We have now checked out of of Al Manzil Hotel and have moved to the Ibis Hotel next to the Mall of the Emirates. Going from a four-star hotel to a two-star hotel was little difficult; you could say we were spoiled at the last hotel. I’ve sat down with my trip advisors, Jp and Amber, discuss my ideas for my final project. I’ve noticed that geometric shapes are everywhere, the star shape for instance; seen mostly in architecture and clothing. I can’t wait to explore this even more throughout my trip!
Well, we’ve been in Dubai for about a week now. I feel that I’ve learned so much and we’re only a third of the way complete! Some of us are starting to miss the PNW, the cold rain, and tall evergreens surrounding you. There are times I don’t feel like I’m in a different country. I feel as if I’m in central California. Instead of the cold rain we have summer weather during winter. Instead of tall evergreens surrounding me, I’m surrounded by palm trees every where I look. The one thing I do miss: US electrical outlets. I’ve already bought a straightener from the local grocery store with the UK plug attached so that I won’t have the fear of my hair burning or my appliances overheating. At least I can use this in London next semester! Winner.
After having a few free days to go explore on our own we’re on our way to Abu Dhabi. Our tour guide, Dominique, talked the whole drive over to Abu Dhabi which was perfect for me so I didn’t fall asleep on the bus. I could listen to her talk for hours but in chunks so I’m able to process everything she says. Our group visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. As soon as we were approaching the city you could see the mosque in the distance. Now after seeing the Jumeirah Mosque, I thought I knew what to expect but this one really was grand. Dominique had told us that the mosque took almost ten years to complete, which I can believe after stepping foot inside! To this day, they are still working on finishing touches to the mosque including the surrounding green area for plants. during the building process and never was able to see the outcome. Originally Sheikh Zayed was to be buried with the mosque but due to an increase in activity there would be a lack of privacy for the Sheikh. Off to the right of the mosque is a smaller version of the building where he is laid to rest, with his head facing Mecca.
After a tour of the mosque, we walked through Manarat Al Saadiyat, a museum based on the future of the Saadiyat area filled with displays of projects in the works. This included the Louvre, performing arts center, and much more. We then drove over to Yas Island and had lunch at Yas Links Golf Course. Hands down probably the best food I’ve had not only on this trip but in a very long time. Beats mac n’ cheese any day. We then… (drum roll please) went to Ferrari World! Rode the world’s fastest roller coaster, Formula Rossa. Going from 0 to 150 mph in 4.9 seconds is such an adrenaline rush. Definitely worth the wait in line! I hate to say it but as much as I like to look at nice cars like Ferrari’s, my heart is definitely with older hot rods. Growing up, that’s all I saw. I would take the pink lady any day.