Monday 17 March 2014

Today we were also up around 8:30, and after getting dressed in my bathing suit (!!!) we headed down to breakfast. Today there was French toast (!) as well as scrambled eggs (and yet again, I ended up packing an apple and a banana for the road).

Around 9:45, we left the hotel and headed to the beach. I was literally jumping up and down with excitement. I love the beach/water/all things nautical and was so excited to a) be in someplace warm to begin with b) be by the water and c) be by water that was warm/swimmable.

After liberally applying sunscreen (and waiting for it to dry/not automatically fall off in the water) I literally ran right in. Dear goodness, this water was beyond perfect. I ended up staying in for over 90 minutes. I started by swimming/chilling with Emilia and we had a nice chat while floating in the waves. Then she left and I stayed in and about 20 minutes later the rest of the group came in. I was literally in heaven, just swimming and semi-riding the (tiny) waves!

Later, a few of us decided to walk around the nearby Dubai marina with Marina (the AUD student!) I sound like I’m on repeat, but literally everything here is larger than life. There were these beautiful glass buildings all around the marina (and closer to the Gulf, as well) that must’ve each been at least 70 stories tall! We then stopped for ice cream, and when we got back to the beach, Chaza and Sara had arrived with our lunches (from Subway!)

After lunch we headed back to the hotel and quickly showered. We then had another lecture on sustainable cities at AUD. This engineering professor also had a lot of interesting information, and included a lot of sustainability data from Dubai (both current info and future goals).

After the lecture, we piled into the AUD bus and headed off to old Dubai. When they said we were going to old Dubai, I thought old meant Cambridge-ish old, maybe 1600s or 1700s. But, silly me, this is Dubai we’re talking about. “Old Dubai” essentially meant “1950s Dubai” (sorry, Mom and Dad!) Nonetheless, it was interesting (not to mention strange) being away from the ginormous modern buildings. We had a delicious family-style dinner at a Syrian restaurant.

We then headed to a gold and spice market, which was (like many things here!) incredibly overwhelming. There were dozens upon dozens of jewelry stores, all selling gold and other gems for apparently very good prices. We ended up just walking around for a bit (since by now we were all thoroughly exhausted!) I was, however, able to see the largest gold ring in the world (complete with a Guinness World Record certificate!) We then headed home and essentially went right to bed!

TGT: 1) THE BEACH 2) Ice cream in summer-like weather 3) delicious dinner at the Syrian restaurant

Until next time,

~JK 

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