Thursday, April 28, 2016


Well Day One was not that eventful as the travelling part was only a few hours. However, I did get my first ride on a A380 which is somewhat memorable. I don't know why they call them aeroplanes -- they're more like flying buildings. Villages even. But despite their obesity they really aren't that much different from their smaller brethren. Unless you can afford Business Class you still have to travel like sardines, just in an oversized can. Giant economy size as it were.  I did manage an exit seat, silver tongued devil that I am but even so, I didn't get any sleep.  Just couldn't get comfortable. But I did manage to see quite a few good movies. The crew were good, though the service a little chaotic. I think that was because the company (Emirates) scrimps a bit on staff. They had an awful lot to do for all those hundreds of people but they did do it with good grace.

The plane dumped me at Dubai International at 5:20 in the morning, which leads me to Day Two.  What an airport! You have to take two trains, the second for some distance, just to get from your aircraft to Customs and baggage claim. The airport itself is as big as some countries I've visited. But it all runs very smoothly and I was through in no time.  Everyone I've come across or had anything to do with at all has been very friendly by the way.

Now staying at Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport which, as its name suggests, is very close to the airport. It's nice enough as far as airport hotels go. I chose it because on my two overnight stops I'm not in Dubai for very long. I just wanted to get some sleep before continuing my journey in each direction.  Again, the old silver tongued devil managed to be allowed into his room at 8:00am when the check in time is 2:00pm. That was rather nice as I sure needed a shower and to clean my teeth. After 14 hours on the plane I felt as though green moss was growing on them. The minuscule toothpaste and brush were thrown in the bin. You'd need to be an under developed dwarf to be able to use it.

On this leg, I have some hours to spend in Dubai so I bought a day pass on the Metro system and took a long ride on it. Just about everywhere you go here you say (or at least think) Bloody hell!  The Metro system itself is fantastic. A la Singapore there's no eating, drinking or chewing gum so it's spotlessly clean. It runs efficiently and regularly and, of course, it's quick and it's cheaper than taxis. And the stations are something else, a masterpiece of design even to my unartistic eye. Speaking of design I love the architecture here. All very earthy, even the skyscrapers.

I didn't have all that much time so I got off at the station for both the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall.  I did take some shots but for some reason my tired brain won't let me in on, I can't upload them to this blog. I will continue working on it and hope to have photos next time. If not, you'll have to use your imagination.

The Burj Khalifa is said to be the world's tallest building. It must be because I almost strained my neck trying to get a picture of it.  I dearly wanted to take the lift up to the top but the cost, like the building, is astronomical, considering you are only paying to use a lift.

I don't usually check out malls but this one has to be seen to be believed. It's roughly the size of Tasmania and it is surrounded by a 'moat' that must be dozens of hectares. There is a huge fountain which lights up at night. I regret I won't get to see it.  There were even scuba divers there today. For what reason I don't know.  Inside the mall itself is a huge aquarium complete with sharks, manta rays and thousands of other sea creatures, an ice skating rink, a rainforest restaurant, waterfalls...nothing like any mall I've ever seen.

United Arab Emirates is such a fascinating country. I read recently where there is no real division between Shi'a and Sunni Muslim and it's apparently okay to deal with Jews providing you don't broadcast the fact!  The other unusual thing is, despite the fact it is an Arab country, Arabs make up only one-eighth of the population. While you do see quite a lot of chaps in white flowing dress and women with their faces covered, they are wildly outnumbered by foreigners. Of course there is a high population of South East Asians and people from the Indian subcontinent. Who else would lay bricks on a structure that is 160 storeys high. Someone has to get their hands dirty.

I wish I had more time here. There is so much more to see and do.

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