Published: January 16th 2010December 22nd 2009
After living in Abu Dhabi, the barren desert, it was amazing to be somewhere like the emirate of Al Ain. An oasis in the desert that is beautiful!
Well my uncle and aunt came to visit for 15 days and we did go all over. We first went to the mosque which they thought reminded them of the Taj Mahal. We spent the day in Al Ain as well. It was absolutely beautiful. We could see mountains and naturally occurring greenery and flowers everywhere. When you live in Khalifa B, trust me seeing the lushness of this emirate is very striking. We searched for the camel market which still remains elusive...can't find the darn thing but I will try again someday. We did find the zoo though. I thought it was great especially the meerkats. No wonder they have their own show on t.v.! They are sooo cute. I felt like picking one up and putting it in my pocket. They are always on the look out for danger and one spotted me and apparently didn’t like what he saw. I did feet bad about the bigger animals though. Their cages seemed quite inadequate for the size of them. The lions were in a very small area (I usually don't go to zoos for this very reason). It was nice to see the other animals though,
the smaller ones like the tortoise and the owls.
A funny time was when Uncle Marcel and I decided to get up really early to go see the camel races not far from my house. We got up (Alicia came as well) and we were off - 7:00 a.m. as the races start at 7:30. There was this big sign saying camel races this way so we followed it. We were faced with the desert, some parts of a road and no signs indicating where to go from there. We drove down this road with huge broken chucks of cement everywhere and huge puddles as it had just rained. We get to the end of this road after 15 minutes to end up at the gate of a Sheik's house and the guard has no idea where it was. You would think that they would know these things...but no. In fact, we stopped several times to ask for directions by people sitting on the side of the road but unfortunately they spoke no english so it was quite amusing to see Uncle Marcel imitate the humps on the camel's back and gallop at the same time only to have
al ain zoo-bear
He looked so sad eating his lettuce and watermelon :(
them point us completely in the wrong direction. This is something to get used to in this country..nobody knows where anything is and if they do they can't explain how to get there! Very frustrating!! Communication is one of my biggest complaints about being here.
On Christmas Eve, we made reservations to go see the Burj Al Arab (the hotel that looks like a sail boat). We had to make reservations because no one can enter the hotel without having called a few days ahead to book a time. Andrea and Alicia came with us. We arrived at the gate and were allowed to enter as I had a reservation number which had been texted to me from the restaurant inside the hotel. I pulled up in my rented Mitsubishi Lancer 1.3...impressive I know. We piled out and a valet drove my car away to hide it I'm sure so that it would not sully the unbelievably expensive cars already parked near the door. I personally have no interest in cars but everyone seemed to be impressed by the sports cars out front as well as the expensive Bentley's.
The lobby was pretty nice. There are huge fish tanks from
floor to ceiling and you go up an escalator to get to where you want to go. The first floor was stunning, especially decorated for Christmas. We found our restaurant which was a floor below...the cheapest restaurant is in the basement and it goes up from there. I believe that it is called Al Babel. We had a fantastic view of the water and Dubai and after about a half an hour went inside the restaurant for the buffet. The food was really good. Funny story though...there was a selection of cold seafood and I asked for some hot butter. The waiter looked at me and said yes maam or mum as they pronounce it and went to get it. After 5 minutes he came back and gave me a small dish with a pat of butter half liquefied but cold. I asked again "Could you heat this up?...in the microwave". I figured more instruction was needed. Another five minutes later he brings me the same dish melted but ice cold (I have no idea how they managed this). I thought...being the tenacious person I am..I will ask one more time. I called him over and said "no...I mean boiling
al ain zoo-hat
Uncle Marcel got a lot of people asking about his hat. He collects pins from the different places he goes.
hot". This left no doubt as to what I wanted I thought. After another 5 minutes...a chef from the kitchen comes and asks what I want. I explain that back home we eat cold seafood with butter (hot) being the important part of the story. He said "Oh now I know!"Another five minutes pass and he brings me a gravy boat filled with melted butter...COLD. Still have no clue how they did that!! So I passed it to Uncle Marcel and he ate it. Very peculiar! After the meal, we were given each a box of Herme's perfume as a gift. Also, after we paid, Uncle Marcel off-handedly said.."What no chocolat!". A minute later the waiter brought us two huge chocolate boots. As we were 5 we asked for three more and got it. Those were amazing gifts!
After our meal, we went all the way up the elevator and changed sides to come down the glass elevator. What a ride! It is very fast ...and see-through!
We spent the next few days driving around to various places (the Dubai malls, Abu Dhabi and surroundings, etc...).
Uncle Marcel and Aunt Marguerite organized a trip to Jordan and Egypt..I hope they
al ain zoo-lion
This lion looked like he had some kind of skin disease that makes you lose hair!!
had a good time. They left for their trip on December 28th.
I am counting the weeks till I'm home again. Hope to see everyone soon!
There are more photos below