Day 4 Waking up again at a semi-reasonable/jet-lagged hour, I pulled myself out of bed and made myself some breakfast-- whole wheat toast with cheese. (Boy, do I love cheese!) I continued my morning (like many mornings I'd have while on my trip) catching up on emails while enjoying the entertainment provided by Dave and Geoff and their stories. As Dave, who work up hours before me, worked, I tried to coerce Geoff into taking a jaunt into Dubai main. At the peak of the day, the weather got to about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And even Geoff, who endures that dreadfully hot and humid New York weather, could not be convinced to endure the desert heat outside. Dave shared some insight into our dilemma; locals go out in the mornings and evenings when it's cool and nap midday when it's hottest. So instead of exploring, he suggested a swim in one of his building's pools. What a splendid idea!
Although the pool was in the shade of the building, the water was perfect…not too warm and not too cold. They swam about as I walked about. I tried a bit of "swimming", well, moving in the water. But that was a bit of a fail. Dave planned to take us to Wild Wadi, a water park, the following day, so I tried to get as comfortable in the water as I could (for someone who does not know how to swim). I managed not to be too scared. Then we called it a day. And headed back up to the apartment.
From the apartment, we relaxed some more as Geoff planned out our attack on Dubai tourism. A short cab ride took us to Dubai Creek on the Deira side. We walked along the creek observing all the commotion on the docks, goods loaded on and unloaded from medium-sized ships. We continued, with Geoff keeping a eye out for our destination the souq, stopping frequently so I could take pictures. As the sun set, we approached the water ferries transporting people to Bur Dubai on the other side of the creek. Honing a monk-like stillness I captured some long exposure shots, while Geoff went to buy a coconut drink. (Oh. And even though it was quite dark by then it was still rather hot. )
Finally we reach what seemed like the end of things worth seeing. Still we hadn't reached the Grand Deira Souq. Across the street we saw some potentially interesting sights, so we headed in that direction and discovered it was the souq we were looking for. It was quite touristy and not at all like I had imagine. We spent about ten minutes walking around before we decided to take a cab to meet Dave for dinner at Festival City Mall.
Like I said before, malls in Dubai are incredible, and Festival City Mall didn't disappoint. It also was filled with many stores, but what I enjoyed about this particular mall was that at its rear it had a huge atrium, where we caught the tail of end of an Aldo fashion show, and beautifully designed outdoor areas. There were the canals that acted as an exterior transitional space between the main mall and the part of the mall that lined the marina. I forgot to take pictures (like many of the activities on this trip), but trust me, it was lovely at night.
We ate Indian food along the marina then headed to the Belgian Cafe at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to have some refreshments on another outdoor terrace overlooking the harbor. Beautiful. We headed home, and I crawled into bed satisfied with all the sights I had seen.