Dubai or Don’t I – Day Five

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On the Hotel Shuttle

Our last day in Dubai!

We were lucky today because as we were walking out of the hotel, the Hotel Shuttle was about to leave for Kite Beach. We hadn’t planned on going there but what a great opportunity!

Our driver is a lovely, friendly man but he drives like a maniac!! Or maybe everyone drives like a maniac here.

We didn’t know what to expect from Kite Beach except I remember seeing lots and lots of kites in the YouTube videos I’d watched before we came to Dubai.

 


First thought was, “where are the kites?” I expected to see at least some! If you’re lucky, you can see ONE kite in the pic bottom right. I realised as I got closed, that it was just fixed, marking this place as Kite Beach

There were plenty of places to get drinks and snacks in the main area.

 


And there is also a really nice board walk! There were distance markers every 100 metres.

 


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We saw the Burj Al Arab in the distance and decided to follow the boardwalk towards it.

It didn’t look that far but the further we went along the boardwalk, the further the Burj Al Arab seemed to get as well.

The Burj Al Arab is a seven star hotel built to look like a sailing boat.

We saw some interesting signs along the boardwalk

 


Not sure if you can read the writing. There were plenty of scantily clad men and women on this beach. I hear that it’s supposed to be OK in the tourist areas but we’ve seen lots of skin exposure even in the malls. I didn’t ever see anyone getting picked up on how they were dressed.

We stopped at an area just before the boardwalk ended, to get a cool drink. That hotel was not getting any closer!

 


That smoothie on the top right corner was super delicious and the man who made it was just so lovely. It was just cute old fashioned service. Everyone here calls me ma’am. Every one is either sir or ma’am.
This smoothie was so thick and refreshing. It was only 19 Dirham (about $7 AUD)

We kept walking toward the Burj Al Arab but when the boardwalk ended and it still seemed kilometres away, we decided to turn back.

IMG_9753Because we still had an hour or so to kill, I got a smoothie at another place.

This place was cute to look at but that smoothie was the biggest disappointment.

I can’t believe I’m on holiday in Dubai and talking about the quality of smoothies.

Seriously though, it was just like drinking a fruit juice.

What a let down.

Said goodbye to Kite Beach. It would be a really good place for families to go to and if you like to walk or run, that boardwalk is great. Can’t imagine what it would be like when the temps go over 40 degrees though.

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We hopped back on the Shuttle bus and as his next stop was the Dubai Mall, we thought we’d stay on it as we wanted to see the fountain dance. We missed out the last few times we were at the mall.

But first lunch, and after walking around for freak’n ages, careful consideration, went to The Cheesecake Factory.

 


I really made a mess of that first pic. Hubby ordered nachos (left) and I ordered a vegetarian pasta.
OMG we were both in heaven!! The food was soooooo good. It’s a bit strange to not have alcohol on the menu though.

After lunch we went outside towards the fountain and kept walking around the outside of the Mall. There’s lots to see around there.

 


Hubby was absolutely enthralled with Burj Khalifa (who wouldn’t be),
The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai. It has a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height (excluding antenna) of 828 m. The Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure and building in the world since its topping out in 2009 (Thanks Wikipedia)

We walked all around the outside of the Mall, then entered through the “rich” area. The area where all the high end brands are AND where this lovely orchid is that doesn’t remind anyone of anything at all.

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Finally it was time for the fountain show!! We went outside with hundreds of others and then it started!!! I grabbed my phone to start recording. Hubby grabbed it from me as he’d get a better view with his height. I was so excited to have this wonderful experience on video. The water moves with the music as if doing a synchronised dance. It only went for a few minutes and I was sad when it was over.

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I was sadder still when I realised that for some reason, my phone stopped recording about 10 seconds in. That was even before the show started. So I recorded nothing (Cry)

All I have is that photo above which was taken by accident before the show started.

It was almost time for our Shuttle bus to take us back so we went to sit outside and took a few pics against the Burj Khalifa and the crescent moon.

 


So now I’m sitting in our hotel room. We’re waiting for our driver to come and take us to the airport.

I’m sad to be leaving but looking forward to being back on familiar ground.

Dubai you’ve been great and I’m certain we’ll be back.

Thanks for reading!

Dubai or Don’t I – Day Four

We didn’t plan our days in advance and that can sometimes be a bad thing,  but we’re cramming so much into each day.

