One Friday we decided to take a drive along the desert outskirts in Kuwait. There´s nothing much there to see actually. Of course there´s less to expect from an almost barren desert fields. Aside from dust, dust and arid landscape,you might end up thinking like you are in the middle of nowhere.But for a foreigner like me, the sight of a caravan of camels, Bedouin tents (nomads) and the long range of power transmission lines to name a few sounds interesting for me.Kuwait is a very small country and you can absolutely explore the whole country in one day. The best way to explore the outskirts?—of course driving along because you can´t do it by walking or cycling since it´s almost 48+ degrees outside.The roads are well paved and camera-monitored.
And this is why this roadtrip became memorable for me.
I recalled asking myself, have I ever really experienced a real foggy misty day in Kuwait?
Look at the photo below, is it foggy , misty or dusty? could you tell the difference?
Probably not, since oftentimes, I have mistaken mist as dust, because the blurred visions made me felt like it´s all the same. It is scorching hot, humid, and uncomfortable that my eyes hurt.
Anyway, one time while admiring the herd of camels in the Camel farm in Wafra, my iPhone had suddenly shuts down due to long exposures to heat and I received an impromptu message ” Wait until this iPhone cools down..”! So at least that can give you an idea what to expect if you decide to go on a roadtrip in Kuwait and make a pit stop in the desert.
Looking back,in Kuwait, these power lines symbolizes it´s power resources.With it´s high crude reserves, still, it has it´s high´s and low´s. There, water is more expensive than oil.Due to heavy use of air conditioning, reliance on desalination for water, and highly subsidized electricity prices, Kuwait’s per capita electricity consumption is among the highest in the world, at roughly 14 000 kWh.We lived with air conditioning almost all throughout the year and we never paid any electrical bills and you pay peanuts for petrol.
On a clear day, it means no duststorms, one can appreciate the simple beauty of the desert with these power transmissions lines as background. Time flies fast as we venture on appreciating the local scenery.Further on we made many quick stop- overs to admire the dunes, looking for wild desert flowers and breathing fresch air in the secluded beaches.I totally enjoyed killing time there, just watching the desert sun sets and paint the skies with beautiful palletes of purple, and burnt oranges.
Along the way, a small roadside “Bakala” ( or convenient store) , or the 711 of the desert can be seen just like the photo above. They sell almost everything, from cigarettes, drinks, ice cream, toys, I don´t know exactly what are those sacks, but for sure they have something to quench your thirst. Sometimes they sell some vegetables and fruits coming from the nearby farms.
You´ll feel lucky to see some ” infamous war- torn ” walls like this. There hasn´t been Graffiti or public art in Kuwait, only barren walls, a reminder of its painful past.
I can´t say that´s it´s a county side thing, but in the outskirts, these sand dunes are quite pretty sight. People loved to drive around here and just have a breather, camping and BBQ; and of course, enjoy the beach.There are no rivers to amuse us, only rough beaches and coastlines.
Of course, our road trip won´t be complete without a sight of the local desert trees . They looked fragile, and yet very resilient which I really find so unique.Sometimes I thought that this landscape made me think if I am in the middle of nowhere but then a sight of a single tree, swayed by the shy desert winds can be reassuring.
If allowed, one can further explore the roads leading to Kuwait´s neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and Iraq as long as you obtained entry permits.Crossing these borders illegally is really a big hassle and without Arabic, you might really get in trouble.The road distance from Kuwait to Saudi Arabia is approximately 796 kms. Saudi is located on the south side of Kuwait so if you travel at the consistent speed of 50 KM per hour you can reach Saudi Arabia in 15 hours and 46 minutes.
I ´ve definitely not seen a mist in the roads of Kuwait but yes, I wished I have gathered a pocket of sand in a bottle, because somehow, I´ve been there.
Last Saturday I was in a happy place–in this large botanical paradise, 15 minutes away from home, I was surrounded with beautiful summer blooms in different shades and heights, charming little gardens, and lush green oasis. I constantly hearing the sound of the bees and other insects and the calming flowing fountains and ponds. My worries about Corona were gone. Well at least on this day..!
The photo below describes exactly how I feel all throughout of our visit.
There was pure Zen. Tranquility. Day of Rest and relaxation and pure bliss.
Who would be sad if they see all these beauties. I heard people saying ” Wünderschön…!” “Sehr schön…” and I couldn´t agree no more.
