A Travellerspoint blog

Dubai

Or "Doobers" as affectionately known to some...


View 01 The Honeymooners on RobandEve's travel map.

The fourteen hour flight between Sydney and Dubai was amazingly comfortable on Emirates even for cattle-class; however, after thirty-odd hours of travel we were glad that our hotel let us check in early so we could grab a shower and some much needed sleep. When we were feeling slightly closer to human, we emerged from the hotel and went for a wander through the Deira City Centre Mall - conveniently located across the road from our hotel (thanks Eve...)

Having not found anywhere else to eat, we settled for a fast food outlet in the mall. Foregoing the tried and true MacDonald's or BK for a random Lebanese place proved to be a big mistake. Mystery meat repeating on us for the rest of the afternoon was not a pleasant experience. One positive we can take out of the experience was the discovery of Moutabel, which is similar to hommous but with chargrilled eggplant instead of chickpeas.

We then caught a cab to check out the Gold Souk and Spice Souk, which are basically old school shopping malls decked out to look like “old Dubai”. Mildly interesting but reminded us too much of Bali to be anywhere near intriguing. After Eve bought some completely useless sh*t to get some change, we caught a water taxi from the Deira area to the far bank. This was really cool because the panoramic view from the river clearly showed the contrast between the old and new sections of Dubai. On the far bank we wandered through the restored Bastakiya area and found the old Dubai Fort, which now houses the Dubai Museum.

Dubai_Bastakiya.jpg Dubai_Bastakiya_2.jpg

On our second day in Dubai we caught the Metro to the Mall of the Emirates. At one stage this place was the second largest mall in the world and actually has its own indoor ski slope! Of course, within five minutes of Eve finding herself in this Mall of Malls, she naturally gravitated to the one store I have a vested interest in keeping her out of.

Dubai_Loubotin.jpg

After that we caught a cab to Jumeirah to check out the Burj Al Arab. The Burj Al Arab is an impressive building: but if you don't have a reservation at either the htel or one of its restaurants, you have to settle for admiring it from the outside. We used the (surprisingly) long trip out there as an 'excuse' to spend the day at the Wild Wadi water park directly next door to the hotel. We have to thank AJ for the recommendation – it was f*cking awesome! Nothing says moderate Middle East like a swimming burqua. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photos inside Wild Wadi, so you'll have to let your imagination do the rest. Hint: Think ninjas in colourful lycra.

Bubai_Burj_al_Arab.jpg

After Wild Wadi, we went to the Renaissance themed Mercato Mall before heading to the Burj Kalifah (tallest building in the world) and Dubai Mall (biggest mall in the world). We didn't see inside the Burj Kalifah which is a shame because the view from the top would have probably been spectacular. As we had built up quite an appetite at the water park, we had a bite to eat at a Lebanese restaurant, Abdel Wahadi, overlooking a large lake at the base of the Burj Kalifah. The food was excellent (Moutabel again, of course); but the portions were huge - we shared three appetizers and waddled out without even attempting mains! We also happened to be there in time for a fountain/light/sound show which was pretty cool. We took a video and will try to upload it when we get a chance.

Dubai_Burj_Kalifah.jpg

The following day was pretty much all in transit to Egypt, so nothing much to report.

All things considered, Dubai was pretty cool. Well worth a visit, but unless you like shopping malls, designer brands and sand (or you work there), it's not much more than a interesting stopover to somewhere else. The contrast between the glitz and glamour of the malls, and the dusty streets and crumbling sandstone houses was striking. There is also a sense of the absurd: A ski slope and ice skating rink in the middle of a desert; a massive man made archipelago designed to look like a world map; and women wearing full burqua shopping for clothes at the Armani and Gucci fashion boutiques...

Posted by RobandEve 06:12 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (2)

Queenstown.

Oh, and a wedding...


View 01 The Honeymooners on RobandEve's travel map.

The lead up to the wedding was going pretty much as planned until we had several enormous setbacks in the previous month. We arrived in Queenstown on the 19th of March (Eve and her parents arrived in pure rockstar fashion) and spent the weekend chilling out and getting ready for the maelstrom that we figured was on the way.

The weather and scenery were pretty much perfect as Eve and her mob trekked out of Glenorchy on Tuesday, while Rob met the boys at the Speight's Ale House for a 'quiet afternoon'. Later that night, as the trekkers hunkered down at the first Greenstone hut; Rob found himself passed out in a tent near Arrowtown wearing a wedding dress, with a new hair-do... Not surprisingly, there is little to report for Wednesday – other than the trekkers making it out in fine spirits.

IMG_4266.jpg

On Thursday the gentlemen occupied themselves with a little hit and giggle at the Queenstown Golf Course; while the girls also found themselves giggling, although for an entirely different reason. Credit where credit's due: Wenn did a magnificent job maneuvering around Eve's no-stripper rule! The Hen's Night progressed to a dinner cruise on Lake Wakatipu, after which the ladies went on to paint the town red. The gentlemen found a neat whiskey bar ('scuse the pun) on Rees St and also carried on to the wee hours.

Eve__Wenn_240311.jpg

Following a short sharp rehearsal on Friday we both returned to our respective corners to prepare for the real thing.

The big day started out with family breakfasts and a few last minute preparations (like speeches). The boys kicked the WAGS out of the house they were staying at to get ready and muster up a little Dutch courage; and Eve was already running late by 12.30...

The ceremony and reception were spectacular... We did not take any photographs but have uploaded some of the great shots we have been given by friends and family.

P3264831.jpg

Posted by RobandEve 00:18 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 37 of 37) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8]