Desert Safari and kitten

Our last day in Dubai was amazing and was over so fast. We started the day at Kite Beach. It was a beautiful and warm day, we spent some time in the water and it was just awesome! We got back to the hotel at 1pm and we actually had time to take a taxi to Deira City Center and crossed our fingers that that Max hadn’t closed down as well. And it hadn’t. We ordered a normal Frisco meal with fries. They said they had Crispy Fries but it was not the same as in Sweden. The Burger wasn’t the same either. But it was still worth it.

We got back to the hotel and had time to pack everything before we got picked up for the desert safari. A humongous Toyota Land Cruiser. It was the two of us and another Indian family of four. The first stop was at a Dune Buggy place, it wasn’t included in the package and none of us went. Then we went straight out in the desert, the road just ended and there were so many cars! We all went in a long line and it was a bumpy ride. I guess I should have known, but I was surprised at how bumpy it was, I felt sick. We then stopped for some pictures in the desert, the sun was setting and it was beautiful. It was windy and we had sand everywhere, but it was nice. We then took normal roads (and at the end in the dunes) to reach a camp that was set up in the desert. It looked like a small small circular city where there were small stalls where we could pick up starters, coffe, tea, sodas and then later a buffet table. The food was okay and I guess the closest to the Arabian culture. We sat on pillows on the ground and in the middle of the whole camp was a stage where people danced. Right outside of the camp there were two camels that we could ride as well. That was scary, especially when it rose and lied down.

We got back to the hotel at around 9:30 pm and the taxi came and picked us up at 11pm to go to the airport. The flight would take off at 2 am, but it was delayed and we didn’t take off until 3am. And also because of winds the plane had to take a detour over Poland and make a landing to refuel. And that meant that we lost a lot of time and therefore missed our connection flight in Stockholm. We landed when it took off at 8:30am. The next Norwegian flight that we didn’t have to pay anything for was at 5:45 pm. We could book with SAS, but that would have been expensive, so we stayed at the airport the whole day instead of being home with Cleo and chilling. In total we stayed up for 40 hours with a few hours of bad sleep in the plane from Dubai to Stockholm. It was brutal. I am still tired, even if I got a good amount of sleep last night. I guess it can also be because I spent two hours this morning playing beach volleyball. We were only 4 people there so it was a lot of practice time. I was dead afterward.

I am still not 100% recovered, but I have a full day of just doing nothing at home tomorrow which is good, but then on Monday, school starts again.

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Today was a big day. After practice I met up with Jesper downtown and we picked up the scratch map we left for framing before we left, we then bought a frame for the pictures we bought in Dubai, and our last stop was Webhallen where I bought a new eReader. My old one was drenched when my water bottle leaked last Thursday on my way to practice. Too bad, that was a good eReader and they are not sold anymore. So instead of a Sony, I now have a Kobo Glo HD which has light in the screen which is a huge plus! It actually seems like a really cool eReader and much more complex than my old one. I think I will like it.

And then we made an even bigger purchase, we got Cleo a Friend! He looks almost exactly like her, but he is fluffier and a boy and 1.5 months younger. He is adorable, and didn’t complain at all when we drove him home. He was curious and then fell asleep. When we got home Cleo was super curious about this new little guy. But she is very rough with him, playing all the time, refusing to leave him alone and he is much smaller than she and can’t defend himself. I guess she is making sure that he knows that she is in charge here, but she is kinda overdoing it. I know that she is very playful, but I hope she will calm down and not be so rough with him, he is just a baby! But I guess in a month or so he will be as big and will be able to hit her back. They have slept together twice, but as soon as nap time is over they are fighting again. I really hope this will calm down soon and that Cleo won’t hate us because we brought a smaller cat here. All of last week she was with mom and her two cats and apparently she was all over them there. She would never leave the two oldies alone so we thought a friend for her at home would be nice too. But I don’t think she realizes that the cat she played with most at mom’s was 8kg, while she was only 1.7kg and this new one can’t be more than 1.2kg. We will let the small one sleep with us tonight with a closed door and Cleo on her climbing tree and hope she will behave better tomorrow.

We don’t have a name yet, so if you have any suggestions for a fluffy red boy, let me know.