I totally got lost so I was constantly clicking my camera. I snapped and took photos of all the beautiful things I saw.Today was the day I need to improve my camera skills anyway…
It was supposed to open last year but because of Corona, Landesgartenshau-Ingolstadt remained closed to the public until recently, but still with tight restrictions and hygienic measures, it finally opened for tourism.It`s amazing that a place like this pop up into our city, giving us a new destination to interact with nature. A place to bridge the gap between neighborhoods and a circle to meet with friends and serves as a natural sanctuary.
This was good news not only for me, but for so many nature plant loving humans over here.We needed a bit of fresh air from a long time of lockdowns. This place signals a new hope as well for thriving businesses , and multi-talented artists. Everywhere, people wants to go somewhere ,anyhow, it doesn´t matter, just being out from the house is great enough.
Children for sure wants to play outside, freely and no restrictions.Crawling back to normality in baby steps…
My little Miss was super excited to go. She knows it so well that there is a huge playground there so that kept her stamina up for many hours.I am personally very happy that we have now something in our city , like this green place that we can be proud of. This new “Green Oasis” just beside Westpark is the new magnet not only for the local residents but throughout the whole region. A visit to this place is open to all ages and I am sure everyone in the family will enjoy.
How to visit?
Because of Corona, a visit to this place cannot be done without prior registration and schedule. We applied for a schedule 4 days ahead then we got the confirmation to visit.No worries, everything can be done online and the entry procedures is generally easy.Everything about the location, schedule, Tickets and entry requirements can be found here.
As of today, the limit of visitors allowed to enter the park is up to 4,000 guests/day.
Parking is available in the areas near the Park. Map is provided upon entrance.
When to visit?
Ideal time is actually depending on your choice.Summer time means the floral and garden display will be all about summer blooms and Spring flowers are gone. The list of activities and park´s exhibitions including the programmes are all listed in here. Be there early so you avoid the crowds and long lines!
The park runs from 3rd April up to 10th of October 2021.
Wearing masks in the closed areas such as the Floral exhibitions and public areas is strictly required and monitored. There are clean bathrooms for hand washing and disinfection stations everywhere.
Corona Negative Tests are not required upon entering the park although restrictions may vary and change depending on the actual Corona situation of Ingolstadt.
What to wear + bring?
Summer time is here, so unless it´s a bad weather, dressing up light is really good. You´ll be walking a lot so think about your own comfort.Wearing a hat and sunscreen is really needed as the sun can be harsh for long time exposure. If you have children, bring lots of snacks, extra clothes for change, bathing suits , towels,and shorts because they will be wet, dirty and sweaty.
Snacks and picnics are allowed inside the park. There are quite enough open spaces and huge picnic grounds ( with endless numbers of banks, rest areas, and recliners) for everyone to sit on.
There are plenty of carry buggies that you can borrow to put on your stuff if you have many things to carry.
Don´t forget to bring your camera, extra cash and lots of good mood!
The vacant lot beside where we lived is now under construction. That means….
Everyday there´s something going on. All except Sundays. We have loud commotions and noises under our noses and lots of scrambling like someone is being murdered. There are huge trailers,Lorries,delivery vans, cranes, endless trips of ready mixed concrete trucks.
My daily sights include the flying ” Mobi” or the porta toilets for the workers, and in the street across us, a container is settled for the worker´s quarters. There is always human and motor traffic. When the land was being cleared, I have seen the biggest damp truck I have ever seen, and I was really amazed how fast it did the job done.Within 3 days, the empty field was scraped and a big hole was dug.
It´s not always an enjoyable to watch and to live with the noises is really maddening. But then, nothing we can do.
We live with it and hoping that it will be finished. Soon.
On the other hand, when I cycled to work, I am rewarded with these beautiful sunrises.The skies are colorful and the construction serves as the sun´s background to show it´s amazing dawn.So far, this is one of the perks of waking up at 5.30 am and starting the day early.
Though in some point, these pretty purple magenta sunrises reminds me of Jude , who challenges us to look out for the color Purple in everyday life. Do head on to her ” Life in Colour “ page if you wanna see some serious adventures in full colors.
Until then, and by the way, here in Bavaria, we say “Servus” instead of Hello! Tschüss.
“A library of books is the fairest garden in the world, and to walk there is an ecstasy.” ― E. Powys Mathers, The Arabian Nights
I thought sandcastles are made only in the shores of beaches, I was definitely mistaken.In Germany, every little kid plays with sand and dig their hearts out .It´s no wonder that most child owns a bucket , spade and shovel .If they are spoiled enough, they have little trucks and even a mini wheelbarrow.Mamas take their children for a walk into the playground and tuck these toys in the stroller and their day is complete.
