1 Jan 2010

The year in reverse

At Ha Long Bay

So its already the new year - the last one went so fast everything's just a blur! Highlights of 2009 for me were my umrah trip and going back to the UK for a short trip. But actually last year was a year of lots of trips - short ones, long ones, near and far. The worst or most disappointing was our trip to Mersing. Or maybe it was because we had too high expectations - after all it is only a little fishing town from where you can hop on the ferry to Tioman. But somehow I had this idea that it's a really fantastic place so when we all got there last July when Sarah was here, it was a letdown.

IN January we went to Hanoi - OUM's meeting with some people there and I went along. That was a great visit and we saw some really wonderful places - Ha Long Bay being one of them. Hanoi reminds me of KL in the 60s. But they're catching up real fast.

The Great Masjidil Haram with the Kaabah - at 3 am!

Then in March we went to Jakarta - just Repin and me. I was there again with the OUM people some time in May. Before that were in Mekah and Madinah, the holy cities of Islam for our umrah. That was wonderfully refreshing as an umrah will always be. I managed to read a few surahs at the Masjidil Haram every morning while I was there and I felt suitably proud of myself for being able just to recite the quran. I couldn't during my haj season and just learnt to read again recently.

Lake Toba seen from the town of Parapat

Of course there were a number of visits to Singapore to see our grand daughter. No words can describe a grand parents feelings as we watch our grand daughter's antics - love, pride, joy all combined.

 Our grand daughter Sophie with her dad, Rizal, listening to some music on the pc

In May we went to Medan and Lake Toba - a hitherto always wanted to visit place but because its so near we never went! Lake Toba is awesome in size and a natural beauty. If only the way there is easier, more comfortable, I'm sure more people would go there. We stayed one night at Brastagi, a place fairly high up the mountains. Beautifully cool, it can be a great tourist attraction but again it's not well marketed.

Horse cart at Brastagi, Indonesia

THe UK trip which had been planned since January was done in October - and we saw all the places we missed when we went there the last few times, as well as places we always loved, such as Edinburgh. I'd like to go to Ireland one of these days. Maybe next time.

Autumn in the UK, a great time to be there

Our last trip for the year was Bali - a brief re visit. As always Bali is spectacular in its natural beauty. A great place for just about anybody - honeymooners, older couples like us, students and even for business!

What a great year that was! I hope this year will be better.

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