23 Hours in Dubai

23 Hours in Dubai

What do you do when you have a 23-hour layover in Dubai? Maybe grab a bite to eat?

Dubai is often called “Las Vegas of the Middle East”, only bigger and better. That’s pretty accurate, I’d say. It’s big and flashy with opulent “7-star” hotels, massive water fountain displays, and exorbitant man-made islands. It’s also much less seedy than America’s Sin City.

Cheap seats, believe it or not
Crowds gather for the water fountain show (just like Vegas only much grander)

Despite its reputation for ostentatious displays of wealth, Dubai has a rich and flourishing street food culture too. In a city where most of the work is done by foreigners, it’s no surprise that you can find fantastic falafel, surprisingly good pizza, and spicy curry all right next to each other. With so many nationalities (like Pakistanis, Moroccans, Filipinos, even a handful of Peruvians) mixing together in such a small space, Dubai is a fantastic place for a travelling foodie.

Sweet and cheesy
Every kind of nut and spice you can imagine
A real estate agent explains Islam
Salted fish salad – a very traditional dish
Chef Rabeh shows how to prepare traditional Emirati cuisine during a cooking class
Dhows – traditional cargo boats still used to trade with the Gulf, India, and Africa

A short and sweet visit but certainly a delicious one.

2018 in 12 Photos

2018 was a year full of travel, adventures, and some nice time back home. I made sure to keep things interesting by having a wide diversity of themes to each trip, probably more so than I’ve done in recent years. From cooking classes in Dubai, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur to backpacking trips in Kyrgyzstan and the Grand Canyon, and cycling through Western Australia, it was a great year.

January – Trying strange street-food in Hong Kong
February – I visit my mom and Aunt Bev on the Columbia River in BC. Here’s Bev’s new house, coming along well.
March – Cycling all the way from Perth to Kalgoorlie to see the Super Pit – one of the largest open pit gold mines on earth
April – Cycling through Valley of the Giants in Western Australia
May – Walking Scotland’s West Highland Way
June – I join a great group of people to walk coast-to-coast cross Sweden
July – Backpacking the spectacular Northover Ridge in unusually warm weather
August – Traversing the remote volcanic landscape of Edziza in northern BC
September – Enjoying the clean mountain air of Kyrgyzstan’s Pamir Mountains
October – Discovering old Communist monuments in Tajikistan
November – Hiking and backpacking in the Grand Canyon
December – Sometimes it’s nice just to be home, enjoying the company of loved ones

2019 is shaping up to be another great year of travel with even bigger, grander adventures in the works. Can’t wait!

What will you remember most from 2018?

Chengdu – Home of Mouth-Numbing Sichuan Pepper

Chengdu – Home of Mouth-Numbing Sichuan Pepper

Chengdu is the capital of Sichuan, that region of China famous for its spicy food. Chillies are a vital ingredient in almost every dish but what’s not well known is that chili peppers originated in South America – not Asia – and have only been part of Sichuan cooking for around 300 years.
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Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

Chengdu China – Home of the Giant Panda

I’m stopping over in Chengdu China on my way back from visiting the “Stans” of Central Asia. Chengdu is famous as the home of the endangered Giant Panda. The weather here is perfect for them – warm and wet – just what you want for growing lots of bamboo. I’m very lucky that it’s actually clear and sunny! A rare occurrence, especially in winter, and a great opportunity to capture some photos of people enjoying themselves outside.
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