That´s how special sand is…!
But nothing compares to these professionally built sand sculptures.
I was pregnant that time and the heat was really scorching, I laughed because this weather is quite normal in my life in Kuwait but then again, it didn´t stop me from seeing this once in a lifetime largest Sand Sculpture in Kuwait in 2014. With the theme ” 1,001 Nights ” or better well known as the ” Arabian Nights”, we head on to Remal International Exhibition. Looking at my swollen feet, I´m glad I´m wearing flats. I was excited since it would be the very first time I would see gigantic sand sculptures but then the baby keeps kicking me so I was also feeling lethargic.
My first thoughts were ” How did they do it?”
” What kind of sand would they use for making the model figures?”
I know from experience that the budget for this exhibition is no problem for Kuwaitis , since they always opt to do extravagant and unique exhibitions like this. Looking back, it was even easy for them to record the biggest and world -class Guiness World Records Fireworks display that lasted almost an hour to celebrate it´s 50th year National Constitution. I´ve heard that for this one alone, the whole exhibition costed 1 Million Kuwaiti Dinars or approx. 3 Million US dollars!
And yes, my neck hurts from staring in the skies for that but it was a beautiful experience.
There were LOTS of sands in this place!The entire sand sculptures were made of 28,000 tons of sand which is about 1,000 dump truck loads! It´s really big and the walking throughout the place made me really feel fired.The artist behind the gigantic sand sculpture exhibition is no other than Canadian Sculpture and Stone Mason Delayne Corbett along with other 73 Scuplture artists from 25 different countries.
“Open Sesame ” ! -Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
Who would have not known the story of Ali Baba and Aladdin and his magic lamp?
Growing up, the stories of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Alladin´s Lamp, the Seven Voyages of Sinbad and the Sailor is quite familiar to me. Decades have past and these Arabian folk tales, and magic carpet rides still plays a major part in early childhood.I´ve seen quite a few of films and plays depicting these ancient stories .Now as an adult, I realized that these stories tells another far much deeper “TALE”.
The Arabian Nights , or 1001 Nights which is a compilation of different folk stories during the Golden Islamic Age .Of course, the story settings are in the Middle East like the ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, India and China.
The highlight of the story for me was about Sharayar and his wife Scheherazade.Their story really made an impression to me because as tragic as it is, it tells about the story of one woman´s cleverness and will to change his master´s heart. Sharayar found out that his wife cheated on him so he vows to marry different woman every night and kill them afterwards to prevent further betrayal.Then comes Scheherazade whom he married, but she learned about his plans and prepares a tactic to survive from his evil plans.
Her plan? It´s reading and telling stories to Shahrayar every single night, but stopping in the middle of the story for Shahrayar to increase his curiosity. This way, he gets more anticipation and excitement. Sheherazade repeats this pattern for 1,001 Nights! With this technique, she were able to save herself from being killed and stop the heinous crime of killing women of her husband.Now that´s a lot of storytelling!
I realized that Scheherazade wouldn´t be able to do it if she is not well versed in general information. Looking at her character she must have read thousand books and equipped herself with enough knowledge to be able to deliver stories like that. She must have loved to read and study a lot.
Different sculptures depicts the scenes of the stories that Scheherazade told to Shahrayar so it´s like walking into a picture book.The whole place was soooo pretty and beautiful at nightime. I admire the sand sculptures when it is lighted up to the heavens. They all looked so real, wonderfully crafted to the very edges! They were really done well and the details are so intricate. I respect the great labor of the artists, considering that working under the heat conditions in Kuwait is no joke. Paying attention to every tiny detail is very important. One false move and the sculpture would suddenly collapse!
The whole place of Remal is transformed into a giant sand paradise.Tons of sands made into different sculpture figures is definitely one of the best interpretation of human´s artistic skills and talent.
” Stories might not be able to change the world, but they are capable of changing us by making us look at ourselves in new ways.”
To make it even grandier, there are also Fire Dancers, Python show and Fata Ole ; demonstrating the finest in African folklore within a 3-minute dance performed 3 times daily.The largest sand castle made in a contest was 18 feet tall; the owner, Ronald Malcnujio, a five-foot-high man, had to use several ladders, each the height of the sand castle. His sculpture consisted of one ton of sand and 10 litres of water to sculp!