Dubai stopover, United Arab Emirates
After our adventures our stopover in Dubai feels more like a mini holiday before we head home. We are only here for 2 days which is enough to visit the tallest building in the world, thunder down some water slides and celebrate Edwina's birthday.
Visiting Africa in the winter had surprised us as just how cold it can get especially at night, visiting Dubai in the summer had the opposite effect, the next day temperatures soared to 47C. It was Edwina's birthday and we had decided to go to Atlantis waterpark on the Palm, we arrive early and head into the changing area, we are not convinced spending the day outside the comforts of air condition is wise but what the heck we are here now. We head straight for the lazy river, it really is a good setup, you can float down on inflatable tubes down the river and it has branches leading off that lead directly to the water slides so you don't need to leave the water to get round the park. In the water everything was fine but we decide to head out conscious that we needed to take on fluids. It started with me first, it felt like sun stroke coupled with the inability to breath, I thought I was going to pass out. I rush and buy the largest snow cone I can find and slowly start to feel normal again, it's at this point that Edwina starts to feel the same. Drinks over we had back into the water and all start to feel fine, lesson learnt, the next time we leave the water we head out of the park. We spend more time on the water slides and going down the rapids, our family favourite is Shark Attack a dark fast ride that comes out in the middle of an aquarium with sharks swimming above and below the glass tunnel. Eventually its time to leave and we head straight for the air conditioned mall to escape the heat, its Edwina's birthday and she gets to choose where to eat, the heat and waterpark has taken it out of us and she simply wants to eat for the selection of eateries as we exit the waterpark and head back to the hotel.
The next day it's slightly cooler but still in the mid 40Cs, after yesterday I decide to stay in the AC room in the morning whilst Edwina takes the kids to the hotel outdoor pool. Later in the day we head to Dubai mall and wander around, it really does feel like you in the states. We walk past the huge indoor aquarium and then head to the entrance of the Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world standing at 829.8m. We head to the lifts and speed our way at 36km/h to the observation deck. When we head out all the kids are apprehensive but Arabella can't hold back the tears. Eventually we all get used to the height and wander around exploring the different aspects and playing with the real time telescopes. Photos snapped and souvenirs bought, we head back down to the base and head to five ways for dinner which has a specular view of the fountain show at the base. The company that built the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas built these, it seems like the order was Bellagio fountains but bigger and higher. It is 275m long and shoots water up to 150 m into the air, lit up in multi colours the fountains dance to an array of music. The show is every 30 mins and is different every time. We enjoy and few shows whilst eating our burgers and then head back to the hotel for our last sleep away.
The next day we head to the airport and fly back to the UK, the blues have started to hit us all, it was fantastic to see familiar faces at the airport, Giovanni and Claudia had come to meet us, but driving home on the motorway it all started to sink in, we were back.