Continuing on with our trip...you can catch up here:
I am not a morning person by any stretch of the mind, but I woke up before the sun rose on our last day in Dubai. I really wanted to go to the top of the Burj Khalifa and the only available time slot that worked with our plans was first thing Saturday morning. Definitely not my first choice, but I had to go. After I dragged Bo to the top of the Eiffel Tower the week before, he decided to pass on this one and sleep in, so I went by myself.
To clarify, you don't get to go all the way to the very top - the viewing area was *only* on the 124th floor. Which for reference, is about twice as high up as we were on the Eiffel Tower. The Burj Khalifa is 163 floors high, and holds all kinds of other records aside from the world's tallest building. There was an enclosed outdoor area that faces east, which provided a great view of the sunrise.
|facing the Dubai Creek - opposite of our view the day before|
|view of the very top, from the 124th floor|
The 124th floor had all-around floor to ceiling glass windows, and all throughout the area were these awesome interactive cameras. The cameras provided all kinds of information on what you were looking at, and let you zoom in/out and see both current live action and historical views. It was so fascinating, considering most of the construction was just completed over the past 10-15 years. With that said, Dubai is the only place in the world we've visited that made us feel like America was old and had a lot of history ;)
The pictures below show the beautiful lake that has the fountain show (on the left) and the historical view (right) is all sand! Crazy crazy.
I was really glad I did this on my last day in Dubai, because by then I had been all over the city, so I generally knew what I was looking at even without the help of the interactive cameras. I took enough pictures up there, so I'll take you on a little tour of the city views! Starting with the sunrise picture earlier, I made a circle around the viewing area going to the left/North....
|Facing North towards Deira; the Persian Gulf is to the left|
|Facing West, Persian Gulf straight ahead|
|Facing South, Persian Gulf now to the right|
|Still facing South, zoomed in - Burj Al Arab is on the right, near where we spent our first afternoon in Dubai|
|Still facing South - looking straight down on the lake!|
|Still looking straight down, turning back to face East|
|And now back to where we started|
I mentioned in one of my previous posts that Dubai felt like a mix between Vegas and Disney. Looking around the city from up there, it really was a lot like Vegas - a built up city in the middle of the desert. In the next two pictures you can kinda see just past the buildings, where it's still all sand.
Before the exit, there is a really awesome timeline exhibit with all kinds of details about the design and construction of the tower. It was so cool, and even though I was just up there it still blew my mind. As you will see from all the pictures, I was slightly obsessed with the tower. It's just so beautiful! As if it's not already bright enough with the sun shining, everything is mirrored and reflective, and right on the water. Sunglasses are an absolute must in this city.
|too tall to fit straight up and down in my camera lens!|
|residential buildings across the lake|
After a quick morning nap back at Amy & John's place (told you I was not an early riser...), Amy & I went to her nail salon for manicures and pedicures. She is always posting pictures at this place and I was dying to go! I had pretty high expectations, and they were far exceeded - they took great care of us, especially with my aching feet after all the walking we had done this trip. I was afraid it might ruin the henna tattoo I got during our desert safari, little did I know it was there to stay for a few more weeks.
The last thing on our "must-do" list was to go indoor skiing at Ski Dubai, which is in the Mall of the Emirates. The malls are seriously insane in Dubai!
|nice little "fire" at the "ski lodge"|
It was actually a pretty good deal. We got a two hour pass, and all clothing and gear rental is included. Once we were suited up, we took an escalator up to the slope - that was definitely a first. It was pretty awkward getting onto an escalator in ski boots. And just weird in general to be skiing inside of a mall in the desert.
|action shot of Bo!|
We did a couple runs - each one only took a few minutes, the longest part was waiting in line and taking the lift up to the top..ha. We even stopped for hot chocolate at the top of the lift, and then it was time to go pack our bags. Our flight home was later that evening (womp womp, so sad our trip was coming to an end), and Amy & John were actually flying back to America a few hours after us as well. So we borrowed Amy's photographer (aka: John) :) and did a mini-photo shoot on our way to dinner!
We had dinner at ab del wahab, a Lebanese restaurant in the Souk AL Bahar across the lake. The food was fantastic and it was a great place to eat outside and watch the fountain show again :)
Amy & John, we cannot thank you both enough for everything - planning our trip, providing a place to stay, and showing us your home away from America :) We can't quite describe how grateful we are for everything, and for giving us the chance to see a part of the world we never would have otherwise. We love you guys and we had such an amazing few days in Dubai with you. Thank you so much!!!