to fly almost to the border of Oman. But there - finally - we let our tandem out of the box after having rested there for more than one and a half years. Our long vehicle was quickly ready. Long, and above all, unbelievably heavy it seemed to us while we cycled along the coast and up the first steep hills. The truth is, not only our tandem was a bit lazy lately... After a few days we already crossed the border to Oman. In Salalah we allowed ourselves some days of rest before hitting the desert road heading north. It was inexpressibly hot during our cyling through the vastness of sand and stone but the nights in the middle of nowhere under the magic curtain of thousand stars made up for all the scorching heat. We are in Adam now, the desert lies behind us and we have finally washed away dust and sweat. Heading further north to Muscat now. Cheerio!
16.03.09 - Sanaâ€™a, Yemen
The last couple of weeks went by so quickly. We enjoyed the company of friends and family back home a lot. Once again we had the chance to be present for the fantastic Carnival of Lucerne and the festivities managed not only to chase away the winter but also us getting used to the comfort and safety of our home.
We have now spent already ten days in Yemen and it still feels like we have immerged into another universe. We could fill volumes (not to mention the memory cards) with all the things we have seen and experienced so far. We are absorbing our new environment like dried out sponges! We are strolling along the thousands alleys of Old Sanaâ€™a with all the beautifully ornamented houses built of clay, we stop to listen, smell, watch and marvel at the colorful hustle and bustle. Women dressed in Hidschab, which leaves only a small slit open for the eyes, men, also traditionally dressed and "armed" with a Jambia (dagger). Drinking tea, chewing Qat, having a chat, whizzing by on their motorbikes... in short: we are dazzled by all these impressions, the kindness and the candidness of the Yemeni - they welcome us everywhere very cordially.
We just came back from a five day tour in the western part of the country and we have been enriched by thousands new memories and impressions. And today of all days, we have heard about the mean and cowardly terror attack in the eastern part of Yemen. We are sad and enraged, because such an act of cruelty is completely diametric to the good-heartedness of the population.
15.01.09 - Singapore
Changi Airport Singarpore - waiting for the flight to Switzerland - checking in without Tandem is such an easy task ;-) After having lived for one and a half years in Singapore we finally have to part company with the Garden City at the equator, from the small metropolis which has become our second home. As always, we leave later as previously planned to proceed to our second part of our trip. But not without taking a short break in Switzerland first. Weâ€™ve got mixed feelings by thinking of the sudden temperature drop of 30 degrees, snow and icy nose tips - however, we have already dug out caps and gloves... see you soon!
18.12.07 - singapore
no, we didâ€™t fall into a pot full of rice, nor did we get lost in the messiness of all the different noodles... believe it or not weâ€™re still here and weâ€™re feeling great! what happened so far? we had friends visiting us without any break - and we enjoyed it very much! patrizia keeps herself busy with our "bed & breakfast" and brÃ¶ is in charge to keep the rubel "rolling", so that we will be ready to start our travels again somewhen in the new year. there is not much happening with our cycling at the moment - instead weâ€™ve bought some rollerblades to cruise around a bit - but honestly, enjoying the pool is also very relaxing 8-). now, we first plan a little break as we need some "company holidays"!
christmas is coming soon - at least this is what we see in the streets, in the display windows and in the shopping malls. everything is glittering and sparkling and carols resound from everywhere. once more, weâ€™ll celebrate christmas under palms. monsoon-rain trickles down from heaven, we can smell ginger (in the tea), clove (in the cigarettes) and oranges (in the singapore sling-drink). wishing you all some time of leisure and a peaceful holiday. merry christmas!