Saturday, October 31, 2015

The weekend

For the very first time in 2 visits to Dubai I am sitting outside reading!  It's 90 degrees and only 20% humidity - quite pleasant!  

We have started eating dinner outside!  The winter season has officially begun!  What's it like where you are tonight?

Andy and I ran some errands and walked 4 miles at the Mall this morning.  I needed some bananas and while getting them weighed and priced I spotted some Bing cherries.

132 dirham per kilo - which is about $16.00 per pound!

That's my news for the day.  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mall of the Emirates

Our last stop of the day was the beautiful and high end Mall of the Emirates so Andy could see Ski Dubai!  I had stopped by very quickly one afternoon to see it last year so I was happy to visit again. 
Some of you might remember the pics from last years blog...

The ski lodge is quite nice - fire going in the fireplace is a nice touch!

Two hills and a regular lift.  You can rent or buy equipment.  Quite a few people were skiing...the place was hopping at 7:30 pm when I left...Andy had left around 5:00.

It's really quite festive!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

A bonus - we were there for the opening of the new Apple Store.  You'd never guess - it's the largest one in the world.  One opened in Abu Dhabi the same day - the first in the Middle East.

Fun to see the loooonnngggg lines of people waiting to get in.  

This is the closest I could get to the Apple Store.  There were security personnel on duty to control the line of people waiting to get in.  

Don't know if you can see the layer of lines...  Each time they let a group of people into the store you could hear a group of Apple employees clapping and cheering to welcome them in.

There was a young guy wanting his picture taken to show he was here - he had a top hat and a cigar!  So he insisted on taking my picture, too.

I got back to the house on the metro and bus at about 8:30.  Our local mosque looked nice all lit up.

I feel pretty safe - walked about 2 blocks to the house from the bus stop. My phone app says I walked 10.88 miles today!  I was ready for bed soon after!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fun Afternoon Exploring

Headed out on the Metro late morning to go to the Palm Jumeirah Monorail and to visit the Atlantis Hotel.

Got to the monorail via the metro and tram.  Right now there are only two stations - beginning and end.  A couple others are in the works.  This sign indicates one stop will be at Trump Tower.  He's everywhere!

Shots from the Monorail of condos on the Main Street of the Palm...

And private homes on the fronds of the Palm...

Approaching Atlantis on the beach side...only views are from the Monorail.  They do a good job of protecting the residents and guests from all the tourists!

Only views of the water park are are also from the Monorail.  Looks like fun!

Assuming those are slides and waters falls off in the distance...

The monorail ends at Atlantis.  There is a mini mall at the hotel, complete with a nice aquarium.  We didn't go in but we did enjoy this clever colorful dome ceiling.

The hallways were magnificent.

There were several restaurants...we went to the Burger Joint and had the largest hamburger ever with fries and a large Coke for $16.00.

Of course there were jewelry shops and souvenir shops.

This friendly guy was making the interesting sand designs of camels in a small bottle.  Quite an art with color and very small camels.  He said it took him about 18 months to get really good and efficient at making them.

We did go outside to walk around and enjoy the views. This is the view of the Persian Gulf from the back side of the hotel.

I took a couple of pictures for a young couple and he proceeded to do a photo shoot for us!

Atlantis is very pretty - on the water front and back.

The entrance to the Souk Madinat was wonderful.

We caught a taxi from the Hotel to Souk Madinat.  What a gem - so glad we went!  It's in a very high rent district near the Al Arab. Loved the architecture, the canals, the restaurants, the little shops, the outdoor amphitheater, the regular theater, the high end housing and hotels, the river walk, even the bathrooms...just lovely on a very nice day.  

I hope that the high temperatures are gone now.  It's quite pleasant!  The buildings are all new but made in an old style, inside and outside.

An outdoor restaurant - don't those bean bag type chairs look comfy?

This is as close as we ever got to Al Arab!  A young Moroccan security guard let me go through a gate to a bridge to take some pics.  He didn't like the heat in Dubai and missed home.

We think these are man made canals around the hotels and shops.  Very quaint and inviting.

High end bathroom signs! Nice attention to detail!

This is probably way too many pictures and detail, but it really was a wonderful area of the city - with very few people.  I'm guessing the place comes alive in the evening!

Morning Observations

Took an early morning walk today - it was only 81 degrees when I left about 6:45.  Really was comfortable!  There was even a breeze!  Enough to cause a change in the flight patterns - so flights were taking off over our neighborhood not landing.

Saw several of these HUGE 380s

Not many homes have any green grass, but I enjoyed a few this morning...

I'm told that people with grass generally have some kind of a well dug to get water for the yard.  The water to the house is pretty expensive.

One gate was open and revealed a rather large chicken coop!

I followed this worker for a few blocks along a busy street.

You don't see many small cars in Dubai.  Andy observed that he is seeing a lot of large pick up trucks...

I discovered a very pretty park near a friend's house...behind Uptown Mirdif Mall.  This flower garden comes with an extensive water drip system.

There is a very nice path for walking/jogging in an oval around the park.

I walked through Uptown Mall on my way home and discovered this flower shop.  Made me think of studying Mesopotamia in 6th grade!