We started the morning by going to Heritage Village. It’s a place on one of the islands that is devoted to explaining how Emirati people used to live in the days before air conditioning, concrete, and sky rises. There are recreated huts, tents, handicrafts, and archeological artifacts explaining the history and lifestyle of the Emirates and its people. The only bad thing about it was that most of it was outdoors meaning in the 117 degree heat we were sweating EVERYWHERE! My ankles, my knees, my elbows, my ears – all of it drenched in the sweat. So I apologize because we look pretty sweaty in the pictures. It is hard for me to explain it all so I will show you:

The Entrance

A picture of the royal president with the letters UAE printed in the sand.

Scott in a traditional Bedouin tent – the sand was scorching hot even in the shade!

A traditional home in the mountains – these were much cooler inside because they were made of rock

A “nice” place to rest in the shade – too bad we saw a snake in the sand otherwise I would have laid down in the shade!

The Abu Dhabi City Skyline!

My new blog picture!

The boat in the picture above is called a Dhow – the kind of boat that was used for pearling and fishing. It’s remarkable because I saw these same kind of boats when I was in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. The Arab world entered into the eastern slave trade with Africa and Dar Es Salaam and Bagamoyo were major trading ports. It is no wonder then that I would see these kinds of boats in both regions! When I see them I cannot help but to think of Africa and the Indian Ocean.

So apparently everyone likes to swing – including the Bedouins!

The inside of a traditional tent (gotta love the AC unit in the back LoL (I don’t think that is traditional)

But we sure are thankful for AC!!!

These lights are everywhere especially during Ramadan. They represent the spirit of giving. Ramadan is not only a time of fasting but it is a time of caring for other. So in the malls and around town there are numerous ways people can give – cloths, money, time etc. Volunteering is a big part of Ramadan.

The UAE flag – I read that Green is for Islam, White is for peace, Red is for blood, and Black is for oil

The view of the Arabian Gulf from across the street from the Heritage Village.

Gotta love the crosswalk sign – we can’t decide if its a man in a dishdasha or a woman in an abaya – any thoughts?

After this extremely hot afternoon we decided to go back to our hotel, make sandwiches, and take another dip in the gulf at the beach to cool down. When it was around dinner time we went to yet another mall (because that’s where we have found the cheapest food!!). This mall, the Khalidiyah Mall, was also decorated for Ramadan:

After dinner we spent a while looking around for the Ghaf Art Gallery but no taxi could find it and walking around we couldn’t find it. You see, the problem with finding things here is that there are no house/building numbers, only street names. So the Ghaf art gallery is located on Khaleej Al Arabi St but we don’t know where on that street (we ran into that problem when finding our apartment but more on that later). So we didn’t find the art gallery and decided instead to head over to the Emirates Palace for coffee and dessert. The cheapest room is $500 a night and its the most extravagant hotel in Abu Dhabi City. They were also showing the Kiswah, the cloth that covers the Kaaba in Mecca. We figured that we will never go to Mecca because you have to be Muslim to enter the city so this would be like a way of seeing it. There is a new Kiswah made every year and the one we saw was handmade in 1804 and was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Sleim III:

We then had coffee and dessert – but it was no ordinary coffee and dessert. We ordered a Camelcino – yeah you read that right – Camel! The cappuccinos we ordered were made from Camel milk instead of cow milk. We ordered with it the Camel mousse cake which was also made from – guess what? Camel milk! Everything came on china, with real silver silverware, and on, not kidding, real silver platters. Now let me show you have beautiful this hotel is:

Our Camelcino – notice how the syrup (which was made from dates and completely divine) is in the shape of a camel and the also gave us a piece of baklava and a camel chocolate with it!

Our camel mousse cake dessert!

Soaking it all in . . .

Sorry for the really long post everyone – I hope you enjoyed the pictures though. We sure did fit a lot into yesterday! I’m going to take a break from blogging. This morning we went to see our apartment but the AC was not turned on yet so I’m full of sweat – again – and am going to jump in the pool first! Masalaama until later . . .