Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Last day in Dubai.

We had one more day in Dubai so shared a taxi to the Mercato Mall but it was soooo pricey we only lasted half an hour and didn't even take a photo even though it was meant to be a little Venice.

What we really wanted to do was get back on an abra and zigzag the creek for 20p a ride and then go and  buy some pashminas. Yes, I know. We were up for more haggling. But this was "real" Dubai and we liked it.

We thought we were well prepared for the onslaught of pashmina persuaders, after all we were going to buy one, right? Or even two. But somehow we spent a fortune...WHAT were we THINKING? We knocked him down a LOT and don't think we were ripped off but I need to google the price of a SILK pashmina and a CASHMERE pashmina.  THEY ARE SOOOOO NICE THOUGH. Why buy cheap when you can buy quality?

And then we made a run for it.
Honestly, those pasmina persuaders just didn't give up. 
Even when I kept saying "No thankyou, I've just bought FOUR!"
They had this trick of asking you to feel it and then letting go, leaving you holding it. And when you learnt not to take it, they would throw it on you so you walked off wearing it.
So we put our heads down and made a run for it....

...well,  until we emergency stopped at THIS shop. 
I was in cashew heaven.

Fig heaven and date heaven. 
Pester me pester me I want to haggle.
But they didn't.
They KNEW we'd be buying.

Needless to say we spent a few more dirhams.

We had had a brilliant holiday. We had great fun in Dubai, really, really liked Oman, would like to see more of Abu Dhabi, were pleased with our bartering skills, loved the Splendour of the Seas, saw dolphins and spectacular mosques, walked miles and laughed our little heads off.

Sunday, 6 March 2016


"Have you had lunch?"
"Yes thanks, I've had GOLD" :)

But first we went to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and you can see how "Grand" it is from the aerial photo.

"IMAGINE" Cruising had included this tour in our holiday and had told us umpteen times about the strict dress sense and how fanatical the security guards were about appropriate clothing. They were positively scary. One lady in our party wore a floor length skirt but because it had a slit in the back which momentarily showed her ankles for half a millisecond when she walked, she was refused entry. So we all rallied round with spare bits of cloth, hairgrips, safety close the gap.

Of course Mr Scary took one look at me with my ridiculously baggy pants, and my lack of hair  and lack of bag and deemed me PERFECT and called me to the front of the queue and in I went.

Men couldn't show knees but were allowed to show lower arms.

The floor was so shiny it looked like glass.

I'm sure the lady said there were 2,000 pillars.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers from the company Faustig in Munich Germany that incorporate millions of Swarovski crystals. The largest chandelier is the second largest known chandelier inside a mosque, the third largest in the world and has a 10 m (33 ft) diameter and a 15 m (49 ft) height.

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has many special and unique elements: The carpet in the main prayer hall is considered to be the world's largest carpet made by Iran's Carpet Company and designed by Iranian artist Ali Khaliqi. This carpet measures 5,627 m2 (60,570 sq ft), and was made by around 1,200-1,300 carpet knotters. The weight of this carpet is 35 ton and is predominantly made from wool (originating from New Zealand and Iran). There are 2,268,000,000 knots within the carpet and it took approximately two years to complete.

It was stunning.

This was SOOO "Photo of the Holiday".

Reflections. Blues. Hubby. Smile. Gold. Perspective.

I love everything about it.

(Although I HAD just taken that amazing dophin photo....oooh tricky decision....)

Billowy, billowy legs :) but they got me instant access into the Mosque.

What a fantastic couple of hours but we had  to get back on the bus.
We didn't really want to get back on the bus. 
We wanted to sample GOLD.
We had heard about GOLD topped coffee.

So after a quick stop at the Heritage Centre where we saw nothing but the toilets which were a disgrace (no lights, no locks, no loo roll, wet floor) we were little rebels and abandoned the tour and walked to the Emirates Palace, the 7 STAR HOTEL which is so posh it calls itself a palace.

In anticipation of drinking GOLD (how many calories does GOLD have?) I did a plank.

We passed a game of CRICKET!!! 
Fancy playing cricket in the grounds of the Emirates Palace!
I want to know what their teas are like.

So...Dids, these are the Etihad Towers,
No sign of a Citeh shirt though.

And THIS is the Emirates Hotel.

VIP entrance.

There were huge Rolex clocks everywhere.

The foyer. Gulp.

How do posh people sit?
I tried so hard not to look like a tourist.

And then my camel milk cappuccino arrived.

Followed by Husb's GOLD topped cappuccino.

At Emirates Palace, we use only the finest ingredients to create our signature gold cappuccino. Also known as the Palace Cappuccino, this superior blend of aromatic coffee is sprinkled with gold flakes to give you a taste of royalty, making it unlike anything you have ever tried before.
Served on a polished silver tray, you can enjoy your cappuccino with a special dates and dark chocolate. There is also a palate cleansing glass of water to finish with.

I'm not surprised the Emirates Hotel has won so many awards year after year,

YAY!!! I've got REAL 24 carat GOLD flakes inside me AND on my lips WOOP
and I'm planking in front of the Man City Towers. Ha.

What an incredible day. 
A handstand (!!) and a walk along the corniche before hailing a taxi back to the ship ... we would love to come back here again.

Irene was right when she said "You can SMELL the money"
Abu Dhabi...what an amazing place.

Could today get any better?
Cute little cabinman made me towel BEARS :)

AND a towel monkey! :)