TUESDAY, APRIL 14, 2009 – 96/49 – DUBAI, UAE – HYATT REGENCY HOTEL
We wake up about 10:00AM. The airport hotel is absolutely sound proof. After packing up and checking out, we head to passport control…no one is in line so we breeze through, pick up out left luggage with no problem and head out to get a taxi. On the way out, we see a Hyatt kiosk and stop. Well it turns out that with our club floor room we are entitled to an airport transfer, so we wait a while for it to arrive and head on in to the hotel.
The hotel is and one of the older ones in Dubai. However, it has been redone recently and is in a great location for tourists. Our room overlooks the water, the souks and the cruise terminal. It is very modern. We have free internet in the club lounge so Carolyn will try to post some to the blog later.
After getting organized, we go to the lobby restaurant for some lunch and then set out sightseeing. We catch a cab for about $2.50US to the gold souk. It is one gold shop after another.Carolyn is in hog heaven. She goes in several looking for a necklace for the Thai jewelry. After several attempts, we find a nice necklace for a fair price.
Our next stop is the spice souk.It smells wonderful and is very interesting with its burlap bags and wooden trays full of whole bulk spices. There are many women in black robes and headpieces shopping with cars and drivers waiting for them.
From there we walk on over to the water taxi dock and hire a water taxi to take us up to the bridge and back for about $30US. It is a great way to see Dubai and a pleasant ride. The boat captain gives us a nice commentary in English, pointing out the distant skyline that we all recognize as Dubai;talking about the buildings on either side of the creek,the mosque, the royal family’s housing compound, park areas and fancy boats, and the dhow wharf where all the working dhows are docked.These are interesting wooden boats from surrounding countries and as far away as India that are active in the cargo carriers. It could be the 1800’s except for the modern buildings in the background.We then walk back toward the hotel through a most interesting area of small wholesale and retail shopsand stop at a local food store to buy a coke since the hotel only serves Pepsi! This area is the old part of town with low interesting buildings. Each storefront displays what they have to offer.There are men inside the shops making deals on their wares. One of the most interesing thing sold is the bulk dried whole lemon. It has a wonderful smell!By now, we are hot and it is cocktail time. Once again, we have a problem hiring a taxi, we can see the hotel, but it is too far for Carolyn to walk now. Thankfully, the third taxi agrees to go the short distance and we arrive back at the Hyatt.
As we are getting ready to head out, we look out the window at the mouth of Dubai Creek and the cruise terminal beyond and see that the Seabourn Spirit has docked while we were gone. What a great sight! We are ready to unpack and be pampered for a while!
After cocktails in the club lounge on the 18th floor, we head to the Italian restaurant in the hotel. We have a nice dinner there and realize just how tried we are now that we have relaxed a little after a long travel day yesterday.