This morning I went to the hotel gym and like yesterday, found quite a few non gym junkie looking types in there. I love that. It makes you feel more comfortable. It really is a fantastic gym.

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Etihad Museum

We didn’t end up leaving our hotel until about 10am which is quite late for us. We had heard a lot about Etihad Museum and it was close enough for us to walk to, so off we went.

It was 25 Dirham to get in there which is roughly $10 Australian. The building itself is so big and magnificent. Big, in that it feels so elegant and spacious inside.

 

I learned a lot about the history of the UAE. I didn’t feel like we spent enough time there for it to be worth 25 Dirham but I’m still glad we went and saw it.

They had a section dedicated to this photographer and when you walked out of it, you heard a camera shutter noise and then your image appeared on a screen first as a negative, then as a normal picture. That was pretty cool!

 

 

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From the gardens at Etihad Museum

Seeing as we were so close to Jumeirah Beach we kept walking after leaving the Museum, and found La Mer.

 


I remember seeing this on You Tube! I was so excited!
We found a place that sold alcohol and went in for a drink while we worked out what we were going to do next. Can’t remember the name of the place but there was this seat/statue out the front. Hubby and I were arguing about if that was a man or woman. What do you think??

 


I feel like I’m giving them advice in that pic on the right.

We went into this souvenir shop that had amazing quality things in it! I got so excited!! I made hubby wait outside so I didn’t have to argue about why I wanted to buy this or that. I already can’t wait to get home and unwrap them all!

We stopped for lunch at the Texas Roadhouse and I have to say, this has been the best value meal so far. I’ve found the serves here to be relatively smaller than I’m used to, but they were very generous at Texas Roadhouse. And look at that bucket of peanuts!!!

 


I was stuffed after we left there. We kept wandering and then saw this…

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Skewers don’t do much for me but hubby was disappointed that he hadn’t seen this first!

59 Dirham is about $23 Australian.

Here’s a few more pics around La Mer.

 


Not sure why but it seemed to take forever to get back to the hotel.

After a rest we headed down to the Dubai Creek area. Our plan was to go to the Gold Souk across the river and travel by Abra.

I was a bit worried about going through the textile souk area as the crowds had stressed me out last time but it didn’t seem to be as bad today. All good!

We hopped on the Abra. An abra is a traditional boat made of wood and they’re used to ferry people across the Dubai Creek.

 


It’s a cheap ride and it was great fun! Once we got to the other side, the crowd stress began. It’s not even crowd stress, it’s that you’re not left alone for a second. Every second someone is asking you to come and see their things.
“You want to see watch? I have Rolex, Gucci, Prada. How about handbag? Pashmina?”
Just an endless barrage of questions over and over and even though you say no, they say “Just for look. Just looking. It’s ok, just looking”
I find it so stressful. Then they try to grab you by the arm and start leading you into their shop. It’s so hard to just ignore them because you feel like you’re being so rude!!
You can’t walk away because they walk with you for twenty or thirty metres. The minute one leaves, another one takes over. It’s exhausting.

The displays are amazing but I didn’t want to look because the minute you do you have no peace. Someone will come out and pressure sell.

 


These places are made for a person much stronger than me.
I have to add that most of the stores we walked past were empty of customers and there were hundreds of stores. Maybe not hundreds, but LOTS.

I did end up with a few more souvenirs then we took the abra back across.

IMG_9720I’ll just mention our dinner because it was pretty good. We decided to eat in one of the hotel’s restaurants.
We went into the sports bar/restaurant first but the smell of smoke (yes they can smoke inside) was just overwhelming so we went into the Italian restaurant. It’s not really an Italian restaurant, well it is, but it’s cooked and run by the same people who run the Indian restaurant. So we were sat in the Indian restaurant, listening to Indian music (Very good but way way way too loud) eating pizza and risotto.

The food was super delicious!!! Mine had a little too much cream but it was just so tasty.

Another memorable day. Only one more day to go and I’m a bit sad about that!

Goodnight for now!

I do, I do, I do, I do – Day 1

This morning the alarm went off cruelly at 4AM. I jumped out of bed… literally! I had to because hubby has this habit of kicking me out of there when he needs the mirror, whether I’m done or not.

We had the obligatory fight about what time to leave for the airport. He always wants to leave later and I like to get there with plenty of time to spare.

IMG_9256Hubby grabbed a coffee with the twenty minutes we had before boarding.
I thought I’d wait until we were flying because, surprise, he’d scored us business class tickets!
How nice to have that extra room!!

