As per my last post, this has been typed up on my iPad app, so I apologise for the lack of style and structure. Will tidy all that up when back and in front of my laptop.
Our stop in Dubai was a 24 hour layover on the way to London, so we did not have the time to gorge ourselves on much local cuisine – saving that for the days we are here on the way back! The hotel we stayed at, the Carlton Towers, was simple but comfortable, and included a buffet breakfast. Not that we had time to enjoy that at a leisurely pace. On waking and starting to get dressed around 9am, mum had found a Dubai city tour she was interested to do. I rang them to work out if we could do it and was advised that we would be picked up in less than an hour! A mad dash ensued with the two of us quickly getting dressed and rushing down to the restaurant to make sure we had time to eat something substantial. The spread was quite good. I stuck with my old faves of some oatmeal, and some toast as I was not starving, but suspected it might be a while before I saw food again. Mum decided to try the cooked buffet so she could taste some of the local food. I can’t recall the name of the bean dish she ate, but it sounded remarkably like ‘foul’ beans or something, which naturally mother exclaimed ‘Whatever that is I am going to have it!’
The food highlight for me was the amazingly huge fruit plate that I ordered for room service in the afternoon as I was feeling a little peckish after my run. I expected a few slices of watermelon and perhaps some slices of orange, as that is all I spotted earlier on the breakfast buffet. Wrong. This feast of fruit cost me only $10 for room service, which I thought was exceptional value. I am not a huge watermelon fan, but it is everywhere in Dubai, and I can see why. Extremely refreshing and sweet. And OMG, the pineapple. I do need to source some dates next time through, as they are in season here and aplenty. Mmmmm….fruit!
We had initially thought to do a hop on hop off style of thing here as we only have the one full day, and thought it would be a good way to work out what we might like to do when we return in a couple of weeks time. Mum found a reasonably priced Dubai city tour in a tourist brochure and we decided to give that a go. As it would not be normal if I did not do this at least once on holidays – I happened to have a voucher for the tour, so we ended up with 25% off as well. I can see a few sets of eyes rolling back home on that comment. Hehe.
Anyway, the tour turned out to be quite good. We went to the old fort, which is also the city of Dubai museum. It is a fascinating museum on the history of how the city evolved. Well worth the exorbitant $1 AUD to get in (seriously, it cost a buck). The tour also took us to the Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, Atlantis and the palm islands, Jumeirah Beach (where we are staying next time through), we took a boat ride across the creek, and walked through the spice and gold markets among other highlights. Mum and I agreed that we will come back and look at the fabric and the spice markets in more detail next time. I very much desire trying some of the sweet treats : )
We also discovered that we will be back for Ramadan, so that will be interesting as there will be festivals and feasts aplenty a night.
I may be hard core about many things running-wise, however I had no desire to run in 40+ degree heat today; and didn’t want to get up before dawn either as that would have meant less than 4 hrs sleep. So the hotel gym it was today. I prefer running outdoors, but I am not silly.
It felt like I was running in a fishbowl. The gym was located on the 4th floor next to the pool, both of which have a magnificent view of the city. However the people in and around the pool took to staring at me running instead of watching the boats on the river, so I felt a little self conscious to start with. I even thought that I may had inadvertently breached a clothing etiquette, but then noticed that all of the women in the pool were in bikinis. I was fine in my singlet and shorts.
The treadmill had all of the usual bells and whistles, all of which were familiar, so that was good. The only complication was that it used miles as opposed to kilometres. Hmmmm…tricky. I don’t know the miles to kms conversion off the top of my head, especially for speed, so I decided to go for time and guess at speed. I know I trot out a 6.5km in less than 39 mins, so I thought if I go for 40 mins, and push the pace up til it feels ‘normal’ then I should be fine. I ended up doing 4.06 miles in 40 minutes. No idea what that converts to. Ok I think.
Next stop: London!