The Marina, the Kalifa, and MY MOTHER.

Hey Dad, 

This morning we eventually got everything mum packed back into her suitcase. Seriously, how did you ever travel with her? I lost it after seeing the travel kettle and mug! 

I asked mum if she had checked the wardrobe; she replied yes. I stupidly believed her. Turns out our coats were in there. Mum remembered as we got on the bus. Apparently this is my fault because you used to chuck her out of the room and do final checks. Three guesses how we will be leaving hotel rooms in China. 

Once we had checked out we headed for the Marina, which was crazy. There is this little Creek with all these yachts and boats on, surrounded by hundreds of skyline residential blocks. We took a boat ride through the Creek and out towards the palm. 

The boat dropped us outside the marina mall. Again, huge. They were even selling cupcakes like sushi on a small stand at extravagant prices. 

We then wandered towards the Marina beach before heading to the Burj Kalifa.

Honestly; you have never seen anything like it!  The bus took forever getting us back, and to save time we thought we would jump in a taxi. The taxi rank had a queue out the door so we decided it would be better to run, yes run, (well me run, mum more of a shuffle) to the taxi rank on the other side of the Mall.  This took nearly 10 minutes, these malls are huge! Once in the taxi we had 20 minutes to get to the Kalifa. The taxi took 15. Now the next challenge; finding the Kalifa entrance….. 

This mall is the size of a small city, with ice skating rinks and aquariums in it. The map doesnt even have details, mearly grid line dimensions to get you in roughly the right place. With no sign of a map, or customer services, we attempted to follow the signs for the Kalifa. We were out of time. Again we found ourselves running (again, me running, mum shuffling) though this shopping mall, trying to dodge anyone who wanted to squirt us with perfume. Well after a while the inevitable happened……. mum got lost. 

Still running though the Mall, I did not realise how far behind mum had gotten; and she must not have seen me make a right turn. After a few minutes of standing there I realised she was not catching me up. So I was then running, yes running (in flip flops with a camera around my neck I might add) the wrong way to find mum. I found her standing right where I had turned right a few hundred meters before. Mum looked horrified, I told her to keep up. She was not shuffling anymore. Mum later admitted to me I found her just in time, because the security guard was very concerned she had lost her daughter (they assumed small child) and were about to make tannoy announcements.

Well we eventually made it to the Kalifa entrance. After catching our breath and mums heart had stopped pounding through the thought of being lost; we joined the hour long queue. 

Once at the top of the Kalifa, the view was incredible.  Apparently we both complained to mum about the same thing; the viewing platform is not at the top, we both wanted to go right to the top. Mum just laughed at me with that look of ‘you are so like your dad’ 

The only issue I had with the Kalifa (other then it being crowded and echoey) was the Kalifa makes the skyline of Dubai. When you are in the attraction, you can not see it. The view just somehow lost something. Although you were 124 floors up, the heat haze made the outlook foggy. We stayed until it was dark and watched the city light up. We also got to watch the fountains from above. We then joined the hour long queue to come down. Don’t get me wrong, it was fascinating, but the amount of people spoilt it slightly. I just don’t like people.

Well we are currently sitting on level 51 in the Emirates Towers waiting for our transfer. Hey, if you have to wait for a 3am flight; you may as well do it with a drink in hand. 

Next stop….. Beijing! 

Fish and a Camel….

Hey Dad, 

Another crazy day. We took the bus around Dubai, passing Jemeriah Beach and the Burj Al Arab, stopping off at Atlantis in the palm. The Aquarium inside the hotel was pretty cool. 

There was also a very posh chocolate shop, mum of course could not help herself! 

We then ventured out to the Emirates Mall, mainly to see the ski slope. Who has a ski slope inside a mall?!  The Mall was huge, but we didn’t really have time to explore.

We spent the evening out in the desert, it was a hit artificial and a tourist gimmick; but we enjoyed it just the same. We even went in a Camel ride. Well – ride is a bit strong, we sat on a Camel while it got guided around in a circle.  We did get a great picture though! 

Dinner was on the 50th floor of our hotel; which was pleasant. To be honest I think we were spoiled from the night before. Although the view was fabulous, it was not a patch on the view from the Burj Al Arab. 

