Tag Archives: abra

Madinat Jumeirah Souk

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*sigh*…. Where to begin? This is a very picturesque touristy-shopping-eating area inside the Madinat Jumeirah Resort that’s been purpose-built to resemble an old-world souk.  And it kindasorta does, a little bit – but not really. You do have to acknowledge the efforts put into the theming though – again, Disney would be proud!  This is what the approach looks like, and on the right side of that bridge is a *perfect* place for a photo, fast, easy to get to, and never a bad photo.  No one else is gonna be in your shot, either!

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Meandering walkways and canals will eventually lead you to an amphitheater area, as well as some lovely restaurants and cafes. On this early April day, sitting outdoors to enjoy a coffee in the early to late morning would be pleasant. Much later than that and this gal would be searching out some air conditioning.

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moving water makes you feel cool and relaxed, I think

moving water makes you feel cool and relaxed, I think

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There is a scenic sort of a canal that runs around the outside of the area, and small abras will take you from area to area if you’d like – it’s quite a bit of walking! I did take some photos of the area, the shadows and lights make for some interesting patterns.The landscaping is quite lovely, and the grounds of the resort are just beautiful.

framed by a lovely arch, the trees provide privacy and a barrier to the city beyond

framed by a lovely arch, the trees provide privacy and a barrier to the city beyond

light and dark, shadow and sun - we're always looking for one or the other here

light and dark, shadow and sun – we’re always looking for one or the other here

loving the pergola and shadows here

loving the pergola and shadows here

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shadows and angles

shadows and angles

beautiful landscaping all around

beautiful landscaping all around

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Around the grounds here there are some awesome photo opportunities, and we took advantage of all of them, I think. There are some cute decorative items all throughout the souk areas and the restaurants have some wonderful “local flavor” built in, too.

me standing in front of the ampitheater area - it's quite large!

me standing in front of the ampitheater area – it’s quite large!

and yet another photo op

and yet another photo op

just stand in front of just about any place here, and the photo is really pretty!

just stand in front of just about any place here, and the photo is really pretty!

outside one of the restaurants

outside one of the restaurants

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This is what they look like during the holidays, quite crowded and decorated.

 

inside the dark cool souk.  And I've also noticed it spelled souq.

inside the dark cool souk. And I’ve also noticed it spelled souq.

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This is a favorite photo – it captured both the top of the Burj Al Arab, plus the wind towers on “old” buildings…. they actually funnel the wind blowing and acted as early air conditioners!

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So, if you’re exploring Dubai and looking for some afternoon shady entertainment – this is your spot. Take some money, check for vouchers from the Entertainer or Big Bus Tour books, have a late lunch and snag some memorable photos before you leave.

Never did I Imagine

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That I would be living here.  Seeing these sights, living this life.

Never did I imagine that I would entertain myself on longish drives by watching for camels in the desert off the side of the road.  Or that I would be fortunate enough to have a massage therapist actually come to my villa and give me a massage.  Or that I would be shopping for bacon in the back walled-off section of a grocery store, feeling slightly unsettled, or somehow tarnished.  Or that I would learn haggling over prices so quickly, refusing to pay first or second asking price for just about anything.

This is a photo showing an abra crossing Dubai...

This is a photo showing an abra crossing Dubai Creek in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 31 May 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes it hits me that this really *is* unimaginable.  Like the other day, a friend and I were sitting on this incredibly crowded rickety-looking wooden boat thing called an abra.  I was sitting in the back, next to the old rope and decrepit-looking wooden paddle/rudder thing for steering.  It was piloted by a man that didn’t speak any language I could identify, who simply hissed at us to pay the Dirham fee.  This abra had no rails, no ropes, no walls, no hand holds, nothing, just a big platform upon which to sit and smush together.

We were crossing over the Dubai Creek to a souk (market) on the other side….. I looked over at my friend and said “Do you realize that we are in a foreign country, riding an over-loaded boat that OSHA would go freekin carnival-ape-crazy over, to an open-air souk with no controls over what’s sold or how, and we’re not paying any sales taxes??  Did you ever imagine you’d be doing something like this???”  She smiled and said “And the ride’s costing us a whopping 27¢ too!”  Crazy.

Some of the things that we’ve done here, the experiences we’ve had, the stories we’ve heard, they’re like nothing I ever imagined would happen to me.  Please don’t read the way I come across in this blog like this whole adventure is routine for me – there ain’t *nothing* routine about Dubai or the Middle East, far as I can tell.  Not at all.