A Travellerspoint blog

Dubai, a cross between Mars and Las Vegas?

Bit more head-spinning as we venture up the World's Tallest Building.

No change in the weather, hot as. Another couple of ways to emphasise the heat, at 10.30 this morning it wad 41* however on the Weather App while it was technically 41* the App said, it 'felt like' 51*!!!! And it did. 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺. Second point of interest re heat, not a lot of sweating because it all evaporates! Hence need for more 🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺🍺!

We spent a little bit of time cruising about Dubai Creek first off and yes, the boat was airconditioned, thanks.

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Now the airconditioned bus stops and the AC in the top half of the Big Red Bus! And just one shot of Russell trying some new headgear! No he decided not to buy!

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A few more 'townscape' shots before we went up 'the big tower'.

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Next, we went up to the top viewing area of the Burj-Khalifa 550 metres up, while the building and its spire goes further up, to an impressive 835 metres! As you see in some of the shots, Dubai has been quite literally, built in the Arabian desert.

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Just to finish off, we spent some time in the Dubai Mall, a massive shopping centre with an impressive Acquarium and of course a couple of waterfalls, oh hum. . .

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There are still two blogs to be done regarding Cornwall, one with lots of pics around the North Cornwall Coast and the other, a story about Great Great Grandfather, William Henry Banfield. Both will now take a week or two. We leave Dubai tomorrow and arrive back in Launceston on Sunday.
Ciao.

Posted by stavmagpie 08:53 Comments (0)

Dubai, dusty and very, very hot. 🍺🍺🍺

After a bout of gawking and gasping a dam interesting place . . . . 👀 😎 🍺

Our flight from Paris may well have been in the Tardis! We arrived well after dark and saw almost nothing on the way from the Airport to our accommodation at the Nihal Palace Hotel in Diera, one of the older areas of Dubai. Next morning when we were able to see this desert city, using the air-conditioned upper deck of the BigRed Bus, we could well have been on another planet and at some time in the future. Why you ask, he's exaggerating - well: it was 44* (degrees) by 10.30 am and a light dust cloud gave the multitude of tall odd shaped shiny buildings created surreal armosphere. Especially with tall turbaned middle eastern gentlemen in white flowing robes!

Today's modern Dubai begins wth oil being extracted in the early 1970's! You have to marvel at the planning, financial, engineering, and strategic skills evident here! We have been 'rubbernecking' most of the day with occaisional excursions into two of the many massive air-conditioned shopping centres. Everything here seems to be airconditioned and so it should be. For example, metro/train stations and even bus stops have AC!

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As we travelled about similarities with Singapore easily came to mind, but really we have not seen any city quite like this. The place is laid out on a grand scale, making travel from one suburb to the next a bit of a challenge, despite a massive road system and the monorail/metro. And, a most intersting statistic, 81% of Dubai's population have foreign passports and reside here with temporary work visas. Many of them are building the place, (from labourers to engineers) working in shops, domestic duties, etc etc. Here are some more photos from our day of touring. Many of the photos are 'rough' but they do give you the general idea of what we saw. 👀

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Touring here again tomorrow and may get some more/better pics. Souks and Dubai Creek.

Posted by stavmagpie 10:53 Comments (0)

Monmartre and au revoir 🛫

Exploring our local area, art 'on the go', Salvador Dali's brilliant, insightful and eclectic gifts to us all, the Basilica Sacre-Coeur, Pigalle and the Moulin-Rouge 👀 😎 😄

On Monday we tried to do a bit of shopping but found our general weariness after the Eurocup experience and lack of local knowledge meant, at the end of the day, there was very little more to go in our suitcases. (Maybe Dubai?) We targetted the shopping area around the Opera Garnier and the huge Galeries Lafayette Department Store. The Galeries Lafayette was stunning. Shopping in style!

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The Opera Garnier was another superb building, inside and out. In particular, it is famous as the home of Andrew Lloyd Weber's Phantom.

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Before leaving on our trip, the photgrapher had to have a new tripod. Sure. A Manfrotto traveller model was acquired and it only weighed 3kgs! Guess what, hadn't been used. 😜 😩 Last night it was and here are a couple of night shots of the Basilica Sacre-Coeur from our window!