IMG_20160123_084335 It is so beautiful in Gothenburg right now! It is kinda sad that we missed this last week when it was this much snow. Unfortunately tomorrow it will be above freezing and therefore everything will melt…IMG_20160123_202715 IMG_20160123_154332 On our way to Orust through Winter Wonderland to get our new family member.20160123_160720 And here he is!IMG_20160123_161427 20160123_171819 IMG_20160123_172848 At first she followed him around like an extra tail.IMG_20160123_173506 IMG_20160123_182218 IMG_20160123_182238 IMG_20160123_182938 And then she started to get rough and play with him.IMG_20160123_192222 IMG_20160123_204006 IMG_20160123_200624 One nap was okay and they were like siblings lying there. And then there was some more fighting…IMG_20160123_212153 And another nap, closer this time! And then some more fighting.20160123_224346And lastly before they went their seperate ways to sleep in different locations, Cleo washed him. Cute! I think this will work out, we just have to give them time (especially for him to grow more).

Kite Beach and a bad taxi driver

Today was exactly yesterday, except that we stayed on the beach until sunset. It was warmer than yesterday, and not as windy. A really nice day. I also finished the 9th book in the Tales from Shadowhunter Academy series.

We then tried to find a cab, and the one we found turned out to be ridiculously expensive. We were going to Oasis Center because a few days ago it said that there was a Max Hamburger restaurant there, but when we got there it had closed down. Bummer. We spent 50 AED to go to a stupid shopping mall where they didn’t even have the thing we were looking for. So we bought some candy and donuts to have while watching a movie tonight. We got a taxi quickly at the mall, but that was a mistake. First of all, this guy was young, had an extreme lisp and we could not understand what he said with his accent. Then he didn’t know where we were going, had to put it in his phone GPS (no one here so far has used the GPS), and then he insulted me asking me if I was Jesper’s mom! And then he said it was a joke. Why would a taxi driver make a joke like that? And also I don’t think he was joking because later he asked if he had permission to speak something, and then said that he suggested me to dress in black to look younger. What an asshole!! Then he was in a car accident while we were in the car and had to stop right on the freeway. He drove into the car in front of us, nothing really happened but he told us he talked his way out of calling the police, and then he explained why. I think it was something about that he had to pay a huge fine because he was a taxi driver and also pay out of his own pocket if the car got damaged. He said we would get the ride for free because of this delay and that money wasn’t everything. After that he drove extremely recklessly, he was driving fast and very carelessly. He said he was 21 but his passport said 37 because you can’t be a taxi driver here unless you are 25. We left the taxi when we finally got to the hotel, he honked at us and asked us to pay. I was so angry at that point that I gave him a 20 instead of 30, and then borrowed the phone at the hotel to file a complaint. It took a while, but they took me seriously and I will learn what they did about it before January 31. Worst taxi experience ever.

Good thing we have another day tomorrow, I think I would hate this place if I left after tonight. Stupid fuckface!

Tomorrow anyway is our last day here and we are spending half the day at the beach and the other half on a desert safari. That will be fun. Too bad we won’t have time for Max before we leave. We might have time tomorrow  between the beach and the safari, but we will have to see.

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Kite Beach and Hard Rock Cafe #17

There is not much to say about today, we spent most of the day at the beach. Kite Beach was a big beach kinda close to our hotel. It was very few people, a big white beach, and there were real serious beach volleyball courts and a Jamba Juice. I feel proud every time I see one since the founder of it went to Cal Poly.

The water felt cold, but that could have been because the sun was burning today, even if it was a bit windy. We went in several times though, even if not all the way. It was just nice to stand in the blue water.

When it got a little too cold, we started looking for a taxi to get to Festival City Mall, which is mostly under development. IKEA is there and also Hard Rock Café. This was number 17, haha! We bought some more painkillers for Jesper. It is still pretty swollen, but I think it might be getting better, but it is hard for me to tell.

Tomorrow a similar day awaits us!

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Atlantis The Palm, Mall of the Emirates

Today was all about water. We spent most of the day at Atlantis The Palm Aquaventure park which is a water park out on the manbuilt palm in the water here in Dubai. We went several times on the lazy river which had waves coming with short intervals, we went on the rapids “lazy” river and then on several slides. There were two towers with slides, one that shot water on the floatie thing we had so we actually went uphill (we had a two-seat floatie all the time), that was scary. We also went on a slide without the floaties, it was a competition and he won by one second. That one was fun too! And then there were a couple of slides with big rafters or what to call it where you had to sit inside a circle-shaped thingy, up to six people. That was scary with the deep falls. We only did those one time each. We both decided to skip the single slide where you started standing up and then the platform beneath your feet just disappeared and it went straight down (almost). Nope, nope, just nope! Our favorite was either Torrent (the lazy river with waves) because it was so chill, or Shark Attack which was a two-seat floatie slide where you went around in Helixes in complete pitchdarkness and when there was light again you were under a water tank with fish, rays, and sharks in it. It was so cool! And also the water was warmer in that slide than the rest. It is not exactly cold here, but in the shadow it can get a little chilly when being wet. I think Atlantis would be much more enjoyable when it is burning hot in the sun, then the water and shadows would be a cooler.

