London to Abu Dhabi
09.04.2011 - 30.04.2011
Flew 7 1/2 hours through the night to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The time went pretty quickly and the plane was only two thrids full. The hotel, the Radisson Blu, and our room is very nice, expect they gave us a double bed, so we had to change rooms. We have a nice view overlooking the golf course and the water.
Last year, Phil and I had a stop over in Dubai (because we were flying Emirates) but Peter and I were in Abu Dhabi because we were flying Etihad. From first impressions, I think I like Dubai better because it seems to be more compact and easier to get around. Abu Dhabi seems to have three distinct areas which makes it very spread out. We are on Yas Island.
We had a short time to freshen up and then were picked up from the hotel for our city tour. Our first stop was the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. My goodness, what an absolutely stunning place that was. I have never seen anything quite so beautiful. It is predominately white, with gold and looks so good against a blue sky background. I had to wear a black burka and a head scarf and Peter had to cover up in a white dress. There was to be ABSOLUTELY no touching between men and women once inside the Mosque. The chandeliers were beautiful - seven of them, imported from Germany and incorporating millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque and the third largest in the world.
Then onto the date market and the port.
And a look inside a lovely restaurant with gold crockery and trimmings. It was all a bit over the top, but that is what this part of the world is like.
We also visited a heritage village. It was very interesting but it is very hot.
We didn't have any local money to pay for our tour, so the guide took us to an ATM and the matter was rectified.
We were getting very tired so when we went back to the hotel, we had a nice pizza by the pool for lunch and then went back to our room for a few hours sleep before dinner.
We had dinner on a dhow, cruising around the harbour. The meal was fantastic, served on gold rimmed plates. First, dips and smoked salmon; then a lobster; then a mixed grill with rice; pasta with vegetables and vegetables; then a piece of tart and a fruit platter and warm sweet pumpkin pudding. Too much food - impossible to eat it all, but so nice.
Slept well in a nice cool room and a big, full tummy!