Friday, October 23, 2009

Desert Driving

On our way to Al Ain last weekend, we took a detour off the highway to check out the desert. It was the first time we had driven amongst sand dunes. We are actually on a road, you would only venture off with a 4 wheel drive. The dunes are orange in colour with wave-like contours, the picture doesn't do the landscape justice.

Sights of Dubai

I put together a tour of Dubai for the tourist, to show my Aussie visitor, Robyn, more of this part of the world. We took a comfortable coach to Dubai and stayed overnight. We spent two days seeing the sights on foot, by bus, by boat and taxi. I think I have missed my vocation! I am getting pretty good at doing the tour guide thing.
Dubai is a city of amazing buildings, they are always trying to build bigger and better than the rest of the world. Dubai boasts the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai, which Don calls "the pencil". He is not always impressed by the architecture. The Burj Al-Arab Hotel (pictured) is designed to look like a billowing sail.

What's with the head scarves?

We bought these scarves in the souk, for our grand-daughters. It was quite hot on the boat in the direct sunlight so we thought we would cover up. Our boatman thought it was hilarious and insisted on taking pictures on his mobile phone to "send to his mother". We thought he probably had a good laugh with his co-workers afterwards. We had a fun ride with lots of laughter over our jingle jangle head scarves.

Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque - Abu Dhabi

This was the pet project of the late Sheik, who died two years ago. His funeral was the first event to be held at the mosque. It is the second largest mosque in the world, with the capacity to hold around 40,000 worshipers.

Our guide on the tour of The Grand Mosque

Tourists are required to be covered on entering the mosque. The women wear the black abayas, which are given out. Men are OK if they have on long pants and long sleeved shirts. Our guide took a large group through the mosque and explained many things about Islam. It is amazing to see the size, the grandeur and the elaborate and elegant finishes of the building. Truly one of the wonders of the world.

Perfect weather for the patio

The weather has started to cool down a little so we can finally have some visitors over, using our patio. Our living room is too small for entertaining. The Sullivan Family came for dinner last weekend.