Dubai | Mall of the Emirates

Day 6 After we explored Old Town.... We headed back to the metro, got lost, tried to get a cab, couldn't get a cab, then got a cab and finally made it to the metro.  We stopped for pizza at the World Trade Center before heading to the Mall of the Emirates for some uber tourism.  Geoff wasn't originally too keen on seeing Ski Dubai, but I was.  It's architecturally ballsy to create a snowy hill and black diamond runs within a mall.  And, to both our surprise we found a Shake Shack at the Mall of Emirates.  Can you believe that?  We don't even have it in California!

Dubai | Old Town

Day 6 After we made it to the metro....

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!

Dubai | Ghost Town

Day 6 So it's taken me a bit of time to catch up on my Dubai trip, but I'm determined to finish detailing my trip for memory's sake.

With Dave in Abu Dhabi, Geoff and I ventured out into Dubai proper for some exploring. After a taxi ride to the travel agent to book a tour, we walked towards the nearby metro station. In my opinion I think it's rather odd to have a metro in Dubai. The city in general is not the most conducive to pedestrians, so I'm curious what locals do on their approach to and departure from the metro. As Geoff and i walked from the travel agency to the metro (probably about one city block away), I couldn't figure out where to walk. Most of the sidewalk was missing and in its place rubble and untrodden dirt "paths". I carefully traced Geoff's step, considering in the back of my mind that I did not want to sprain an ankle on vacation. Along the way I stopped Geoff for the occasional touristy picture of the skyline, in a way trying to capture the contrast between luxury and bankruptcy in Dubai's architecture, the over-the-top next to the abandoned.

Upon entering the station I found a good amount of commuters, which was also strange to me because I wondered where they came from since I didn't see any other pedestrians or sidewalks or even any parking lots. By and by my experience of the metro was rather nice. The stations were beautiful and the train was efficient….. and air conditioned. I was a happy camper. :)

check in tomorrow for the rest!

august adventure 20: my travels in motion

Dance of a Nomad: all of august. I just got a new phone in July, so for the first time in four months (my point and shoot died) I've been able to shoot video.  I was inspired to shoot the little bits of my travels, quite literally.  There are clips of my different modes of transportation, and pictures at the end.

Song: "The Longer I Run" by Peter Bradley Adams

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/14654505 w=720&h=480]