How far that little candle throws its beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world (c)William Shakespeare
So spread the beary love and do the good deeds my fluffy friends.
Hello, dear friends!
It is time for us to have a little bit of entertainment and to go on a road trip with Medvedik, who grew kind of impatient by just staying in the peaceful hotel all the time.
I picked up the colourful travel book and browsed through looking for places of interest to visit in Mauritius. “Need to explore something green with lots of fresh air”, I thought, unwilling to come back to the land of baking sun and occasional bushes. Botanical garden sounds like a great idea then!
I asked around to find out who is willing to join my adventures, but apart from the greedy for money driver, I couldn’t find anyone who would want to go see the exotic collection of trees from all over the world. I hesitated a bit for taking a cab, the garden seemed to be close enough, so I rented a bike instead. This made me feel a much better ecologically conscious bear, although the bike was quite squeaky.
At the gates of the garden there was a guide waiting for me. In fact, the guide was not exactly waiting for me, but he was so happy to see a visitor, that I could not say no to him.
The excursion started with a story about the gates, which were delivered to this botanical garden from … but I got already allured by a massive Baobab at the entrance of the garden. I had never seen anything as thick and impressive in my life. Well, icebergs are quite impressive too, and it would be the coolest thing in the world to see a baobab on an iceberg, I thought. Of course, the first thing I attempted to do after seeing such a massive product of Mother Nature was to climb it. In the beginning it went really well, but then I saw an enormous spider, occupying one of the gigantic tree branches. It gave me such a fright that I immediately fell off and landed right in front of the tour guide, who continued his never-ending story about trees and bushes.
The garden was fantastic, filled in with all kind of fresh smells and lovely-looking plants. I had really good fun playing in the alleys and trying to cross the channel in Victoria Amazonica leaf, playing with the lotus flower, swinging here and forth on the lianas.
Right at the exit of the garden, I saw a beautiful deer.
– Hi, deer! – said Medvedik. – Would you like to make a new friend and maybe go have a cup of green tea somewhere around?
– Hello, Little Bear, – the deer answered lazily. – To be honest, I am very well here with my pals, enjoying some fresh grass, but you can leave your business card and I will call you later. Maybe.
I didn’t have a business card as well as I didn’t have any business. I left the garden, found my bike parked on the side, and left in the direction of the hotel, contemplating about the type of beary business that I could start in order to be able to leave business cards and make friends with deer and other animals.
Everyone needs to go on holidays from time to time. That was what I thought when I saw the fabulous advertisement of the tropical island in a magazine tucked under my front door. I dialed the number, booked a hotel room and an early morning flight. I packed my beach towel and a bottle of sun block, and sailed off for holidays the next day.
I was lucky enough to get a front seat in the plane that promised enough leg room, but was not lucky enough, since I got a neighbour, who was the size of elefant and took all the available space. I figured out that the guy must have been a heavy-weight lifter or a champion in burger eating, so it was only the logical choice to try to stay calm and enjoy the flight in a sleeping mode.
As the bird made of steel started to descend, I opened the curtain and saw the beautiful island, covered with white soft clouds. I wished I could just jump out of the plane at that very moment and play in the alluring clouds. Not long after that I was already on the ground surrounded by the humid air full of tropical smells. I made my way to the small cozy hotel, dropped my luggage and ran down to the gigantic pool wasting no time.
The water was clear and refreshing. I was swimming profoundly on my back, when I noticed a fisherman-looking guy promoting something to the people chilling around the pool. I climbed out and asked if I could join the adventure that everyone else was going to. A moment later I found myself on a sailing boat with the glass bottom, going up and down with the current, making me feel queasy. The boat stopped on the border of the coral reef and all the attendees put on snorkeling masks and jumped off the boat. I approached the skipper and asked him nonchalantly if he had any masks available for polar bears, but for some reason the brown-skinned guy looked back at me as if I was out of my mind.
Never mind, – thought Medvedik, and jumped off bravely, surrendering his body to the waves.
What I saw under water was exceeding any of my expectations. There was a lot of fish. Right there, in front of my eyes. I started rowing in its direction, expecting to have a good snack along with the sea adventure. It was so close, but every time I tried to close my canine teeth on the good-looking fat fish, it got away. I returned to the boat all wet and frustrated. I could not believe that I didn’t catch a single fish today and made a point to train myself better, so that I would be less clumsy next time.
As soon as I returned to the stable ground, I went to the restaurant and ordered a big dorade for dinner.
At least you can’t get away from me, Medvedik thought, deboning the fish. In the end I win!
I went to bed happy that night, seeing dreams of alluring fishes dancing around me in gangham style.
Medvedik took a little break from his daily routine and travelled to France.
He made a mistake of choosing the low-cost airline, which was not so low-cost, by the way.
