Eastern Canada, food, friends, travel

Clam Digging in PEI

Looking for an authentic PEI adventure? I was too and what I discovered was clam digging!

With Experience PEI, we joined their Beachcomber’s Clam Boil  activity ($85 CAD + HST).  It was a great hands-on excursion.  We were given a pair of gloves, a shovel, a bucket, and the free range of a beach to scavenge for whatever treasures we could find from mussels, to oysters, and to clams! Continue reading

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Eastern Canada, friends, travel

St. Martins Sea Caves

Upon researching what there was to do in the east coast, I came across St. Martins Sea Caves (at St. Martins, New Brunswick) which I was wildly excited about. It wasn’t extremely ‘on the way’ but I was able to work it into the itinerary – a perk of being highly involved in the trip planning and logistics!

However, the caves can only be explored during low tide which only happens twice a day! Unluckily for us low tide on that day was around 6am… Continue reading

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Dubai, travel

Old Dubai

After spending a week in Jordan, the change to a developed and thriving city was much appreciated and definitely missed. It was nice to return to a land with air conditioning, better Wi-Fi, more food choices, and less stares on being foreign.

Although Dubai is quite well known to be multicultural, what we found was the local foreigners were mostly Caucasian or South Asian – not so much East Asian. But I’m sure we stood out more because of our attire and conversation showing that we were clearly tourists.

Stepping into our hotel (Atana Hotel) which is only 3 to 4 star (in Dubai it can go up to 7 even….), was a huge breath of fresh air. I didn’t have much expectations for the hotel since we got it at a discount and I normally don’t stay in anything fancy…so I was extremely pleasantly surprised by how pretty our hotel lobby and even our rooms were; felt like entering paradise.  Ironically our hotel named their 2 towers after Adam and Eve.
However, as technologically advanced and developed Dubai is as a city, there is still a more “olden” part of it in the Bur Dubai and Deira area.

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The main attraction in this area is travelling across the Dubai Creek in a local abra (little boat) and also the various specialty souks (markets) – especially the spice and gold souks. The common route is to go to Bur Dubai and take an abra to cross the creek to Deira where the souks are. 

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Jordan, travel

Public Beach at Aqaba

I wish our tour allowed us to stay longer in Aqaba, because the beach was gorgeous. We only had a half day there so unfortunately we did not get to do very much except take a quick peek at their local public beach.

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Something unique about beaches in Jordan is that there is a large distinction of ownership. The beach is basically divided up between various hotels – and to access the beach you would need to be a guest at the hotel or pay some sort of entrance fee.  We had a similar experience to visit the Dead Sea where we paid to enter a private beach.

Given our short time in Aqaba, our tour guide only brought us to the (free) public beach. Which is I’m sure just as gorgeous as anywhere else along the shoreline. However, the main flaw with this activity in our itinerary was our Aqaba visit happened to fall on a Friday, which is the main weekend day off for locals – and as such the beach was packed. Continue reading

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friends, Jordan, travel

Jordan – Desert Castles and Dead Sea

Day 2 of our tour was extended to a full day with the addition of visits to 3 different desert castles, free of charge! We aren’t quite sure as to why but, we won’t complain.

  1. Qasr Amra  (Amra Palace) – one of the best well known desert castles in modern day Jordan as it depicts an early example of Islamic art and architecture. Only the foundation of  the castle complex remains and a small cabin which was meant for a retreat house.  Amra Palace is particularly famous for its well kept frescoes (mural painting technique) all alongside the interior walls of the building. Most of the art shows hunting, biblical figures, dancing and some nudity ….which makes the building sound very questionable given it also has a large bathouse, haha. 

  2. Qasr Al-Azraq (Azraq Castle) – known as the Blue Fortress as it used to hold a lot of water which was then transported to other cities for use. It’s strategic value was due to its location by an oasis which was the only permanent water source in the desert area. The basalt used to construct the castle reminded me of medieval  European castles more than what I would have imagined in the Middle East. 

  3. Qasr Al-Kharanah (Alharana Palace) – whether this building is really a “castle” per se or not is unclear as it does not appear to have been used for military purposes. There are no slits in the walls for arrow / boulder attacks against intruders. It’s location is also not close to any body of water to make it very useful as a resting spot for travelers. However it is remained intact extremely well and we were able to walk around and through the floors of the castle. The layout of the castle is perfectly symmetrical. 

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friends, travel

Camping

I think I have only gone camping twice in my life prior to this summer. Once with my family and family friends which I don’t remember much of as I was a small child, and once when I was a counsellor for Vision Youth a couple years back where all we did was the mandatory hike (for campers as part of their DoE program), eat and chill.

This summer I had the opportunity to go camping twice. Continue reading

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