We would have been allowed to bring a GoPro, but we thought this morning right before we left, that this culture probably wouldn’t appreciate people using cameras inside of a waterpark (and also in general, who would want to be photographed and filmed there?), so we left it at the hotel. But when we got there they asked us if we wanted to rent a GoPro for the day. Bummer. So no pictures from Aquaventure, but you could just google the place to see what it was all about.

Right after the water park we went to The Lost Chamber which is the aquarium at Atlantis. It was pretty big and really cool! I love water animals, they had cool rays and sharks and lots of other fish. Cool experience!

Our third and last stop of the day was the second biggest mall in Dubai, Mall of the Emirates which is the mall that is home to Ski Dubai, the ski slope inside. It was cool, but except for that, I only bought a pair of VS panties and Jesper bought anti-inflammatory pills for his wisdom tooth. I feel sorry for him, I know what it is like to be in pain because of those stupid and unnecessary teeth. I hope these pills will help him feel better soon. My home insurance will probably cover it, but why risk it. We also bought a new sunscreen at Carrefour (a huuuge store) in the mall, and also some snacks for tonight when we watched the move, Ant-Man. Surprisingly good!

We were to late to sign up for the free shuttle to the beach tomorrow, so we can sleep in a little bit tomorrow (the shuttle leaves at 9am). The woman in the reception saw our disappointed faces and said it was okay to sign up for the shuttle on Wednesday, even if it was two days in advance. So tomorrow will all be about sleeping on the beach, and in the evening, another shopping center where Hard Rock Café is.

Also, something I forgot to write about day one, was that we had a celebrity on the airplane to Dubai with us. “Tobbe Trollkarl”, most Swedish people probably know who he is. He was/is (?) a magician when I grew up. Pretty cool!

 

IMG_20160118_184601 Atlantis resort. IMG_20160118_172934 IMG_20160118_174141 IMG_20160118_183630 IMG_20160118_174154 IMG_20160118_174800 IMG_20160118_174936 IMG_20160118_175637 IMG_20160118_180021 IMG_20160118_180301 IMG_20160118_180339 IMG_20160118_182823 IMG_20160118_182156 IMG_20160118_182343 PANO_20160118_183255 PANO_20160118_180605 IMG_20160118_191451 IMG_20160118_195440 IMG_20160118_191554

Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa

Ten hours at a mall, not sure if I want to do that again, but it was a fun day! We didn’t do too much shopping, but we bought a few things, a cork globe where we can pin where in the world we’ve been, a box of cool Arabic postcards, a shot glass from the top of Burj Khalifa, a thermos I can bring to school, a deck of cards all in gold, a fridge magnet, flip flops to Jesper, and a new shirt for me and I will get to why later.

We also got a couple of birthday presents for Jesper’s younger sister. We walked around for hours and hours, it is ridonculously big!! But I think we manage to at least go everywhere, even if we didn’t go into many stores. We had lunch in one of the food courts, Johnny Rockets, haha! When it comes to food, this trip is more American than Arabic.

At 6pm we had booked to go up to the top of Burj Khalifa. We got a briefing beforehand with tea and some snacks, went through security and then took the elevator up to the 125th floor in only 60 seconds. That is pretty fast!! Then we took another elevator up to the highest floor people go to, 148, the floors up until 160 is only for telecommunication and maintenance and something. The whole tower is 828 meters high, but less at where we stood. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any difference between the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa, both are so high up that it feels unreal and that everything below is photoshoped. It was pretty cool up there though and we saw a little from the first fountain show of the day at 6pm (we got up to the top a little earlier than our reservation). We then saw the whole 6:30 show on the 125th floor where we stopped for a bit.

After that we decided to watch the fountain from the ground so we watched the 7:30pm one after some restroom brakes and some of the shopping. We got a great spot, I filmed and took pictures and it was kinda exactly like the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. I didn’t see it coming, but in the end of it, the water came right at us, there were no warning signs that we would get wet, so I wasn’t expecting it at all and was watching somewhere else when the shower hit me. Jesper saw it coming, backed away but didn’t tell me. I got soaked through! It was worse than SeaWorld… When we walked back to the mall I heard some Swedish people behind me say something about me being soaked, haha! We got the new shirt at Holister and then went to Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. It tasted kinda the same, but not really, or maybe my memory is piedestaling the food, or it’s different because this is Dubai, not California. I think I was too tired to eat as well, but we got the leftovers boxed up so we have dinner for another evening as well, yay. It was good!

