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 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.
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:
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 . . .