The extra attention is pretty nice too.

Oh and look at what we got for breakfast on the plane – Egg White Omlettes with Mushroom and cheese, kale and tomatoes on the side. There was also a yoghurt which was thick and creamy. Lots of coffees and juices too. They were only too happy to serve.

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We decided the best way to get into the city was to go via SkyBus so while hubby waited for our luggage I went to buy two return Skybus passes.

 

 

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On the way to our apartment

It was a short walk from the Sky Bus terminal to our apartment and while we were too early to check in, we were allowed to leave our bags there and now it was time to explore!!

We decided to check out the factory outlet stores where the Sky Bus terminal is.

While we were there, my mum called. She was in Melbourne too today!
She’d been on a cruise that had just docked today and was spending a few hours in the CBD.

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So we caught up over a coffee and then did some shopping together.

Nobody gets around Melbourne like my mum.

She will hop on and off trams and go here and there like nobody’s business!

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Hubby was looking for clothes.
He was taking ages in one of the dressing rooms so I said I was going to put my camera over the door and take his picture.

This is what I saw when I looked at what I’d taken.

We walked to the Victoria Market and hubby insisted he buy me a new handbag because he hates the one I use right now (even though I DID buy it in Italy!) I don’t mind my bag but when we came upon a store that had this beautiful black, leather bag that was wonderfully crafted, I couldn’t say no! It was at a really good price too and the South Korean man who sold it to us was just so lovely we couldn’t say no. Thanks honey!!

We went for lunch somewhere near the Victoria Market. Every food outlet had a “cash only” sign our front. Hubby and I just don’t carry cash anymore!

After lunch we started walking back down Elizabeth street and went past a place that had pide and gozleme. Even though we’d eaten we had to get one. Look how good they look!! Even nutella ones!

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I still didn’t have my walking shoes on so we caught the Free City Tram back to our apartment

They’re iconic but not entirely comfortable and geez, I had a hard time getting on and off it, how do the elderly manage??

We got into our apartment and you know, after a bit of rigmarole, it’s actually pretty nice!! Spacious and has a kitchen that I will NOT be using.

We freshened up then went to check out the gym. Look at the handle on the door to get into the gym area (Below) I mean is this a gym for giants or something??
The gym looks good though! Looking forward to using it tomorrow.


We went walking and stopped at a place that was doing happy hour cocktails
Nice views from our table!

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So good we had a couple more…

We I was getting pretty giggly after a cocktail or two. Hubby was disappointed because he would have rather had a cider, and then we noticed that cider WAS on the menu.

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But hubby said there was no way in hell he was asking for it and I had to ask for it.

Lots of jokes and innuendo.

Well, lots of jokes and innuendo by me.

Hubby sat there unimpressed.

But he did like the cider and I was amused so all’s well that ends well.

We passed a Miniso store and I just HAD to go in and buy some cheap junk stuff.
This store has EVERYTHING! Including breast massagers, nipple covers AND an electric toothbrush tester. Try before you buy.


Miniso I WILL be back before this trip is over!


We walked down to DFO. Look at that bike path on the left there. The cyclists just fly through there!

Just a few more pictures of our walk. From DFO we went to Crown Casino then walked along the river to Federation Square.


I managed to find Melbourne Central and we had a stroll through there too but by this time I was getting really tired and just wanted to get back to our room to sleep.
I know though, that hubby has FOMO when it comes to restaurants.

So we walked and walked and walked. We couldn’t find one place to eat at. We got back to our apartment and bought some drinks from the IGA near there.. Then kept walking and walking, this time laden with groceries. Hubby said he was going to order pizza from a place near our apartment but changed his mind when he saw they had no customers.

IMG_9312We walked through the Harbour town outlet mall to the Food Court. Finally, FINALLY, we stopped at this place called Urban Alley Brewery. I was just bone tired!

I convinced hubby that this would be a good place and he reluctantly agreed then as we were walking in, we saw a guy get up from his table and take his plate back to the kitchen.

Argh!! I knew hubby didn’t like it but I was just too tired and said “It’ll be ok, I’m sure”
And it was ok. There was nothing wrong with what we ate/ordered but we did feel the need to pick up some fries to eat on the way back to our room.


It was a good day and I loved sharing with hubby, some of the places I’d been to when I was here last September.
Can’t wait for tomorrow!