Then we saw some really fancy pancy cars outside the mall, took a taxi and came back to the hotel at around 10pm. Tomorrow we have to get up a little bit earlier since we are going to Atlantis The Palm tomorrow and it opens at 10am and since we don’t want to waste spending time outside on the warmest day of the week (it will be around 27C tomorrow) and because we were inside all day today, we want to be there as early as possible.

PANO_20160117_114115 PANO_20160117_120521 IMG_20160117_122201 IMG_20160117_122715 IMG_20160117_123248 IMG_20160117_125226 IMG_20160117_135544 IMG_20160117_143900 IMG_20160117_145250 IMG_20160117_155629 PANO_20160117_171137 IMG_20160117_171955 hdr_00002_0 hdr_00001_0 IMG_20160117_180933 IMG_20160117_180140 IMG_20160117_180255 IMG_20160117_180630 IMG_20160117_180810 This is Dubai Mall, crazy big!!IMG_20160117_182122 IMG_20160117_182245 In the lounge at the top we got served snacks and drinks.IMG_20160117_182327 IMG_20160117_183108 Level 125.IMG_20160117_183325 IMG_20160117_184322 IMG_20160117_184526IMG_20160117_184541 PANO_20160117_181602 PANO_20160117_181638 IMG_20160117_192133 IMG_20160117_192156 A gold car.IMG_20160117_192304 PANO_20160117_192719IMG_20160117_193010 IMG_20160117_193110 IMG_20160117_193520 IMG_20160117_195946 IMG_20160117_203147IMG_20160117_200140  12545797_1060388483983160_1629833500_o A Tesla!!12556959_1060388520649823_1927103004_o A matte black Lamborghini.12544663_1060388460649829_191403_o

First day in Dubai

Being away from cold, work and stress in school is great. Today was supposed to be the coldest day this week with about 22 C. It will be a great week!

Yesterday we left Gothenburg at 7 am, spent 7 hours at the airport in Stockholm and then another (almost) seven hours on a pretty uncomfortable plane. I think the length of this flight is too short to require comfortableness. It was not very nice. But we had three seats all to ourselves so we could kinda lie down. We landed at 1 am local time, our taxi took us to the wrong Holiday Inn Express so we didn’t go to bed until 3am. Up again at 9 so we wouldn’t miss breakfast and then we got fooled by the hotel that gave us a taxi which took the long way to the beach so we had to pay about twice as much as it would have costed. Whatever!

We spent a few hours at the JBR beach, we both got burned. It was a nice beach, the water was warm, probably 23 C or something. But it was a bit windy so we only got in the water once and left around 4pm to have early dinner at Panda Express. I have to say, that Dubai is very international, all the fast food chains from California is here, and it doesn’t feel at all like an Arabic country (except for the Arabic letters everywhere). It feels like my second home, I like it. After dinner we walked around on JBR at the Walk which is a strip right next to the beach where tons of stores and restaurants. This place was pretty far away from where we live, definitely the touristy place of Dubai. We walked around a lot, bought some food to snack on tonight and then  we found a nice taxi who took us to the hotel up north, kinda close to Burj Khalifa.

We are so tired, long day of traveling yesterday, and a lot of walking today, so now we will chill with a movie, fall asleep and prepare for a day at Dubai Mall tomorrow with Burj Khalifa afterwards.

20160116_023323 PANO_20160116_181911 20160116_121542 20160116_133843 20160116_133848 20160116_135712 You know you are in an Arabic country when camels are walking on the beach.20160116_154215 JBR The Walk.20160116_163602 Jumeirah.20160116_175101 JBR The Beach.IMG_20160116_164857 IMG_20160116_172308 IMG_20160116_172314 IMG_20160116_173012 IMG_20160116_174247 It’s too bad they are building so much out in the water, it ruins the sunset…IMG_20160116_174636 IMG_20160116_180223 A chrome Lamborghini. All the cars here are extremely fancy pancy, but this one was a little bit better.IMG_20160116_180641IMG_20160116_181907 IMG_20160116_183708 IMG_20160116_183758 PANO_20160116_163328 PANO_20160116_164340 PANO_20160116_172655 PANO_20160116_172741 PANO_20160116_174657 PANO_20160116_175014 PANO_20160116_175513 12583606_1059748967380445_1723920627_n IMG_20160116_204548This is a very international city, so why not try stuff from other countries? This basil seed drink is from Thailand.