Tuesday 1 November 2011

A day in Dubai

What a long day! Despite sleeping well on the plane, I was awake at the equivalent of 3am here, landed at 5.30am, got to the hotel and had second breakfast like a good hobbit, and was out again at 9am on a city tour. Then lunch at 1pm, a short break, and out again at 3pm for the Desert Safari which returned us to the hotel at 9pm. And tomorrow we're due down in the foyer at 6.30am for the next leg of the trip to Copenhagen.

Where it will be considerably cooler than the 38 degrees it was today as we skimmed along wide, neat, clean and modern highways past those amazing skyscrapers and miles of fancy villas and apartment blocks, the bright blue Creek and sea, ranks of date palms and dozens of mosques with graceful minarets. We popped into souqs specialising in spices, gold, clothing; went on a river ferry; to the underground museum; and did a circuit of Palm Island, that literally fantastic creation in the sea built in the shape of a palm tree.

Then tonight we bucketed over sand dunes in a 4WD Chrysler, slithering and swerving; watched racing camels being trained with robot jockeys; saw a falconry demonstration - peregrines can reach 369kmh, you know; glimpsed wild oryx with 90cm horns; watched the sun set over the desert dunes; had a camel ride; drank Arab coffee; had a local meal that was served just like in a school canteen; and watched agog as a scarily manic Russian belly-dancer whirled and gyrated like nobody's business. And now, hooray, it's bed time.

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