 

Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Seventeen

Our time, sadly, has come to an end.

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I was excited this morning because today we were going to Rinku Town! And the thought of all the bargains that awaited me had me full of hope that I’d be filling my suitcase with all sorts of things

It didn’t quite happen that way.

Check out from our Air Bnb place was was not till 11am so as hubby wanted to stay there till 10.59am, I decided to go for one last walk.

Again I marvel at all the things I’m not going to see when I’m back in Australia.
Every restaurant (and there are many, no matter if you’re on a “main” street or a back street alley) has “food art” outside it’s doors. They’re sculptures of the menu so you can see what you’re going to be getting. I have never been tempted by any of these and usually find them quite repulsive but I guess that’s just me because they wouldn’t do it if it didn’t inspire the locals.

I see it every day, I’ve written about it but it still amazes me, the amount of people that ride bikes and the way they whizz around on the footpaths. I’ve been tending to walk close to the shops as there doesn’t seem to be a “keep the left” rule. Bikes tend to have the right of way. At least, that’s the way it seems.

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And finally we were on the train to Rinku Town!!

Look at the happiness on my face!

Of course, once we got there, we had to walk around and look for a Starbucks before we could do anything else.

I was so excited to start shopping but I had to wait!

It took a little while but we did finally find one and hubby was drinking his Venti, Cafe Latte with Skim Milk – Making sure to keep his receipt so that he could get another one later that day for 216 yen instead of 486 yen.
This has been a daily ritual that I was very happy to have ending. Life will no longer revolved around Starbucks.

Rinku Town is an interesting place. Full of outlet malls but otherwise appears as a ghost town.


We started off (at the shops near the Starbucks) and walked.
I need to explain that I’m normally not a person who likes to shop for clothes, but I had it in my head that I wanted to buy something from Japan… So I was really in the mood to find something. I had worn my clothes and shoes that were easy to get in and out of on purpose!

You need to take of your shoes when you enter a dressing room in Japan. If you’re trying anything from the waist up, they’ll give you a “breast cover”. I should have taken a photo of it as I couldn’t quite work out how it was supposed to go.
I must admit, when the first guy handed me this folded up piece of something and said “please cover your breasts” I didn’t quite know what he was on about…

We had a late lunch in the foodcourt. We were enticed by this picture

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Looks pretty good!! Yakisoba AND Okonomiyaki…

This is what it looked like when it came.

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Still looked pretty delicious.

I keep forgetting how much the sauces don’t agree with me though. Luckily we had said “no mayonnaise” but there were other sauces on here.
It was really really yummy, don’t get me wrong, but afterwards my stomach didn’t feel right and I kept seeing other foods I wished we’d eaten instead….

Oh, and a little giggle at another translation fail spotted in the food court…

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After shopping at the Premium Outlets for a few hours, I still hadn’t really bought anything.
We walked over to the “beach” outlet part. I forgot what it was actually called, and went into this cheap looking store. Finally I was picking out things I liked!! I ended up with four items and hubby, whose patience was being tested said “Can we please get out of K-Mart now”
He was offering to pay for today’s purchases so I don’t know why he was not happy!!!

It was almost time to leave Rinku Town, when I spotted the exact outfit I’d been looking for!! One thing I haven’t mentioned is that the sizing is much smaller here. If you’re an M (medium) in Australia, you’re at least a L (large) here.
It’s not good for the ego… And “Free” size means “one size fits all” but their “fits all” would not work in Australia.

So I found the outfit. It was a medium so it was tight but I really really wanted it. I went to the counter only to be told “cash only”. What? It’s amazing how many places in Japan are cash only.
So hubby and I hurried to find an ATM to get some cash out and in doing so, came into contact with an American living in Japan. He was the friendliest guy!!
He just had story after story to tell of his experience of living in Japan (for the last two and a half years) the Japanese culture (he’s married to a Japanese woman) and much more.
He came with us as we got money from the ATM, came with us as we went back to that store (so I could buy my treasured items) and walked with us to the train station, saw us right up to the platform gate! I’m kind of sorry we didn’t exchange information after all that time together. It was only as we were parting that we gave our names.
So Jacques, if by the remotest chance you’re reading this, please get in touch!

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Our flight left Osaka at 10.30 pm. We had a bit of time to kill but we were too tired to walk around and look at the shops.

This instruction made me smile.

Just the fact that there’s a need to put that kind of instruction there is what I find amusing.

