Geoff's "Dubai in a Day" itinerary took us to Dubai Museum, which, from the outside, appeared to be a sad building with artifacts scrounged up to make a "museum" but it was quite the opposite. I was thoroughly impressed by its architecture design which led end-users through an informative experience through city and town and souq and desert. Caught up in the informative part of the museum, I forgot to take any pictures, but trust me, it's worth the 10 dirhams (app. $ 2.50) admission.
In need of some refreshments, Geoff's itinerary took us for a nice walk through old Dubai to Basta Art Cafe, which interestingly enough was in my "Three Perfect Days in Dubai" itinerary. And it did not disappoint its double recommendation. The Basta Art Cafe is set in an open courtyard with a very serene atmosphere. I can't remember if there actually was one, but in recalling the environment I feel like there was a fountain, or maybe it was just so peaceful that my mind added it. Either way, it was nice. I enjoyed a very delicious mint lemonade (I think… I forget at this point) while Geoff drank a tea. We sat for a bit soaking it all it. Somehow I felt like we escaped away from Dubai to another city or country or something. It reminded me a bit of Europe. I wondered if any locals visited this place and watched tourists like I do at my coffee shop in San Francisco. One thing I'll remember about Dubai is that as metropolitan as it is, it still has the calm of a town, and that thought struck me as I sat there listening and watching without detecting a single city-like noise or commotion. I left Basta Art Cafe quite satisfied.
We consulted a map and continued to the old town, which at the time I thought it was the actual old part of town. It was more like a Disneyland, a caricature of what the old Dubai may have been. It seem we went "after hours" as most of the little buildings were closed. However, some vendors were still out trying to sell me spices and artwork which indicated my former conclusion that I was in a fake town erected for the education (or exploitation) of tourists. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it. This is probably the day where I actually started to take a lot of pictures. Who wouldn't? As contrived as the town was, it was beautiful. It was stunning… gorgeous… charming. I liked it. :)
check in tomorrow for the rest!