Middle East Tour October 2015

Palm Springs to San Francisco to Istanbul, Turkey on Turkish Airlines arranged by the best travel agent in the world:

8639 Truxton Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States
Sandy Lubarsky
[email protected]

Istanbul, Turkey

Intercontinental Hotel


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Hagia Sophia

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The Blue Mosque

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Ottoman Palace

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Hog Cat (Name: Harley?)                                  With our guide



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Hop On Hop Off Bus

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Cistern Basilica
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Kapadokya Lodge Inn Hotel


Hot Air Balloon Ride!!!!




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We actually landed – alive!!


Alive – calls for a toast

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More of the incredible landscape of Kapadokya.  Basalt (lava) on top of less hardened rock.  Erosion leaves the basalt and wears away the rock underneath.

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Pottery factory

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On board the Oceania Nautical!  648 guests!  Our Stateroom.

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Our butler, Samrat.


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Kavala/Philippi Greece (Island)

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Kusadasi, Turkey (near Ephesus).  Absolutely the funniest guide ever – a regular stand up (and sometimes sit down) comic!

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Turkish rugs (I thought it was going to be men’s hair pieces! ?)

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Masada and the Dead Sea

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Areas under Palestinian control can not be entered by Israelis.



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The Dead Sea (Salton? :-))

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October 10, 2015

Slight glitch – our tour to Jerusalem and Bethlehem was cancelled.  We walked into the port of Haifa and looked around.

NEWS: Violence escalates as Palestinian militants ‘fire rocket into Israel’

Violence has continued to escalate between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military after reports that a rocket was fired from the Gaza strip, and clashes broke out following the death of a young Palestinian man in a Jerusalem refugee camp.



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A Marionette shop in Haifa, Israel (closed).



Duty Free is less expensive than Total Wine!!






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Sermon on the Mount area with the Sea of Galilee in the background.

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Go ahead, you ask her!


The Suez Canal!

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We dock in Luxor (Safaga) Egypt

In every tour in Egypt we were accompanied by a driver, guide and a security person with a very large handgun with a big curved magazine!

Aqua Scope Underwater Discovery tour.  The Palm Royale Soma Bay Hotel (most of the guests are Russian!).  Plenty of para-sailing and wind surfing.




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Below deck is a observation deck where you can look at the coral and fishes.  They don’t seem to show up on the photos through the glass be there are thousands of variety of colors and species of fish and water creatures.



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This shot is for our gardener


Aqaba, Jordon  We’ve been to Petra and to Wadi Rum on our previous trip so we had time to explore the city!

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Another Duty Free stop.   This time it included Gin from Jordan!


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We were invited to dinner by Alberto Di Lorenzo, Safety Officer and Vedran Krec, First Engineer for Oceania’s Nautica along with Hilde and Jan (a retired police captain) from Belgium.


A day a Sea calls for a Brunch!


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Two more days at sea (Red Sea) before Oman (East of Yemen) and sailing past the pirates of Somalia!


Another day at sea calls for a Champagne breakfast in the Stateroom!


And the top chefs cooking demonstration – funnest act on-board!

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Pasta from scratch with 4 different sauces, Escalopes two ways, and Foie gras!


Plus a wine sale of the wines they don’t have enough of to put on the menu!  At half of the menu price but double the prices at Total Wine!

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Salalah, Oman – a Sultanate with all the oil money needed resulting in state of the art Highways and lots of construction.

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Frankincense Tree.


Frankincense perfume store.

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Frankincense Land Museum near the excavation of an ancient city.

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Muscat, Oman

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Dinner with the Kapadokya Eight!


Dubai — The superlative city – tallest, biggest, fastest, best, etc.

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The marina.

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Small shopping souk.

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Afternoon Tea at the Burj Al Arab, a landmark and icon of the Dubai skyline.


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Loading food/supplies onto the ship for the next leg of the voyage.  7+ containers full!


Leaving the first batch of clothes on board.

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The largest mall in the world.

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View from the world’s tallest building.



Last of the Jordon gin!


The Dubai Museum, located in the 200-year-old Fort Fahidi. Opened in 1971, the museum houses a treasure trove of local antiquities, preserving the emirate’s history and traditions. Some of the exhibits contain artifacts that date back from the times of pearl diving and long before the discovery of oil.

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Aboard a dhow, the traditional Arabic boat, for a short cruise on Dubai Creek over to the spice and gold markets.
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Night dinner cruise

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Conrad Hotel, Dubai, UAE


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“Rain” shower!

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View from the room of Metro station and the worlds tallest building.  We went up to the observation deck on the 154th floor.

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Breakfast and hotel grounds (around pool).

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The most beautiful mosque in the world!  And fashion police to check you comply with proper Muslim attire!


And then security where the ladies have a separate entrance.  No touching inside the Mosque.

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Latest project – museums, golf course and homes.

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Another Mall

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Last batch of clothing left.


Headed home on Emirates.  Great seats, only four per row.  Seat, aisle, two seats, aisle and seat.

Dubai to San Francisco (one of the longest flight schedules) then to Palm Springs.  As you can see these long flights are tough!

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Of course every airplane should have a bar!

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And as the sun sets slowly in the west, we leave these fair lands – oops sorry, this is our welcome home sunset!