A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Three days in the sun then landing back home in Brisbane at 7.00am on 9 December

sunny 27 °C

We are now on the home bound leg of nearly four months of travel.DCD51B8B0F9C7B97B64D3940902EE347.jpg

Our hotel is the Radisson Blu Deira Creek. We are in Baniyas Rd which is close to the Gold and the Perfume Souks.
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Here are some pictures we took from our room at the Radisson Blu Deira Creek.
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View of Dubai Creek taken from our balcony
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Cruise Dhow on the creek
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Same view at 9.00am Saturday morning
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Dhows tied up along the Creek

After breakfast we headed off to the Gold Souk and the Perfume Souk to have a look around. most of the jewellery is far too ornate for our taste.
Here are some pictures of Dubai and the tallest building Burj Al Khalifa.

Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai and its is the tallest man-made structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m.

Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km2 development called Downtown Dubai at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago.
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Burj Al Khalifa is the tallest man made structure in the world.
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Down town Dubai

In the afternoon we were picked up at our hotel to go on an Arabian Safari. This involved dune bashing, BBQ dinner and Arabian entertainment. We didn't realise the ride out to the desert in a four month old Landcruiser would be the fastest we have ever had on four wheels.
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The meeting area where we change from one Landcruiser to another. The next Landcruiser is fitted with roll bars. The one we got out off did not though we did some cruising at 200kph on the freeway.
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Flying up and down sand hills
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Still as the sun goes down
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Following a Hummer back to our evening's entertainment
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Camel rides for those who wanted to give it a go.
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Nearly all Landcruisers -there was a lone Nissan there.
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Entertainment centre - lots of food and loud music
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Oh, and a belly dancer
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And a whirlwind Dervish
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Buildings back in Dubai have been illuminated to celebrate the 43rd National Day of Unification.

Sunday was a sunny top of 28 degrees Celsius. We used the excellent Metro system. The trains are driverless and the stations are ultra modern and clean. Everything here is air conditioned, even the bus stops.

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Bus stops all are air conditioned
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Metro entrance at Al Fahidi
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Metro station at Union

We visited the Dubai Museum which is located in The Old Fort at Al Fahidi. It is the oldest building in Dubai and was built around 1787.
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Dhow outside the fort
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Signage at the Dubai Museum
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Remnants of the old city wall
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Wall and one of the towers of the old fort
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Entrance to the fort
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Old British cannon at the fort
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Display in the museum of a spice and herb shop
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Jewellers shop
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The Museum has some excellent displays and dioramas

In the afternoon we caught the Metro to Al Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is the largest shopping centre in the world with 1200 shops.
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Dubai is a hive of building activity. This picture was taken as we travelled on the overland section of the Metro.
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The Metro stations has air conditioned tunnels connecting buildings
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We walked along overhead connecting tunnels like this from the Metro to Dubai Mall. In all we walked along eight travellaters each of about 100 metres in length - a total distance of about 1.5km , all in air conditioning.
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The 30 acre lake at Dubai Mall has a fountain and light display.
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The world's biggest shopping centre has the world's tallest building there as well, the Burj Al Khalifa
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The waterfall
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Ice skating rink
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The Souk - new shops in a traditional setting inside the mall.
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The Aquarium has the lot - sharks, stingrays, crocodiles etc

We had high tea at our hotel and then a late dinner. We leave in the morning for our 14 hours and 15 minute flight back home in Business Class (we upgraded using my air miles).

We arrived home this morning at 6.40am. Here is the homecoming.
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Our Living the Dream adventure started 112 days ago. If you have been following our blog, thank you for sharing the sights and unforgettable memories.

Posted by Kangatraveller 16:33 Archived in United Arab Emirates Comments (0)

LONDON, ENGLAND WEEK 2 of 2

Another 6 days then London to Dubai on Friday 5 December

overcast 5 °C

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Here we are on Saturday 29 November already. Today was our nautical day with a City River Cruise down to Greenwich, a visit to the National Maritime Museum and a visit to the HMS Belfast, a WW2 and Korean War era light cruiser now an Imperial War Museum attraction.

Here are some pictures taken from the City Cruise.
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On the way to Greenwich down river on the Thames, we saw the Prospect of Whitby Public House which Captain James Cook used to frequent for a pint of ale. There has been a Public House on this site for more than 500 years.
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Canary Wharf. The Docks and Wharves of London used to extend along the banks of the Thames right down from London to Greenwich. These have been replaced with housing and other redevelopment.
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Greenwich - the Royal Observatory from which Greenwich Mean Time and longitude is calculated is on the hall between the Naval Buildings.
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The National Maratime Museum
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Admiral Horatio Nelson's uniform worn at the Battle of Trafalgar
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Part of the display in the Nelson Wing
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Lord Horatio Nelson's stockings and breeches he wore just before his death.
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Britain 111 -fastest salt water boat with speeds of 100mph in 1933. The cutting edge design led to the building of fast torpedo boats in WW2.
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The Cutty Sark -the very fast tea clipper from Asia to Europe.
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Tower Bridge
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Tower of London
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The Shard is the tallest building in Europe. In the foreground is HMS St Albans, currently in service with the Royal Navy and behind it is the permanent display of the Imperial War Museum, the HMS Belfast.
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The Bakery. This tiny space was used by the 6 bakers on board the HMS Belfast.
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View towards the bridge of HMS Belfast.
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The helicopter on HMS St Albans with Tower Bridge in the background.