People hey….
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And finally we were on the plane bound for home. We flew to Cairns then had to wait a few hours before our trip back to Adelaide.

Just thought I’d share the meal we got on our flight back.

I think it was chicken.
Funny how things always taste different when you’re on a plane.
I didn’t take an “after” shot in Adelaide but I’ll leave you with a pic from Cairns airport.
It’s been a long journey!!!
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Regular restaurant reviews will be following.
Thanks for sharing this trip with us!

 

Vay Cay to Jay Jay – Part Sixteen

Our time is coming to an end and we’re kind of running out of new things to do but I also feel like I want to spend more time around this Dotonbori area.

There is just so much to see and do!

So many different foods! So many people. It both terrifies and excites me.

This is not the place to be if you don’t like crowds!

Hubby was having a bit of a lie in this morning so I took myself for a walk and really enjoyed watching people going about their business.

Most of the shops aren’t open until 10am. That may sound late but they also stay open very late. I really wanted to get some junk cute things from Daiso. I know we have this store in Australia but I’ve never been in one in Australia.

IMG_4213.JPGI know there’s just cheap, nothing goods in there but it’s exciting!!

So are the 100 yen stores! I just love them!!
“This is really only 100 yen??” I find myself exclaiming.

It’s much easier to shop in these stores when hubby isn’t around.
Look at the cute little Hello Kitty bag I got for 100 yen. I think it might actually be a bag to carry cold/fridge foods but I’m going to use it as a make up bag for as long as I can. It’s just too cute!

When I got back to the room, hubby and I had a breakfast of coffee and naughty bakery goods (Oh god I love them so much) then set off to walk through the streets and I snapped a couple of pictures along the way.

 


I took that pic on the left to show how every apartment has an area for bike parking. There aren’t that many places for cars and usually they’re off site (not in the same area as the apartment block) but bike parking you’ll see EVERYWHERE!!!
It’s pretty stressful walking down the street. We’ve seen lots of near misses between people on bikes and cars/buses/pedestrians but never actually seen a collision. I don’t even know how we haven’t because they’re crazy on their bikes!!!

As we walked we talked about places we’ve been and foods we’ve eaten and we started reminiscing about the huge bowls of ramen we got at this particular food court. Unbeknownst to me, hubby started to walk towards it (we were about four kilometres away) I had no idea. He didn’t tell me, he just kept walking.
It was about 2pm at this stage and I was starting to get pretty hungry. I kept pointing out restaurants saying “Mmmm that looks delicious, should we go there?” but he would barely grunt out an answer.
I guess it was his little way of annoying surprising me.

We got to our favourite food court eventually but when we went to the place we ordered the ramen from, the menu looked different. We couldn’t tell what it had been that we used to order!!
The girl at the counter didn’t speak English (we were trying to ask if a particular dish had meat in it. Pork? Chicken?) So she told us to wait and got someone else who also didn’t understand us.
IMG_4206In the end, hubby pointed to some things on the menu and said we’ll just take that.
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I’m not sure that there was any meat in it. There could have been very very very pink bacon in it. Perhaps some tofu like thing… Not sure, but it was pretty delicious!
In the middle there were like fried noodles. I’m not sure exactly. They were crispy. I don’t know the name for them.

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We also chose to drink Calpis which is everywhere here and a delight to say out loud.

“Oh I just loving drinking Calpis.
Would you like to drink Calpis?
thought you’d never ask!”

It was like a more delicious version of lemonade. I really liked it. No diet version though so it’s unlikely I’ll be having it again. Diet drinks aren’t easy to come by here by the way. You will find them, but not as easy as you find them in Australia and many restaurants don’t offer any sort of diet drinks.

So although we enjoyed what we ate, it wasn’t what we were expecting.

We consoled ourselves by visiting the 100 yen bakery downstairs.
OH.MY.GOD this place!
I could have eaten the whole store but we only picked two varieties.

 

I liked the one on the right a lot more. It had a chocolate filling too! The berries were soooo sweet. I just loved it. The other was either a baked cheesecake or had a custard filling. I wasn’t quite sure.
It too was delicious but not as good as the first.

Tomorrow is our last day in Osaka and we’re capping it off with a visit to Rinku Town!! I’m so excited!! The train has taken us past this place every time we’ve arrived or left but we’ve never stopped. It’s full of outlet malls apparently!

I’m not even a shopper but I’m excited!!! Hubby, where’s your wallet??