Travelogue day two, a little cultural in put from Fujairah

When we came out to the hotels atrium after a hearty breakfast our first morning in Fujairah, it was bustling with life, music and entertainment. The local women’s college ha put up a little cultural show at the hotel. They had a school project to show a little of their world and tradition to the tourists, ex-pats in the area. We are staying at The Hilton in Fujairah, a hotel that also serves as the ex patriots country club.

(I have been allowed to post these images)

We got to attend a wedding that was being played out by children, the clothes you see the kids are wearing is typical clothing used at major events and for the wealthy. I was told that if the girls get to wear a the headgear like the girl in the picture above they were considered as pretty. Did they mean that the girl looked pretty with the headgear? Hope so, How devastating if people thought you were not pretty enough to deck yourself in finery.

The pretend bride and groom with some traditional crafts.

We got our hands henna tattooed, my hand is the one on the left.

Typical crafts for the area was displayed, masts, pillows, throws, jewelry and many other different things. Even tasted some local coffee, it was different and not bitter as the coffee I am used to, I liked it.

I tried to ask the girls about their culture and in response I always got the answer “because it’s tradition”

It was quite frustrating asking the ladies that was supposed to teach us something about their history and tradition and the answer was alway because it is tradition.

What I saw was that the little girls could show their hair and faces, young women only their faces and they have to a wear hijab. When they marry the have to cover up in a niqab like the lady in the picture below. Niqab is an extension of the hijab, one adds a veil as to hide her face. A burka if someone is wondering is an all covering garment, Idid not notice anyone wearing that here.

What I didn’t get on camera which I thought was fascinating, when the event was finished and everything was packed up and the girls covered them selves in their black robes and veils. you could see the wealth these women possessed. Their accessories was from exclusive and famous brands. My husband told me that the citizens of UAE were quite wealthy and of the the people living here very few are actually citizens.

We got to taste some local snacks and I got really curious and started pestering the poor lady about recipe and how to go about making the snacks. I would probably post something soon.

Then we headed poolside and we just chilled as the kiddies would say:D and we snacked on fresh fruits the hotel staff served and enjoyed refreshing beverages. The key word for us adults was frozen and lime:)

Have a nice Good friday.

Travelogue from UAE, day one

Finally we have arrived The UAE after a looooong journey. We were delayed i Munich, the plane hade to be deiced and we were back in the air by mid night.  I have flown during winter before, but can’t remember the plane being deiced before, the ground crew covered the plane in a thick yellowbrown goo. This can’t be very environmental friendly, but then again flying isn’t either. The process took two hours and it was noisy , even though we were really tired non of us coul get any sleep. By the tie the plane was in the air, she was so excited about her plans for her stay in The UAE, she talked and talked but I just wanted to sleep.
I woke up with a start, “Mummy, mummy did you hear me? I want to ride a camel”
Two hours delayed we where met by a very stressed husband, he was supposed to hold a lecture in Fujairah in a little over an hour and it was about an hours drive to where we were going.
It was a long desert we had to drive through, Sam commented that there was a lot of sand  and his little sister answered “Duh, you are in Dubai” and roll her eyes.

A trip to the market

When in France, you have to go to the market, if not shopping just to look around. My better half and the children might not agree with me but I got them to come along and walk around with me in the cosy narrow streets of Ile de Re.

Hubby with two, three and four, this is usually my view of my family when we are out walking, their backs 😀 I am to busy exploring and keep falling behind.

We went and got pastries, who doesn’t love french pastries.

Ready made creme brulee from the supermarket, we are not that picky sometimes.

It was lovely, creamy with real vanilla

and it came in this little cute jar that I am going to bring home with me.

And of course a trip to the fish market to get something yummy for dinner:)

Just arrived Ile de Re

This summer we wanted to go somewhere different than our usual vacation in the south of France. We rented a house on Ile de Ré an island right off the coast of La Rochelle. When you have a big family like I have it is best to just rent a big house, so we got one with a guest house, a swimming pool and the most important part wi-fi:D As soon as we arrived MiniMe jumped into the pool while the older children settled in the guest house.

Some drove down a head and some of us got to fly down, Because of different activities not everybody could stay as long, but I plan to enjoy myself anyway.

But first order of things  and before we could do anything, we had to go and buy  swim wear for MiniMe, that we had promised. So of she went with her dad and came back proudly carrying this white paper bag.  She got to choose the swim wear herself and is now a proud owner of a

“Bullikini”, a bit difficult to pronounce bikini at the moment:D

Summer vacation in Nordland, Norway

We had a late summer vacation this year, but we had a nice trip anyway. My husband loves to fish, so this year he decided that we were going to do the long vacation in Norway. We rented a disused old farmstead called Granbostad in Terråk, Nordland  from Plathes Eiendommer. Large old house with indoor plumbing and an outhouse, the latter I have to confess that someone in the family had a little problem with;)

I have taken a lot of pictures from this trip, so I am posting more later. I am just showing some of the activities we did around the old farm-house.