Got to go, mum is asleep already! 
Catch you later x

Souks, sails and sophistication 

What a day! 

I will have to start from the beginning. Went on the bus tour today around the old town Dubai, and to the souk markets. They were cool, but we were constantly hounded. We were asked to try on head scarfs and feel the cashmere. We were polite are first but after the 50th “you are English, lovely jubbly” we were struggling. 

We also sailed down the Creek. It was filled with these wooden boats that sail all over the world, some didn’t look like they should still be able to float, but they are filled with electronics and spices. The cargo is just piled up on the side of the road, and they just throw it all to each other. 

While touring the area, our bus got stopped by police. We assumed there must be a problem up ahead, but we were stopped for 30 minutes. While we were standing on an open top bus watching, what seemed like hundreds of cars and motor bikes were going past; all with sirens and blue lights. We quickly realised the ‘Tour Dubai’ was about to go past, and we had a prime viewing spot! We watched all these cyclists go racing past us, towards the city centre. After then what seemed like another hundred support vehicles, the roads opened again like it never happened. Somehow though we both got a Tour Dubai flag. 

After a whole day of sight seeing we ventured back to the hotel to get changed. The hotel staff had serviced our rooms and left another brick of chocolate birthday cake! 

We spent the evening at the Burj Al Arab. HOLY SH*T!! You said it was something else, but I think you down played it. Although I am not sure I would have believed you. This place is insane! 

After dinner, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the staff walking over. They started singing happy birthday. Mum did not know what do with herself. Well if the past two cakes were bricks, this was a breeze block! It was ridiculous; even for us! They boxed it up, so we are both looking forward to breakfast. 

But to top this day off, we were invited to tour the hotel. A very nice manager escorted us around the top floor of the Burj. THE TOP FLOOR. we then got shown around ‘Gold 27’ – the executive lounge. 

Seriously dad, the view was simply out of this world (so were the cocktail prices) but it was worth every penny. Mum ordered some martini that literally blew her head off. I had a rum cocktail which looked like a bomb!

In fact as it is close to midnight  I am currently writing this from the top of the Burj, admiring the view, sipping a cocktail. 

Cheers!

Out of this world

​Honestly dad, what a day! 

The flight over was fine – apart from the fact they tried to feed me mushrooms and we only seemed to have sound out of one ear on our headphones. Getting through passport control took forever! After over 30 mins of waiting we were not even half way down the queue. 
Fortunately a new queue opened and we were moved to the front of it. Result.

Dubai is like being on another planet, I can see why you loved it so much. 5* luxury does not even cut it, we looked a right state in out hiking boots and trackies checking in. 

Our hotel room is amazing, we are on the 18th floor and have a view over the city. The room is not far off the same size as my flat. 

We went for lunch, and one of the concierge offered to walk us to a nice restaurant. You have to love a place where a guy opens an automatic door for you, to then step aside and let you walk through, to then walk quickly to the next door to do the same.  I mean; who is not capable of opening an automatic door for themselves?!

One catch today though, the weather! It was cold and raining! The wind was just insane and they shut off all of the outdoor pool. Part of some scaffolding from a building we can see from the window blew off onto the road causing chaos too. People were watching from the windows in amazement, I guess they don’t see rain all that often. 

It did however give us time to look around the hotel. The design and architecture are just incredible. It must be someone’s sole job to go around wiping off finger prints from the chrome. Mum however has a bit of an issue with the glass lifts. They go at a fair speed, especially when you take it to the 40th floor. From there you can look down over the edge back to the lobby. I of course leant right over the side, Mum then went all funny and couldn’t look over the edge. I admit it is not for the feint hearted, but it made me laugh  (bad daughter I know) we then had to come back down to earth in the standard lift, mum couldn’t bear the glass again. 

We went to eat in the ‘Rib Room’ I can safely say it was the best steak I have ever had! The meal was exquisite. To top it off the waiters then came over to mum with what can only be described as a brick of chocolate cake with a candle in it. Even mum could not finish it. 

Well we are both exhausted! Mums birthday tomorrow so better rest up for a busy day; I just hope the weather improves! 

Night dad x