We visited the British Museum on Monday.
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The British Museum
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The Great Court

There were two exhibits we especially wanted to see- the Minoan treasures from the Island of Rhodes and the Elgin Marbles, the frieze panels taken from the Parthenon in Athens by Lord Elgin in 1801 and bought by the British Museum in 1802. There were many other first class exhibits like the Rosetta Stone.
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The Rosetta Stone
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More about the Rosetta Stone and its crucial importance in understanding the ancient hieroglyphics of the Egyptians.
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The history of the Rosetta Stone

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One of the many exhibition halls
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Minoan jewellery from Crete - 3000 years BC
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Large pottery jar same as many we saw at the Minoan Palace of Knossos at Rhodes around 3500BC ie 5500 years old.

A real highlight for us were the Elgin Marbles. These sections from the Parthenon are a matter of discussion as the Greeks would like them back.
The Parthenon Marbles, also known as the Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures (mostly by Phidias and his assistants), inscriptions and architectural members that originally were part of the Parthenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens. Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin claimed to obtain a controversial permit 'to remove statues but what he might discover in specific excavation' from the Sublime Porte, which then ruled Greece.

From 1801 to 1812, Elgin's agents removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as architectural members and sculpture from the Propylaea and Erechtheum. The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain.
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See below sections that once were mostly the west frieze of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.
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Before we left the Museum we had a look at the Anglo Saxon rooms.
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The Lewis Chess set.
The Lewis chessmen (or Uig chessmen, named after the bay where they were found) are a group of 12th-century chess pieces, along with other gaming pieces, most of which are carved in walrus ivory. Discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland, they were thought to come from Norway when the Norwegians took over Greenland around 1000AD.

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Colleen went to this store today while I stayed home.

We went our different ways again with me going out to Colindale to the RAF Museum.
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The RAF Museum is north of London at the airfield of Hendon.
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One of the hangars used for displays.
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Hurricane and Spitfire on display out the front.
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Just some of the aircraft in the main hall range from the early years of flight to newly retired fighter jets.
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De Havilland Misquito - a very fast fighter bomber and night fighter from WW2 famous for being made of wood.
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Dam busters Display
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This is a replica Upkeep Bomb used to blow dams on the Rhine with devastating effect. The bombs were dropped at a height of 50 feet and bounced along the water till they hit the dam wall and then were programmed to explode at a certain depth. Dr Barnes Wallis was the inventor.
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Lancaster Heavy Bomber. This one was used first by the RAF then the RAAF and flew 137 missions. The average age of the 7 man crews of these planes was 22.
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Information panel on the Lancaster.
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The US built Consolidated Liberator B V111. 19257 were built between 1940 and 1945. It was America's first mass produced aircraft with one being built every 60 minutes at Ford's Willow Run Factory.
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Sunderland Flying Boat
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Junkers Ju87 also known as a Stuka Dive Bomber

Later in the afternoon, I visited the British Library, the second largest library in the world and home of 14 million books.
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Courtyard of the British Library.
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Interior of the library
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The Treasures of the Library section is very interesting with many very valuable and original manuscripts including from such people as Leonardo Da Vinci, Henry V111, artists, writers and musicians. This photo above shows original writings of some Beatles songs.

Today was our last full day in London. The weather has been around 5 Degrees Celsius most of the day with a quite chilly wind and occasional light rain. Nevertheless we had a trip to see St Paul's and then a walk along the south bank of the Thames.
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West entrance of St Paul's Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher after the original was burned in the Great Fire of London of 1666.
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The Dome of St Paul's viewed just from the Millenium Bridge
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The Millenium Bridge with the Tate Gallery of Modern Art in the background. The Gallery building was once a power station.
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View down the river at 1.30pm.
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Recreation of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
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Southwark Cathedral
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The Harvard Chapel named after John Harvard baptised here in 1607 before leaving for the US to start a little school of his own.

We leave for Dubai in the morning and get there at 8.00pm their time. Temperatures in Dubai are around 27 degrees through the day with a low of 22 degrees at night.

Posted by Kangatraveller 08:18 Archived in England Comments (0)

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