He had to arrive to the airport pretty early, and the airport to take the flight was located 50 kms from the city, so he was sleepy and grumpy. The service girl told him that his bag was 2 cm’s wider than by standards of their cabin luggage and he had to drop it, paying 50 EUR for a piece of luggage. It made him quite angry but he decided to be cool. He went through the customs without much problems, but in the waiting zone there was no place for him to seat. He thought that some standing would only do him good since he was going to fly for a couple of hours in a sitting position… then he looked at the line waiting to get to the plane (1.5 hours before boarding) and he thought… well, if I get any seat in this strange plane.
He had to fight with other people to get in the plane, but he eventually found a seat and fastened his seatbelt around his white belly. As he prepared to take off, he felt that he was getting a little hungry. He had a can of sardines in his bag, but as soon as he tried to get it out the flight attendant appeared out of nowhere and told him that he could only eat things sold on board. In case he failed to comply with the rules, he would be fined EUR 50.
Oh my god, though Medvedik. This is a nightmare! He closed his eyes and tried to fall asleep. But the notifications and announcement were so loud and pronounced every 2 minutes… Never again, just never again. He looked at the ground disappearing in the clouds, wishing he could just jump out and stay on the comfy and soft cloud.
Medvedik was so excited to go to Fujairah after his friend told him about this amazing place: One of the prime spots to do is Snoopy Island, so-called because of its apparent resemblance to Charlie Brown’s canine chum lying down. Snoopy is about half and hour north of Fujairah town and located just 20 metres off the Sandy Beach Resort. The journey from Dubai should take between an hour and a half and two hours. That’s what Timeout said with the voice of Medvedik’s friend.
Medvedik was climbing the shoulders of his friends to see if they can spot Snoopy Island already or not. It’s been already quite a long ride, but no sign of Snoopy Island yet.
By the way, it was a national day of the U.A.E., when they decided to go on a trip and Medvedik noticed a lot of people in festive mood all over the country. There were pictures of Sheikh’s drawn on the mountains, flags everywhere and by 2 pm people already started to gather together.
Long story short, Medvedik only arrived to the Sandy Beach Resort at 3 pm, which took them 4 hours to get there from Dubai. You might have thought that they took the long road, but no – they just followed the directions of the article.
The resort looked nice and Medvedik stretched his legs on the long chair, exposing his white hair to the mighty Arabian sun.
Five minutes later Medvedik heard a very loud noise. What could it be? He looked around, startled, but saw only a couple of drowsy Russian tourists around. Suddenly there appeared a large number of boats of all kinds with U.A.E. flags on it.
Medvedik waved to the guys on the boat and they waved back. What a nice way to celebrate your national day, thought the little polar bear.
After boats disappeared, he fell asleep on the chaise-long and saw a dream about celebrating a national day of the North Pole. He was cruising on the ice floe and waving a white flag to the Shell drilling guys. Somehow it didn’t feel as festive. There was something wrong.
On the weekend Medvedik decided to devote some time to travel around Dubai. He heard a lot of nice things about Fujairah and its beaches, so he decided to go have a look. On his way he got mesmerized by the mountains! Just 120 kilometres from Dubai and here you go – lovely mountains.
Stay tuned for the whole story of Medvedik’s travel.
Medvedik went to see if there was life outside Dubai. His trip to desert was spontaneous and unorganized. First thing he noticed was that the sand was not the same as it was in Barasti beach. It was very tiny and omnipresent.
Medvedik saw real camels and thought that normally polar bears and camels can only meet in the zoo. They live in absolutely different conditions. He was mesmerized by the gracefulness of these animals cruising through desert. Medvedik felt pity that these camels were tied up and couldn’t go play with him in the dunes. He tried to ask the camel keeper to set them free, but the guy just gave his a strage look. Then he tried to untie his big desert friend, but was kicked out by the camel shepherd.
Medvedik started feeling that he was overheating and tried to find some shade. Desert is definitely not the right place for a polar bear, he thought, it was stupid of me to even think that I could do this… he was thinking almost loosing his conscious. He looked around and oh yes, saw a nice little fountain that looked promising.
Medvedik jumped into the fountain only to find that water was very hot there. Well, it was stupid to expect that it would be cold. He got out of the water and bingo! spotted a bar. If there was a bar, then there should have been ice there.
Hooray, happy Medvedik dove in the bucket of ice and decided not to leave it till sunset. Once again he prayed for all the polar bears in the world that they could keep their habitat and wouldn’t be forced to move to places where they would have their asses fried in the sun.
Everyone who arrives to Dubai with an intention to stay, apart from the GCC region residents, needs to do visa runs from time to time. Medvedik was surprised that this rule applied to his humble person too, but the laws are for everyone, even polar bears. So he went to buy a ticket to the closest destination, which was Muscat, Oman, and went to Dubai International Airport, Terminal two to catch his plane.
Airports are always fascinating. There are so many people. Many people meet, many people part. There are smiles and tears, laughter and sighs. But there are no many polar bears. Medvedik thought that probably even in Oslo airport you would not see a lot of polar bears.
