Part 2 of Lizzie and Jarett’s stay here in Dubai is here!
After some tasty cocktails at a great little rooftop bar just across the street from mine (Level 43 Sky Lounge, at the Sheraton Four Points) we were ready for an early night.
Because we had an early start the next morning…. off to Abu Dhabi!
We decided to get the bus as although I have a Dubai driving license I still haven’t driven here and it’s only 25 dhs each way per person on the bus (around 5 Euros).
Our first stop was a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.
Lizzie and I popped into a little room in the underground carpark to collect our Abayas, which are the long, usually black robes commonly worn by Muslim women in the Middle East. The mosque requires women to cover up when entering. The abaya actually helps to keep you cool as it’s very long and floaty!
We walked around the mosque to the main entrance, where we left our shoes before entering.
Inside the mosque is absolutely stunning. Full of beautiful, intricate artwork and details.
We spent quite a while wandering around inside enjoying the peace and quiet and serenity.
After having explored pretty much all areas of the mosque, we decided it was time for some lunch! Not knowing Abu Dhabi very well, we asked the taxi driver to take us to the nearest mall so we could find a restaurant.
He dropped us off at Marina Mall (I’m still not sure if this was actually the closest one, or just the only one he knew!).
There was a lovely view over the marina though, which we strolled along after lunch!
Before too long it was time to get the bus back to Dubai. We wanted to avoid the awful evening traffic heading towards Sharjah which happens every weekday but unfortunately got stuck in it for quite a while!
The next day my lovely flatmate Kirsty’s fiancé Dan (who lives in Hong Kong) flew over to visit her for a couple of days. As Kirsty was busy doing her first class upgrade during the day, Dan decided to join us on a little day out!
I’d recently seen a TimeOut Dubai article with 25 things to do for 1Dhs or less, so we decided to try out the “Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary”.
However, the article was slightly deceiving as it didn’t mention that the wildlife sanctuary was nothing but a small shed which you could look out from!
We did manage to spot a few flamingos through the binoculars and I could also see my apartment along Sheikh Zayed Road!
After the “wildlife sanctuary” we drove on over to Miracle Gardens. A man-made “garden” full of flowers and weird sculptures!
As you can see, it’s full of random sculptures and more flowers than I’ve ever seen in Dubai combined!
After dropping Dan back off at the apartment, Lizzie, Jarett and I made our way over to the Grand Hyatt for afternoon tea. If you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll know I’m slightly partial to afternoon tea, so decided to treat L & J as a belated Christmas present.
We were hoping to be sat outside, but the afternoon tea was served in the lobby. Nevertheless, we almost felt as though we were outside what with the enormous amount of greenery!
Our lovely waitress was very accommodating and recommended some delicious teas for us to try. She also brought us out some extra scones as one per person was most definitely not enough!
Having filled up nicely on sandwiches, cakes and scones, we strolled around the hotel grounds.
There was a lovely swimming pool and we had to persuade Jarett not to jump in with his clothes on! 😉
We drove home just as the sun was setting. Stay tuned for Part III coming soon 🙂
On another note – I’m off on a 6 day trip to Sydney and Auckland in the morning, so if anyone has any recommendations for great restaurants in either places (especially breakfast!) please do let me know! 🙂