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Thursday, September 12, 2019

The Hot and the Cold of Dubai

On our second day in Dubai we decided to catch the Metro (driverless train) to visit the museum which some of our relatives recommended. ( they had gone in a hired limo but DH thought it would be good to experience the train ๐Ÿค”)
So we walked in the heat to the neatest station...600m away. I had my umbrella as a sunshade but I still whinged to DH as we walked along ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜‰. Before we had left Australia we had asked DsD2 about the segregation on the trains as she had visited the country twice for work business. She said that as well as ‘women and children’ and ‘men only’ carriages, there were ‘family’ carriages where both men and women could ride. The so called family carriages were predominantly full of men who did not offer a seat to me, but some women did and one male schoolboy did after a women asked him to give me his seat. Some of the men made me feel quite uncomfortable. No matter what time we caught a train, the carriages were always standing room only.
DH took a photo of one of the trains. 

After we reached the station closest to the museum, we had another longish walk through the streets. This was a down at heel section of town. As we trudged I did whinge a bit more! But finally after I asked directions from a local man who was very helpful, we finally found the museum which is an old fort which has found new life as a display of the region’s history. 
In the courtyard...

The building where the museum is, appears to be just a single storey. But looks are deceptive! You go through some doors into air conditioning and then walk down a spiral ramp...bit like the NY Guggenheim in reverse. And at each level there are dioramas representing the history of the area and its peoples...and animals too! It was very dim so photography was a bit difficult. 

So after a good look around the museum, we walked back to the station to catch a train to another shopping centre, The Mall of the Emirates. Again we were going to check out something suggested by friends. 
On the ride there we saw this structure. I looked it up later and found that it is nicknamed The Frame of Dubai. We thought that it was just a giant arch but Google shows photos of the rather fancy ( and ostentatious?) interior where it takes 75 seconds to ride the lift to the observation deck up the top. 

It was yet another long walk from the Mall of the Emirates station but we finally got to the actual mall. 

So a coffee to start...
Some signs got our attention as we walked along...
‘People of Determination’ obviously refers to disabled people.

Don’t you love this? 

Finally we reached our destination in this 800 store had been a long walk! 
Yep! They had a snow field complete with ski lift, ski run, picture perfect winter village and lots of paying customers. Once again we just took a few photos from a viewing window rather than pay to go inside.
If you look closely at the photo, there are 2 penguins who have been brought out for a show. 

The show was aimed at the children inside the snow field and the compere entreated the children to practise the 3 R’s to save the penguins’ environment. So Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. I thought ‘how hypocritical?’ An artificial snow field in a huge shopping centre which would be using so much energy to cool the mall, freeze the snow and light the centre! Hello! ๐Ÿค”
Just a few more photos.  All toilet cubicles in Dubai feature a spray shower in the corner. I guess it would do the same job as a bidet. 

When the wait staff realised we were having our last breakfast at the hotel, they surprised us by all coming to our table with this...even the hotel restaurant manager came to the table. 

And they each wished us well. Very impressive! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

More of our Dubai stopover.

On our first night in Dubai we had booked a night tour. The lights of the buildings were magnificent but my photos didn’t really do them justice. 

We were taken to see some artificial waterfalls that tumble off a series of bridges. This was the bridge closest to our vantage point. 

We watched as a tourist boat glided up...suddenly the waterfall parted. 

And the boat sailed through! 

After the boat had gone through, the complete waterfall returned! 
That night we also visited a Souk or a traditional market. It was an old building full of vendors. 

These 2 in traditional dress were soon joined by a Westerner who wanted to get up close to their camel! ๐Ÿ˜‚

As we walked down to the lower level I noticed this beautiful chandelier...

The last part of our tour was watching the dancing fountains display. It was stunning! Here is the marina just before the show.

Again my photos don’t really do it justice. 
After that it was time for our bus to take us back to our hotel. It was good to be back in the air conditioned bus as despite it being night time, it was still very hot and we had all been perspiring profusely while looking at the displays etc. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Retail Dubai Style...

On our first day in Dubai we went out in the afternoon to the Dubai Mall. We aren’t really into shopping these days but this place was recommended as a good way to see the wealth and ostentatious lifestyle of this country. Dubai itself was originally a small fishing village but has transformed into a progressive uptodate nation over the last 40 years or so. 
The hotel Concierge recommended we use a taxi to get to the Mall. What a wonderful suggestion! The thought of walking the 600 metres to the nearest Metro station in 42 C heat had filled me with dread! Lol

The Mall is a huge complex of 1200 shops (no I didn’t get around to counting them ๐Ÿ˜‰) attached to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. It’s on the right in this photo. 

So the Mall...the first attraction we noticed was the Underwater Zoo! There were  coral reefs, rays, fish and even a few sharks. We didn’t pay to go into the inside viewing area, just looked in the big windows from the mall walkways. So I would suggest an even bigger variety of sea creatures could be viewed inside.

Then we saw a sign showing the way to The Waterfalls! Yep! Inside the Mall were several sections of artificial waterfalls that went on for hundreds of feet  and the water ‘roared’ just like real waterfalls. The falls also featured sculptures of divers...

I took a few photos of shops...

Everything is on a grand scale! 

