Friday, January 4, 2008

Part II of Dubai/Abu Dhabi Trip

Happy New Year again! Welcome to the year of the mouse-- "nezumi." :)

This is part II, a continuation of our trip to Dubai/Abu Dhabi. Here it goes...

In Dubai, we saw the "Burj Dubai"--soon to be the world's tallest building. Dubai is a city of superlatives-- for the fastest, tallest, longest, highest, you name it.

I'm not sure when this building will be finished, but once it's complete, it really will be a sight to see.

My parents live in Abu Dhabi, which is about a 2 hour drive from Dubai. In contrast to Dubai's desert environment, Abu Dhabi is relatively "green." The city has made an effort to plant trees and shrubs to give the city a "green" look. Here's a view of Abu Dhabi's skyline.

For Christmas eve, my parents took my brother Julian, Kev and I on a "desert" safari tour. We all got into a 4x4 and took a ride over desert sand dunes.

Let me warn you: This is not a trip for those who get motion sickness. Trust me.

It was fun and exciting for the first 15 minutes, but after that I really wanted to get out of the jeep. Unfortunately for me, our driver kept driving over sand dunes like a madman...

Despite feeling ill, I have to say, the highlight of the safari was definitely the camels. I even got to ride one!

They are so cute!!!

Even my Mom got in on the action.

After the camel ride, it was time to enjoy the sunset.

The sunset from our camp was absolutely beautiful....

I think this says it all....

Once it was dark, we enjoyed a Middle Eastern meal under the stars. The food was delicious! We had hummos, grilled lamb, chicken and beef, saffron rice, roasted vegetables, and baklava.

Here's a photo of all of us at dinner. My brother Julian took the photo, so he's not in it. :(

Here we are dressed in traditional Middle Eastern garb.

That's me, my brother Julian on the left, and Kevin on the right.

Later, we all sat around a fire and smoked from a "hookah" pipe. What an experience! It took me a bit to get the hang of it. You have to suck on the pipe really hard to get the water at the bottom of the hookah to bubble.

Ha! Looks like I'm having a good time. By George, I think she's got it. :)

Sitting by the fire in the middle of the desert was awesome. Some of the other people in our tour group were from Slovakia so they ended the night by singing Christmas carols in Russian.

I never imagined, I would be sitting under the stars in the Arabian desert on Christmas eve. It made me think about the Three Kings and how they used the North Star to find the manger where baby Jesus was born.

It was truly a beautiful night, complete with a full moon.

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