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This morning we did a tour around the Baslica Sacre-Coeur and the local 'artiste' area before checking out the seedier side of Paris in the Pigalle/Moulin Rouge area. Some of the shots are from the bell tower up in the Basilica, just 300 steps up! We also went to the Musee d' Salvador Dali' , a fascinating couple of hours. Here are a few photos of our last 'tour'. By the way, the artiste in one of the photos is not Dali, he is one of a million tourists in Paris, posant dans un béret français traditionnel.

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Well that's it. Tomorrow, Wednesday, we fly to Dubai. We have a stopover of 3 nights, two days in Dubai and are back on the farm Sunday afternoon. Ciao. 👍 🎉

Posted by stavmagpie 07:27 Comments (0)

More Paris highlights and mixing with the Eurocup crowds.

Enjoying the Eurocup atmosphere, a Museum in a railway station and the superb Arc de Triumphe.

What a sporting weekend it was, Wimbleton finals and the Final of the Eurocup in Paris! ⚽️🏅⚽️🏆🎾🎾 The EC kickoff was not until 9.00pm Sunday evening! So plenty of time to build up the excitement. In the afternoon were were in the Arc de Triumphe and then the Eiffel Tower areas and it was hot, noisy and the whole place was a going off. Car horns, flag waving, beers being consumed and noise, noise, noise! Here's a bit of what we experienced.

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We had selected just a few iconic places to see and on Sunday went to the Musee d'Orsay and Arc de Triumphe. The Orsay is in fact, believe it or not, a converted railway station! It was to be demolished for a new building sometime in the early 20C! It is a superb building and you could easily spend a couple of very interesting days looking at the various exhibits.

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Also taken from the Orsay observation deck area are a coiple of shots of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica which helps identify where our accommodation is located.

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The 'Arc' is another magnificient building and standing atop of it give a great sense of the planned nature of Paris. Interestingly, at the eastern end of the Champs-Elysees is the Place de la Concorde, the place for cellarbrations, demonstrations etc including the end of 'Le Tour' and interestingly also the site of the odd beheading or two back in the 'good old days'. At the western end of this magnificient boulevard we saw the new modern Paris. You can see it in one of the photos, it must be off limits to tourists because most like ourselves did know it existed!

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Then the day became quite an event, us trying to get back to Monmartre and I suspect hundreds of thousands of noisy, colourful football fans either on their way to the massive outdoor screens near the Eiffel Tower or the Parc des Princes. Fortunately our trains were going away from the crowds but the trains running in the opposite direction to us were jammed pack, all red, white and blues or green and red. We were relieved to find a nice little bar/cafe where it was relatively quiet and were able with a few locals, enjoy a meal, a drink or two and the game on TV. Perhaps we were a bit fortunate France didn't win, otherwise we may have drunk more than we needed and assumed a 'french-ish' identity after the after game.

Over the next day or so we will try a little shopping and explore more around Monmartre and the infamous Pigalle area.

Posted by stavmagpie 12:47 Archived in France Comments (0)

Enjoying Paris

And a quick update on travel so far.

sunny

We have five days in Paris and are enjoying this very beautiful city. Pity about the all the tourists and queues!

Yes, the Back in Britain blogs are not complete. Will try to do a couple to finish off that lot in the next few days. 😄 😜

Our arrival in Paris and travel to our accommodation in Monmartre was a hark back to our travel 'style' from earlier years. We walked from the Metro station to our apartment! Only this time no backpacks, just fully laden suitcases with wheels as we used maps and compass to locate the Villa Monmartre and walk up to it. Navigation excellent, distance quite a challenge, especially in the heat of a hot Paris afternoon.

The location of our apartment, is as the name suggests, right in the ducks guts of Monmartre. Here are a couple of photos around the area where we are staying, one from the window of the apartment looking out at the Basilica Sacre Coeur!

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Here are a few more photos some taken from the upper deck of Paris' Big Red Bus, so excuse the poor framing etc.

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And contrasting styles for getting about . . . .

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Next a cruise on the Seine, gee it was hot and as we returned, the 'Tour Eiffel' in a much better light.

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Auvoir pour le moment

Posted by stavmagpie 11:06 Archived in France Comments (0)

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