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Oman

Hajar mountains
The public holidays over Christmas and New Year provides a nice little break and this year I decided to do something with them by heading to Dubai and Muscat. Spent a few stress free days in Muscat lazing around the hotel but took a 4WD tour out into the Hajar mountains. Turned out to be just me and the driver taking the wadi road to Wadi Bani Awf and then up the mountain road and over to Nizwa. Amazingly beautiful countryside and I now wish I had organised more tours out into it.

Burj al Arab

Inside the Burj Al Arab
Words fail me nearly completely! What an amazing hotel with equally amazing service. Yes it’s outrageously expensive to stay there and Christmas Day/Boxing Day was probably less than ideal timing but the two level suite is more like an apartment and the service from the floor customer service person and the butler was impeccable. Hired a helicopter to do a tour of Dubai which meant my floor customer service person finally got to visit the helipad when he escorted me up there! Finished my stay with a great afternoon tea before taking Etihad’s chauffeur service back to Abu Dhabi airport and my flight to Muscat.

Photo Books and Calendars

Gullfoss
On my return from the Faroe Islands and Iceland, and after seeing Ren Provo’s Indian photo book, I decided to give one a go. My first problem though was I wanted to include place names in their native Faroese or Icelandic and that presents a problem to most systems that only accept text in US-ASCII. Both have the letter “eth” (Ð) and Icelandic also has the letter “thorn” (Þ). Fortunately PicPress in Australia supports multi-lingual text (not sure about Asian scripts but certainly accented latin characters and eth and thorn) so that made the decision for me. It was more expensive than using Shutterfly (like Ren) but I got the text I wanted and the output was quite nice. One thing I didn’t like was their requirement to leave packages at your door should you not be in (and I wasn’t).
There are lots of sites that also produce Calendars and although I haven’t produced any as yet I’ve created a couple at RedBubble http://www.redbubble.com/people/mprior/calendars/4039336-4-f-royar and http://www.redbubble.com/people/mprior/calendars/4043568-1–sland and will see how they turn out once I can be home when they are delivered.

Faroe Islands and Iceland

Koltur
In August I took a 3 week holiday in the North Atlantic. Firstly I went to the Faroe Islands (Føroyar) and spend a week on their inter island buses visiting Tórshavn (the capital), Klaksvík (in the northern islands), Runavík and Sørvágur (plus some villages along the way). It has spectacular scenery and crazy sheep, that must know how to abseil 🙂

Definitely a place to visit if you want to escape the tourists and enjoy the countryside.

The second major stop was Reykjavík in Iceland, where I was joined for a couple of days by Hollie and Paul. More spectacular scenery and more tourists. We did the “standard” Golden Circle tour, although we travelled in style in a SUV rather than a coach and that allowed us to vary the tour and most importantly go at our own pace. After Hollie and Paul returned to their family holiday I went out to the Westman Island (Vestmannaeyjar) and finally caught up with some Puffins on the wing (although they were no longer nesting so you couldn’t get close).

Tour Down Under 2009 – Stage 6

DSC_6635Final day of the Tour Down Under means another stage in the parklands. This time it’s 20 laps around the parklands between North Adelaide and the City and includes the somewhat ironic climb up Montefiore Hill for King of the Mountains points. Allan Davis had the GC under control and his QuickStep team mates weren’t about to allow anything bad to happen but we got to see Lance Armstrong launch up Montefiore Hill and lead the race with a lap to go! A few more days in the Hills might have been more to his liking but he said he was enjoying himself so maybe we’ll see him again. More photos in the sport section of “Photos”.

More IPv6 probing

I’ve now created a CGI script so that people can check the status of domains that are not already on the survey page http://www.mrp.net/ipv6_survey but be warned it’s not exactly fast to run so you should check the survey first. The script is http://www.mrp.net/cgi-bin/ipv6-status.cgi
If you want the domain added to the survey then send me a note, including the organisation’s name as well as the domain name.