Saturday, April 18, 2009

Dubai

Hello, Hope you are well and we sure do miss you. It looks like we will be in India at least until November. We missed out on our home leave in April and went to Dubai on April 10th instead for a 5 day holiday. We stayed in a nice hotel in the Deira Creek area of Dubai. The hotel had 12 restaurants and bars in it and several shops. After our 4 hour plane ride, we arrived in Dubai at 6:30 in the morning. We walked around and got aclamated to the area and bought tickets for the 24 hour hop on/off city bus tour. That gave us a quick view of the city plus tickets to Dubai Museum which was informative and a boat ride. Saturday, we got on our bus bright and early to continue seeing all of the sites. The bus took us to the Palm Islands,the Hotel Atlantis and the Burj Al Arab the famous 7 star hotel. Palm Island Saturday night we went on a dinner Dhow Boat ride. We ate dinner while riding in a original dhow boat through the big creek in Dubai and in the Arabian Gulf. Sunday and Monday we had tours planned. First we went on a Dune Safari Tour. They picked us up at our hotel and took us "dune bashing" in the Dubai Desert Conservation Park. There it was quite windy and there was a sand storm. We had sand in every place you can think of. After bashing most of the sand storm had gone away and they took us to a camp set up in the middle of the desert. There we rode a camel, got henna painted, shisha smoking, watched a belly dancer and had a BBQ dinner. Stand Storm Camp
Henna painting Camel Riding
videoDune Bashing
videoBelly Dancing

We got up early to meet the bus for our scheduled "East Coast" tour. The tour lasted all day and we went to 2 different emirates getting to see outside the city of the Dubai and the Indian Ocean.

Since Dubai is famous for it's malls, you guessed it...we went shopping! In-between going on tours, eating good food and walking we went to 4 different malls, 2 of which are famous,The Mall of the Emirates having a snow ski area and the Dubai Mall which had a ice skating rink, aquarium and zoo.



After we goobbled up all of the sushi we could eat, we packed and headed to the airport at around midnight for our 2:00 A.M. flight back to Kochi.

There is a exciting and interesting end to our holiday.

As we were standing at our gate a bunch of people dressed in orange long kurta's and a women dressed in all white walked up and stood in front of us waiting to get in first class. I recongnized the women as "Amma". Mātā Amritanandamayī Devi is an Indian spiritual leader revered as a saint by her followers, who also know her as "Amma", "Ammachi" or "Mother". She is widely respected for her humanitarian activities and is known as "the hugging saint". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mata_Amritanandamayi. I have looked at her website and read several books about her ashram and about some of the people who have met her. I thought she would be interesting to meet and I have tried to find a way to go to her ashram down south of Kochi. Anyway, I ran up shoving and pushing all of her devotees (white hippie people) and body guard swami's away to give her a hug. I got to her and she kissed me on the cheek and gave me a hug back.

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