Wanderlust Home and Pet Care
February 17: It is a very windy day with sand in the air. I am very glad we had our tours earlier in the week when the weather was good. I was hoping we could go to the 51st floor of the Emirate Towers to see the view - no way in this weather. So it’s a good day to prepare for our next journey.
February 16: Big Bus Tour - basically the Hop On and Hop Off Bus
It stops at all the malls in the city (at least the big ones). The Dubai Mall had an aquarium which was cool. We learn about most of the names of the skyscrapers. We tried to get tickets to go to the top of the tallest building in the world - Burj Khalifa - but no deal, all sold out. Took a cruise on the creek which was very pleasant - glad we did it. Learned that the Palm Island has it’s own monorail - cool.
February 15: We reserved a tour to Al Ain.As we were driving to the city we could see them training camels for the races. We also saw lots of sand. Supposedly 6x more than the Sahara. We visit the Hili Archeological Park, a UNESCO site. The ruins date back to 2500 B.C. We visited the museum which had the remains of items buried with the inhabitants. Lot of pots so Gary was bored.
We visited a Date Plantation. I love dates. We also visit the Al Ain palace. The ruler of the country lived in the palace until 1966. Most interesting was the frankincense and the woven tree. It was wasteful to wash clothes. Their alternative - place clothes on woven tree, place tree over smoking frankincense. The frankincense smoke would kill and freshen the clothes. Our last stop was the camel market. I have never seen so many camels in one place. Gary was offered a camel in trade for me. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
February 14: Happy Valentine’s Day. We ate breakfast at the Lime Tree Cafe which I found in a “things to do” book. It was very fun. There were so many things in the display case I would have liked to have had everything. We ate on the roof top deck. Pierre dropped us off at the creek/gold souk area and he went to his boating test. We visited the Gold Souk and the Dubai Museum. Souk is the arabic work for open air market. I still prefer the souks in Istanbul.
February 13: We arrive Dubai at 4:30 am. We attempt to find a non-fast food restaurant for breakfast. We end up at a Lebanese restaurant. The food isn’t bad! We purchase scotch at duty free since you need to have a license to buy booze in the city. We hit the ATM. We can’t take the metro until 6:30 am which works out ok. RUSH HOUR. OMG the train is packed like sardines and we didn’t get to sit down for the first 30 minutes of the ride. Destination Dubai Marina. I have research where Pierre’s apartment is, and we start walking. 10 minutes later we are knocking on his door at 8:40 am. We haven’t seen him for several years but he is still the same - ok maybe more facial hair. We meet his girlfriend Vernie. She is very cute. That afternoon Pierre has rented a boat and we go out into the Persian Gulf for a quick boat ride. We leave Pierre at the Mall of the Emirates to see skiing inside a building. Amazing! We get groceries and take the metro home. Sushi for dinner and then to bed at 8 pm.
February 12: Belarvia airlines is unable to print our boarding pass from Minsk to Kiev. What problems will we in counter? We go through customers and the agent says to wait. We figure out we should have gone to the transit area instead. A nice young lady helps us out but is concerned that we do not have a Visa for Kiev. I am nervous because everything I research said USA citizens do not need a Visa. We make friends with Jana, a young lady from Slovakia. She also has a longer lay over in Minsk. We pass the time (or was she bored?) by showing her our pictures.
We don’t have any problem getting into Kiev other than a missing suitcase which almost went to Moscow. The people we meet there seemed very friendly - need to plan a visit there when it is warmer (-21 below Celsius)!!! The airports in Minsk and Kiev do not have jet ways so we freeze going to and from the terminal/plane.
February 11: We decide to drive to the airport to leave the luggage at the hotel. Getting from the airport back to Marta’s sisters house became more of a challenge. We took the didn’t see the correct turn on the GPS so had to turn around on two different occasions. The son walked us to the bus stop to catch the bus to the metro station. We met a very nice young and beautiful lady that was also going to the airport so we tagged along. Whew!!! one less hassle to figure out. It is cold on the metro ride so by the time I have to wait for the bus to the airport, I am shivering I am so cold. We have a nice lunch with a very nice bottle of french wine. Our hotel room is way too warm so we go from one extreme to another.