We cooked a lot outside and since there where an abundance of berries close by I made pancakes often over open fire.

These berries were picked around the house

The fishermen even caught some fish, so we had som fish dinners.

The house was fitted with a conventional oven, but it also had this wood fired one too, I of course had to try it out.

It even came with a waffle iron, and yes, I had to try this one also.

And the waffles was enjoyed with fresh strawberry jam and sour cream.

I made Foccacia

and pull a part bread.

 

The family is back from France

They are finally home:)

I have been by my self for nine days, this is the longest I have been away from hubby and the children. Well at least the children it has been a strange experience

As I told Hanna the longest EVER, she just sent me a look to tell me that I was hopeless and dorky trying to sound cool. 😀 They went to Southern France for Easter and I had to stay home and work. Last on the pay roll and last to get a vacation.

Sam looks a little reluctant to endeavour the waters in Nice, hard waves and pebbles is not a good combination.

In Cap d’ail the water looks much calmer so the children jumped in. Looking at the pictures they gave me I am envious.

One of the things I love about my children is that they do not always have to go to an amusement park, they are just as happy strolling through a zoo.

Nälje wanted me to post her favorites from their trip,

Turtles

Elephants

and the tiger.

I prepared a few goodies for their return, but they brought me a few treats as well. Different kinds of pates, merguez, chipolata and pistachio pudding. I’m going to enjoy myself immensely

 

First family trip to the Philippines

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While the family is away I have been looking through old pictures and reminiscing about our first family trip to the Philippines. This was back during spring break in 2008, we went to Mactan Sangri-la a 5 star resort in Cebu. It was during our stay in South Korea that we decided that we should go to the Philippines, sort of show the kiddies where mummy was from.

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The sun was out most days of our stay, but one day it was overcast and that day my young ones took the opportunity to learn how to scuba dive, they snorkled most of the time.

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The children played around in the pool and in the ocean. We protected our children from the sun so we thought, specially the little one.

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Nälje fell a sleep in her swim toy.

But unfortunately Dan was a little overlooked, actually we did rub him with sun block all the time but hours in the water and sun snorkeling did take its toll on the young guys skin. He got second degree burns, he had bad blisters on his shoulders, blisters that turned into bleeding soars. mummy’s poor little guy, the worst part is that he caught a bug and had a really bad stomach flu. The resident doctor told him that he had to keep away certain types of food and drink(basically everything except for rice and water) for a few days and stay away from the sun.

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Dan looking down on his siblings playing.

“But mummy that leaves me with just two days to enjoy the food and drinks before we go back to Pusan”. He confined himself in our suite for our stay  so he would not get tempted to try anything. That did not last long it was boring and he did go out and play, specially since another family from Pusan that we knew came down for the break too.

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Coming from Norway we do not think about covering up to go swimming, but this resulted in buying body covering swimwear for the rest of the children , not just the little one.

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Nälje 7 months

It was a fun place to be, but unless you ventured outside the compound you really did not see much of the Philippines, we could have been on any tropical resort in the world.

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I am not complaining, the place was huge and with the most wonderful spa facilities.

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Phothos borrowed from their web page

I did treat my self to several spa treatments. The first time I went for a treatment it was dusk and as I crossed the candle lit bridge to the pagoda I was filled with calm from the wind chimes tinkling in the wind.

The treatment room I got was small house with a small garden. I remember entering this calm place. everything was quiet, I thought I had gotten lost, but a nice lady opened the door and let me in. She showed me where i could undress and put on a robe, then shi led me to a chair where a got to soak my feet in a little basin filled with calming water and flowers and then she served me freshly brewed tea so i could sit and relax while she gave me a foot masage. After half an hour or so she lead me to another room for my body masage. I can’t really recal the room other than I thought it was lovely. I was so caught up with my treatment, it was so relaxing and calming. I dosed on and off. This was the first time I did not feel like I was short changed, It was really a shooting spa treatment.

I think I went and got a treatment almost every evening, I was so satisfied that I sent almost the whole family for a treatment.

The only thing I did not like with this place was that there were many girls that came and went and came back again often with different men. Old med groping young girls while on the phone with their wives in full view of the other guests.

I remember my twelve year old daughter Hanna asking me questions about certain girls was waiting for old men. One time she said “Mummy do you see that girl over there? She looks happy today, yesterday she did not look so happy. I think it is because she is with a younger man today, yester day she was with an old man” Oh the horror, facts of life of the 3. world countries, I tried to explain in the best possible way.

Mactan Shangri La get a thumbs up for their spa facilities, but a thumbs down for the the types of guests they allow in. We should have been warned that this might not be a proper place to bring a family. I’m not judging the lives of many women out there, but when you bring your family to a five star resort, you would expect that you should not need to explain the facts of life to you young ones.

Hopfully it is a little better today.