Then I saw that there was a Hamley’s store which is the iconic toy store in London. We had a little look through...

Photos were taken of Buzz Lightyear, a favourite of #1 and #2 granddaughters ๐Ÿ˜‰ And I fell in love with the toy cars although the price was a bit daunting; nearly $2000 Australian. Lol

Another shop’s window display piqued my interest. It was a maternity clothing shop and the store models had little ‘baby bumps’. I’ve never seen them before, but then again...I don’t go shopping for maternity clothes! ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can imagine how many hundreds of clothing shops there would be in this giant Mall but I only took a photo of one other clothing shop. It was a Japanese clothing shop and I wondered who’d be game enough to wear this! 

I took a photo of a Cheesecake Factory restaurant, familiar to DH and I from US holidays. 

The only thing we ate on our visit was a frozen yogurt sundae from Yoghurtland. 

Talking of frozen...we found the ice rink in the mall and watched the skaters for a while. Yes, Dubai has an ice rink in a shopping centre. Just imagine the electricity used to keep the ice from melting! 

We walked and walked to the back of the Mall to get a view of the marina and Souk ( old style Arabian market) which are part of the complex. 

And after that we walked and walked to find where the taxi rank was. After the cab ride back to the hotel, we staggered up to our room and had to have a bit of a lie down after all that excitement and walking. Lol

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

A short stay in Dubai...

DH and I left on our long flight to Dubai on Saturday night. We had decided to book accomodation there rather than catch the connecting flight to Dublin straightaway. 
The travel agent chose a hotel in the Financial Centre area, the Dusit Thani. We’d seen glimpses of this building whilst watching a documentary on skyscrapers shown on some Foxtel channel. This photo is an image from the internet. 

It was a very nice hotel with extremely attentive staff! 

The views from our room on the 32 nd floor were great too...there was often a haze in the distance which we wondered whether it was a heat haze as the temperature was mostly around 42 C...yikes! 

We arrived at 4.30 am and had wisely booked our hotel so that Saturday night was booked even though we weren’t physically there. This meant that when we arrived at reception at 5 am, we could go straight to our rooms, shower and rest, before going to breakfast in the hotel delightful. 
In my next post I’ll share some of the experiences we had over the 2 days we spent there before catching a flight to Dublin. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Wool on Sunday.

Once again it’s time for a Wool on Sunday post featuring all things ‘yarny’ in the last month. 

Most of the month was taken up with joining donated squares ( plus a few granny squares of my own) into blankets for the needy. What a great feeling it was to take along 6 completed blankets to hand in. 

And now the latest project that I’ve started is a knitted throw to donate to the Karuna Hospice’s Christmas Markets in late November. It’s in a mohair yarn because of 2 reasons. Firstly I have an abundance of the rather expensive Jo Sharp brand kid mohair which I bought on a whim online a number of years ago before I retired and I’m trying to use this beautiful yarn up. Secondly, I wanted a project using a light weight yarn, that I could take with me for the 5 weeks that DH and I are travelling and mohair fits the bill.

I used this same yarn to make a throw for Karuna last year too. This year, I’m adding a cream as a main colour in stripes. 

I started the throw at home last week, started the coloured stripes in Dubai (2 nights there) and have taken this photo on the bed of our Dublin hotel. 
This yarn goes a long way and I suspect there may be yet another throw made using it in the future perhaps. ๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜†
At this stage, Janine who organises Wool on Sunday, hasn’t published a September post  yet but here is a link to her blog The Rainbow Hare. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Here in Australia we are just a few days away from Spring. Here in subtropical Brisbane, we don’t tend to have much difference between the seasons unlike the southern states. 
My garden does tend to get a bit neglected but in the last few months I’ve put a bit of effort into it. I’ve divided up bromeliads and re planted them in pots as well as directly into garden beds. Possums don’t seem to eat bromeliads or succulents so I’m extending their presence in the garden. 

DD1 gave me some dracena cuttings and I’ve potted those up too...and yes, the possums don’t seem to find them tasty either ๐Ÿ˜€. 

Some petunias have escaped being eaten by the possum gang too...

( I use the plastic forks to protect the plants when they are seedlings) 
The faithful nasturtiums that come up every year are putting on a bright display...

Some of the succulents have also flowered...

Not many veggies at the moment as DH and I will be away during September.
A self-sown pumpkin is doing nicely at the moment but will probably succumb to powdery mildew when the humid weather arrives. Or the vine and any pumpkins could be chomped on by hungry possums like my last few vines. 

Some tomatoes have come up in the compost that I put around the frangipani/ plumeria. Should take them out...but at least they are crowding out weeds perhaps! 

Months ago my cousin gave me a clump of eshallot seedlings. I planted them in a pot with a few inches of compost at the top. They’ve grown beautifully as had a whole lot of self sown plants. I did weed these plants out to start with but it looks like some more weeding is needed. 

Just 2 tomato plants which have been planted especially so far this season...

This meme is just so appropriate ๐Ÿคฃ

Even though we Brisbanites reckon there isn’t much difference between the seasons, the king orchid that grows neglected in the back corner of the garden can always be depended on to ‘know’ exactly when Spring is looming...

Hope those drought ravaged rural areas of Australia get some rain soon ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž.