.We found a table at the rear of this restaurant along with the couple we'd planned to explore with while we collected our nerves and drank cappuccinos. Soon we became the target for a taxi hustler offering trips around town. By this time though we'd become a tad emboldened (probably the caffeine), so following hard negotiations we hired a taxi for three hours.
The taxi itself was not exactly new but it did start and apart from a couple of bald tyres was relatively sound, a bonus was air conditioning that worked and even though the driver spoke little English provided us a pleasant experience.
Getting to know the natives has always been one of my talents, but this guy didn't say much
A school visit to the park. After a while the kids were more interested in us than the exhibits. They wanted to shake hands and know our names. They didn't believe I was David Beckham though.
He asked me if I wanted it around my neck. You gotta be joking
Didn't go much on this one either!
There's no fool like...
Leaving Colombo behind, Arcadia complete with anti pirate equipment on board sailed for Dubai arriving on April 6th, which entailed four relaxing sea days to do as much or as little as possible. The ships entertainment team do provide various distractions for those interested but generally we don't partake of much. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the announcement on March 31st that Fred and Sheila Simpson were going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary by performing a synchronised dive from the back of the ship the following lunchtime. I got my camera ready that morning and told Passepartou that I was going to photograph the event. Then she pointed out the date to me.
To my mind Dubai is a strange place, really it's just a modern city in a desert, many gleaming skyscrapers, modern offices ,hotels and more shopping malls that you could shake a camel at. But...what's it for?...who works in those offices and what do they do? It seems to me all a bit make believe but at least it's easy to get around and it's very civilised.
Following our mornings tour, we decided to take the local Metro to the old town, which at least is authentic. A place where we could visit the old souk and stroll along the creek watching the little ferries carrying people hither and thither across that river. It's a bit touristy, but does have some charm and it's relatively easy to fend off the vendors of Rolex watches who persuasively encourage the unsuspecting to part with cash for toot. The silk scarves though can be a bargain.
Finding a restaurant overlooking the creek we figured we'd have time for dinner as we did not have to be back onboard until 10:30.....plus we are getting a tad fed up with the ships catering such is the hardship endured on a world cruise.
Due to pollution this early form of transport has been abandoned
The Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque
An impressive building with no expense spared it seems.
Those chandeliers a bit too big for our house
Messing about in the lobby of The Emirates palace hotel
A bit grander than the last Holiday Inn we stayed in
More steps to the Grand foyer
The positive thing for us however, was the nice restaurant with a comfortable terrace and after our regular caffeine fix and some exceedingly nice macaroons six of us in two taxis were able to explore the area.