You thought it was over? Well, it ain‘t! 😀

On our way back home to Germany we had two stop overs: A short one in Hong Kong and one a bit longer in Dubai, visiting my cousin that I hadn’t seen in many years.

As we had spent far too much time in Hong Kong waiting for our China visa a few weeks earlier, we decided to make a day-trip to Macau during our stop over. Despite being a different country, a visa was not needed for this Chinese special administrative region, so we hopped on a ferry and reached the peninsula within an hour. We were startled by the immigration officer asking which one of us was S after looking at the pictures in both our passports. I guess you just start looking very much alike after traveling together for this length of time….

We paid a short visit to the cute fishing village of Coloane where we enjoyed the quiet streets and fresh air before heading on to the super-touristy centre of Macau.

Coloane Village Macau

Coloane Village Macau

Coloane Village Macau

Coloane Village Macau

Despite the crowds of Chinese visitors, we tried to take in the beautiful colonial-style buildings which originate from the Portuguese era. As soon as we moved into side streets the number of tour groups decreased and the atmosphere turned calmer.

Colonial Macau

Colonial Macau

Colonial Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Macau

Right before dusk we wandered over to the waterfront where Macau’s casinos dominate the skyline. Here you will see all the glitter, glamour and gold you can imagine. Apparently the city has already passed Las Vegas in income derived from gambling. Nevertheless we were more impressed by the water and fire show of the Wynn casino’s fountain than the gambling tables.

Macau casino

Macau casino

Macau casino

Colonial Macau

After two nights in Hong Kong we boarded a plane to our final destination before flying home. We arrived in Dubai late at night, but when my cousin Dumani picked us up at the airport, the air was still thick with heat.

The next day we learned that life in Dubai starts in the late afternoon during the summer months. Firstly temperatures in the forties, combined with the hot desert wind make you want to stay in an a/c cooled room as long as possible and secondly it was Ramadan, the Muslim month of fast. I had been to Egypt a few years earlier during Ramadan, but was not much affected by it at the time. In Dubai everything is at a halt during daylight hours in Ramadan. The souks, Dubai’s markets are deserted and many stores, pretty much all restaurants and cafés are closed and don’t open until the seven pm prayer, when the fast is broken with everyone meeting with friends and family for a huge feast.

Spice Souk Dubai Ramdan

Ramadan Dubai empty restaurants

So, forced by these circumstances we spent most of our days in Dubai at the pool and explored the mega city in the evening hours.

Pool Dubai

Boats Dubai

At the market Sonja Petra in spices shop

Marina Dubai

Souk Madinat Dubai

Watching football in the mall Dubai

Watching football in the mall Dubai2

Skyline Dubai

What we weren’t aware of was the fact that even non-Muslims are not allowed to eat or drink in public before the evening prayer. So, going to a café for a coffee while shopping or grabbing a bite when hunger takes over is completely out of the question….even at the pool. So, to avoid dying of thirst in this heat, we hid in toilets, cinemas, dressing rooms and pedestrian underpasses to secretly drink some water or have a quick snack.

Hiding to eat

Ramadan hiding to drink

It was wonderful seeing Dumani after all that time and staying with his lovely family. We had great Arab food and enjoyed the last few hot evenings before boarding the plane back to Munich after exactly nine months of travelling.

Girls at Lebanese restaurant

Aroos Damascus

 

2 Comments

 

  1. 07/07/2014  23:48 by Antonella Reply

    Foto 2 AMAZING! The tree is a natural artist! Love it!!!

  2. 10/07/2014  07:55 by Petra Reply

    Great article and pictures. Two more weeks of Ramadan for us.

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