Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors
The Musandam, Sultanate of Oman
"Every day of your life is a page of your history", says one Arabic proverb. The road on which you will write the new chapter of your life leads you to the south eastern coast of the Arabian peninsula, to Oman, the sultanate of the lonesome mountains, 2700 kilometres beautiful sandy beaches, desert dunes, ancient tombs, turtles nests and warm people.
Separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates lies Musandam, Oman's exclave strategically located to overlook the Strait of Hormuz, the international water passage and the crossing point for 90 percent of the Persian Gulf's oil shipped to all over the world. Musandam Peninsula hides Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay, 82 rustically designed villas made of stone and wood, your sanctuary for the next two weeks.
To get to Zighy Bay catch a 90 minutes flight from Dubai or 15 minutes drive on the speed boat. Or, there's more, be a companion passenger to a professional paraglider pilot and land on Zighy Bay in style. Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay offers exclusive artisan gallery, wide selection of movies, library, champagne breakfast, private beach, and please note the next, even 42 flavours of ice creams and sorbets. Take a time to decide what you will do. It may be a boat trip; you may rent a car, watch a movie or read a book. Before you go home: "Write the bad things that are done to you in sand, but write the good things that happen to you on a piece of marble."
Okavango Delta, the Republic of Botswana
"Return to old watering holes for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you", says one African proverb. Welcome to Botswana, the republic with one of the world's smallest passport stamps, and the state where lion's voice spreads across the endless savannah while singing crickets announce a new hot day.
But, for the start wipe your feet. Probably there's no house in the world cleaner than the whole Botswana. As a measure of precaution of the spreading of the diseases Botswana's Department of Agriculture ordered that all vehicles and passengers must go through disinfectant before they enter Botswana. Now, when you are clean, cleaner than ever before, meet Botswana.
Okavango Delta on the northwest is the largest inland delta in the world and one of the three Botswana's sources of permanent surface water and your next destination. The best time to visit Okvango is between April and November when large number of animals migrate towards the waterways of the delta. Choose the shade of one of the twelve luxury tents of Eagle Island Camp Xaxaba as your starting point to numerous trips. Boat cruises, helicopter excursions and game viewing with a private guide are just some of the activities you can do. While game viewing, don't make unnecessary moves and keep the road clear for a quickly retreat. Have in mind: "If you climb up the tree, you must climb down the same tree."
Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
"You must judge a man by the work of his hands", says African proverb. Stunning desert Zaman Castle, situated near Taba, Egypt, is the dream and the fantasy of one Egyptian architect and the work of his hands. Built of carefully chosen red and brown tinted stones and located on the cliff top above the Red Sea this medieval-style castle has dramatic, mountainous view on four countries: Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Some twenty million years ago Sinai was connected with Egypt and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula as the part of the same land formation. Then, thermal currents in the Earth's mantle created huge cracks which lifted and spread the land. Thanks to the biblical history and rich coral reefs that historic area of Asia, a land bridge to Africa and the part of Egypt, attracts numerous tourists from all parts of the world each year.
Castle Zaman is the most beautiful castle in Egypt and the restaurant which offers the unique experience of tasting slow food, a meat dishes cooked more than three hours that literally melt in your mouth. After you experience that, you will look at the food with different eyes. Ancient Pharaoh's tombs was inspired the architect to built naturally air conditioned underground tunnel.
Each and every piece of the furniture is carefully chosen not to distract the warmness of wooden details and hardiness of the stone. Enormous chandeliers, comfortable sitting areas and wireless internet point to the new era. One view on the sea below and a sunset that says "Good night" will tell you something what you already know: "Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today." ■