It was late at night, so Medvedik was quite sleepy. He dropped by Costa Coffee to grab a cappuccino and kill some time. He took a seat next to some sportsman from Georgia,who was snoring very loudly. Medvedik was sipping his coffee, looking at all the people running around with their suitcases. The automatic voice was inviting random people to go to certain gates. Suddenly he heard Mr Medvedik Polarbear invitation to a gate number 2. He rushed to the gate and jumped in the bus.
The plane was new and clean and that made Medvedik very happy. Of course he would be happier to make the whole trip by bicycle, but riding 250 kms by bicycle was not the easiest task to fulfill. Medvedik had no neighbours, so he could jump from one seat to another. He found it quite entertaining, but the stewardess came up to him and asked him to stay in one seat and fasten his seat belt because the plane was about to take off. Medvedik chose the seat next to the window and looked out the window, observing the planes taking off and landing.
Medvedik noticed that there were TV’s built in the seats in front. How cool, he thought. Then he watched a cartoon explaining how to behave on board, which he found quite hilarious, because it portrayed Arabic people in a very genuine way. After it finished, Medvedik realized that he actually can choose a program or a movie to watch. He picked a documentary about animal rescuers in Africa and dissolved into the prairies.
His flight went fine. It took only fifteen minutes to get out of the plane and get back to the same plane. He was back to Dubai in 40 minutes. The same terminal, the same air.
Medvedik was really tempted to take a ride on the baggage belt, but the gloomy policeman look made him realize he’d better behave. Medvedik dropped by Duty Free shop to see if he can meet his fellow schleich polar bears there, but there was mostly alcohol, cigarettes and make up. Medvedik spotted the promotion sign, saying that he can win 1 000 000 if he shops at Dubai Duty free. Stupid to lose such a chance! Medvedik got a bottle of Moet champagne. A bottle of champagne would always be useful to keep at home 😉
Tired, but happy that it’s over, he caught a taxi and went home.
Medvedik really enjoyed the roadtrip from Stockholm to Oslo, spotting those little houses with lovely gardens, sheep, occasional elks. Norway greeted him with deep blue lakes and fjords, green fields and good roads. He stretched his legs, getting out of the bus, and followed everyone to the entrance of the hotel. He comfortably placed his furry ass in the armchair of Radisson Blu hotel, next to the fireplace and wished he had a cigar and a book of Hemingway to properly feel the atmosphere.
Next morning Medvedik looked out of the window and saw a beautiful lake surrounded by green trees and bushes. He decided to go down for a walk to wake up his appetite for breakfast. The air was so fresh and crispy that he wished he had bigger lungs to take some air with him for later. The green grass felt really wonderful under Medvedik’s paws which made him feel somehow fresher and younger than he was.
As he came down to the water, he saluted the fisherman and his dog, wishing he could stay longer to fancy some fishing himself. Medvedik closed his eyes, thinking how marvelous it would be to savour the taste of grand Norwegian salmon on his palate.
The sun was shining brightly that morning filling up Medvedik with energy and love. He wished he could stay longer, but he promised himself he would come back someday to get off on Norwegian fjords and nature.
Medvedik ran back to the hotel, had a quick breakfast, said good-bye to the fjord and started his way into the urbanistic part of Oslo.
He visited Vigellan’s park on his way where he had fun jumping from one statue to another, pretending to be a part of the scene. He went to feed the ducks and to observe the runners on the stairs, who ran up the stairs and went down on the lawn. He took a moment to rest in the sun by the fountain, counting groups of tourists coming and going. One girl from Russia even made a remark to him not to walk in the grass… but… “What the hell?” – thought Medvedik, “What is the problem with the grass?”, and contemplating about that he continued his way through the city.
That day, it was a labour day in Norway. Medvedik spotted a demonstration, which he joined immediately, because he was quite sure that the polar bear involved in a demonstration would always be a winner – no matter what the demonstration was for or against.
He jumped out at the seafront, where he had an ice cream with teenagers from Oslo, discussing some rock band unknown to him.
Medvedik grabbed a cup of coffee and a hot dog at seven-eleven and continued walking down the sunny streets of Oslo when he saw this.
He just froze for a second, then he ran as fast as he could. He found a monument of his mum. He recognized her wise face and her figure. He jumped on her and hugged her by the neck, but the next moment he realized everyone around was looking at him in a judging way. He immediately blushed and jumped off the statue. Walking away, he waved and winked to the big polar bear, saying that he will be back someday.
The early evening started to break out and Medvedik had another boat to catch. He was travelling to Denmark this time. He was quite amused by the size of the ferry, so he rushed upstairs to reserve a seat which would allow him to watch how Norwegian shores would get smaller and disappear in the sea.
Medvedik was happy that he had a chance to have a small bite of Norway, he was saying good-bye to this land of salmon and fjords, moving slowly to something, perhaps, even more exciting.
As he watched the sun going down, he still was thinking about the lonely polar bear monument in the middle of Oslo, how he would like to warm it up with his beary love and make it throw away its stone fetters. He would like to invite his big stone polar bear friend to the restaurant for a bowl of nice fish soup… Another day, another polar bear, he thought, drifting away into the after-sunset-activities.