Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Leaving "Home" and Arrival in Dubai

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We have arrived! We are in Dubai. We managed to get everything that was left packed up and we were out of our room by 8:20 am. It was time for breakfast in the dining room and we were fortunate enough to run it to some of the usual folks before they left. We had eggs Benedict for breakfast, some of the best we’ve ever had. By 9:30 we finished and went to wait disembarkation instructions in the Queen’s Grill Lounge. I still had some internet minutes to use, so I burned the rest of those, but then it was time to pick up our passports. I did arrange a wheelchair for Mom since some of these ports are so large and require a great deal of walking. However, it did put us much later in the queue and we did not get off of the ship until almost noon. Fortunately our driver, Raja, was still there holding a sign with our name and the car was extremely close. We soon realized what a “find” we had in Raja. He was not only a great driver, but spoke excellent English and knew a great deal about the area. The trip to the hotel consisted of an overview tour of Dubai. We were both impressed at what a clean and modern city this is. There is a great deal of construction, much of which has been suspended during these tough economic times. After about 45 minutes we arrived at the Le Royal Meridian Beach Resort. We received such a warm welcome when we arrived including a hot towel, fresh orange juice, and dates. We were informed that our room was available and our escort took us up to make sure we knew how everything worked. Our room is nothing short of amazing. We have 2 rooms, an enormous balcony and a view to die for.

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The only downside to today is that they are in the midst of a “shamal” or very high winds, gale force, from the Northeast. This also means the views are hazy and the air is cooler. It was soon time to go to tea at the Burj Al Arab, which will be familiar to most as the flagship hotel of Dubai.

We had arranged for Raja to take us there and he was right on time. As we approached the Burj, the sight of it did not disappoint. It is really hard to put into words some of which we have seen. It is as though we are in a fairyland. We were slightly early so we took time for photos, no video in the lobby though.

Again, it doesn’t even look real even when you’re there. Next it was a quick trip up to the Sky Restaurant on the 27th floor.

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It is cantilevered out over the water with stunning views. Through the haze we could see the outline of the Burj Khalifa, now the tallest building in the world. We will see that another day. We could also see part of Palm Jumeirah and "the World" which is a new group of islands they are building. Today’s high tea was a 7 course tea that ranged from champagne with berries to sandwiches to scones and on to petit fours.

We were most surprised that they did not rush us through – it was as though we could take all of the time in the world. They even came out with a little birthday treat for me. We continue to see what warm and welcoming people are here. It was already 6:30 and time for Raja to pick us up and take us back to the hotel.

We entered the hotel and there must have been 1000 candles lit all around - it was beautiful!

We did sit out on the balcony for a while, but the winds were still quite strong. Since we have high speed internet we were able to make calls on Skype tonight, so that is mostly what we did. I'm sorry we weren't able to get through to everyone. It has been hard to be out of contact for so long. Somehow it is again midnight, not sure how we always stay up so late – I guess we’re just having fun and looking forward to what tomorrow brings! Good Night!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the videos that are recent are not working now. so will try them tomorrow. margaret