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About buchhalm

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Muscat/Oman, Abu Dhabi/UAE and Sydney/Australia
  • Interests
    food, travelling, music, navel gazing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Something new every time
  1. Taronga is wonderful. When you are bored with the animals, the views are spectacular, the ferry ride over is lovely. They do of course have all the Aussie animals, but it's no touching.
  2. buchhalm

    What is the most niche cruise you have been on?

    Nudist cruise in Croatia.
  3. Pretty much anything us available here at any pharmacy or chemist. Certainly over the counter stuff such as cold and flu medicine. I am taking " prescription only" blood pressure medication that I get without problem at any chemist without a prescription, simply by showing a photo of the medication's box on my phone. Sometimes the name of the medicine may be different to the brand you are used to, but the active ingredients are the same. An exception are medicines such as antidepressants which are strictly regulated here and only available at certain hospital pharmacies
  4. buchhalm

    The TK Experience on Seabourn

    We liked a cocktail called "The old Cuban ". Rum, lime, champagne etc. Very refreshing
  5. buchhalm

    The TK Experience on Seabourn

    The best thing about the TK restaurant (On Quest) were the cocktails. A lot more skilfully prepared than in the other venues. The food was ok, but not spectacularly so. I don't understand people having palpitations about eating there. We did not find the food (old fashioned) to be significantly better than in the main dining room. Portions are more than generous. Some dishes are just plain silly. "SUPER CHILLED salad" whooptidoo. A ice cream Sundae is just weird. They roll up with a gueridon (side table) and a few bits of silverware, and one would expect something exciting to happen. But no. Scoop of ice cream plonked into a dish, poor on some sauce, place one cherry. Show over. Pfffffff. And staff seems miffed if you don't order from the special wine list. Ho-hum
  6. buchhalm

    Sydney...Where to eat???

    City Extra is pretty decent. Think American style diner, and you know what to expect. Quite big portions (by Australian standards). I'd stay away from the Italian restaurant next door.
  7. buchhalm

    Kandy, temple of tooth

    Oops. That should say Buddhists, and not Hindu, of course. Well spotted!
  8. buchhalm

    Sydney Must do's

    A nice harbour cruise is well worth it. They depart frequently from Darling Harbour and /or Circular Quay. Companies do lunch or dinner cruises as well as afternoon tea cruises or just plain sight seeing cruises. As they all do pretty much the same laps, just pick a boat that appeals to you. My personal favourite is MAGISTIC cruises. Small and modern vessels with decent food. If you do go for a lunch_dinner cruise, I suggest boarding in darling harbour. That way you get the entire buffet. Sometimes they have Chinese tour groups on the boat And they attack the food like a plague of locusts... Also, I would not really book in advance. Most companies have on-the-day specials for very good prices. Just last week I took visitors on Magistic and paid less than half the brochure price. As for the bridge climb, it is SO worth doing. It is not difficult at all. I am very lazy, but have done it several times.
  9. buchhalm

    Kandy, temple of tooth

    Do take a ships tour. The interior is nice. The tea plantations are interesting and there is a gorgeous elephant orphanage. For the latter find out / ensure that you will be there at bathing time. Twice a day they take the elephants in a process in. To the river, and you can watch them playing in the water. That is very nice. Kandi is OK, but not worth a special trip, unless you are Hindu. As mentioned, the ship will wait for their own tours.
  10. buchhalm

    Kandy, temple of tooth

    That said, do NOT attempt a private tour in Sri Lanka if the destination is outside city limits. Traffic is diabolical, road conditions are bad in the country side. Whilst distanced on a map may not seem far, it takes a long time to get around. Ship tours will wait if the bus is late, but not if your taxi is delayed. And as far as the Buddha tooth goes, it is unlikely that you get to see the real thing. It only comes out for special occasions.
  11. buchhalm

    Premier Inn hairdryer

    Mind you, if a hairdryer is fixed in the bathroom or dresser drawer, they tend to those asthmatic things that are of little use for drying anything but your eye brows....
  12. buchhalm

    Casablanca and GuruWalk?

    FREE walking tour and GOOD REVIEWS. Ain't that enough?:cool:
  13. buchhalm

    Oman: Tips, Secrets, Ideas, etc.??!!

    SQ is indeed a lover of classical music and keeps his own orchestras to play his dinner music. The ROP Royal Oman Police has several very picturesque bands who are a lot better at marching than playing music. ;-) Of course the Opera House in Muscat is world class. Arabs of a certain persuasion with too much money and free hand in decorating coukd have resulted in design style of Liberace meets Elton John, but the ROH is nothing but understated elegance. Productions run from the sublime to the weird and wonderful, and anybody with a name in classical music, and to a certain extent Jazz, has already performed there. The opening, 5 or so years ago, was with a Franco Zefirelli production of Turandot, with Zefirelli himself (attached to oxygen bottles) directing the rehearsals and attending the opening from one of the stage boxes. It was cute to read in the local press the next day that "Maestro Giaccomo Puccini directed 3 operas on the location of last night's opening of the Royal Opera House". When it counts, Omanis don't shy away from making the impossible possible. Even bringing long dead composers back to life for a night...
  14. buchhalm

    Oman: Tips, Secrets, Ideas, etc.??!!

    HM Sultan Quaboos is indeed credited with opening Oman, not only to tourism, but also to the West in general. He was educated at military schools in the UK, and when he returned to Oman he quickly dethroned his father, sent him into exile and modernised the country. HM is (pretty much by law) admired by his people. Sultan Quaboos is one if the few absolute monarchs left in the world. These days he is rarely seen in public and seems to spend a lot if the time in Germany for treatment of an ongoing, officially undisclosed medical condition. Since HM is not married and has no children (read into this what you like) there is great uncertainty what will happen after his death (which won t be too far off). All sorts of rumours are around that there is a "sealed letter" that is to be opened, revealing his wish / appointment of his successor.
  15. On Sept 27th, a ship called Boudica was in port. Fred. Olsen Line?