Day 20. 21 Hitting the slopes in… Dubai, United Arab Emirates

          We made it on the flight that took forever and arrived in Dubai.  I thought I’d look around and see if there was anything interesting to see.  If you look west you see the Persian Gulf, look north (with better eyes than mine) you see the Strait of Hormuz and maybe the coast of Iran, south is sand and east…one…big…building.

Up there

          That is the Burj Khalifa.  The tallest building on earth.  It reaches 2722 ft., I’ve been told.  I didn’t measure because TSA took my pocket tape measure.  I had to find a way to get up there.

Maybe I can take a helicopter to the top.

 

          At about a half mile up, it looks like I’m in some type of aircraft but no, this is a shot out of a window in the building.

Big View

          The nice lady helped me get just a little higher to see better.

          You can get in a line at the bottom and buy tickets to go to the 125th floor, or if you think you are clever you can get in the shorter line.  The shorter line costs about twice as much but gets you on a very long elevator ride to the 148th floor. 

You know you are in a different world when you are met at the elevator door by a uniformed attendant with a tray of sweets and a glass of fruit juice.  It gets narrow up this high so it doesn’t take long to walk around.  You can even go outside and take in the somewhat hazy view.  There are about fifteen floors above you here.

And 146 floors below.

          Closer to earth, I thought I would look for other attractions.  I’m here for a short time, what wonderful sights await me.  It is hot outside so I didn’t see any parks.  Not much in the area of natural green color plants at all.  You could sit on the beach.  Hot sand melts the plastic off me so that would be a “no”.  I like to visit historic…  That’s problematic too.  While the history of the region goes way back, Dubai really wasn’t much to look at before the 1990’s.  Since then there has been an explosion of growth resulting in some very stunning examples of modern architecture but not much in the way of historic.  So what do you do?  We went to the mall.  That is the air conditioned place to go and the people here make the most of it.  We visited two; the Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates.  We barely got to scratch the surface.  The Dubai Mall alone has around 1,200 stores. 

 There is artwork.

          These aren’t swimmers and they aren’t guys leaving the Big Building taking the express way down, it is art, man.

There is the chandelier of all chandeliers.

Kind of that jelly fish effect.

You can go ice skating.

Or meet this guy.

          I think he is supposed to be a penguin but looks more like a duck to me.  There aren’t’ a whole lot of penguins here to complain about misrepresentation.

          Yes, the sign behind him is correct.  Here, in the desert on the shores of the Persian Gulf, you can go snow skiing.

Don’t bump your head on the ceiling when riding the ski lift. 

          Dubai is a pretty mind bending place.  A building so tall it looks like it has to be Hollywood special effects, snow in the mall, and a chalet of sorts, with a form of fireplace.

Or at least a video of a fireplace.  It is too hot here to even think of such a thing. 

          This is a place unlike anywhere we have been and before my mind explodes, it is old world customs meeting with modern technology in the desert.

I think I will get in a plane and head east again.

Bubba’s Canadian Caper

Bubba took a trip to Vancouver and wanted to insert his thoughts at this point.  He will go back to talking about his European vacation later in the week.

            I was real excited when the mail came and there was an invitation to attend the wedding of two of my best friends, Ryan and Kari.  The wedding was being held in Canada and they mentioned something about a sporting event being held in the city at the same time.  I got excited and started practicing.

I knew if I could hold this pose for eight seconds, I could be a winner.  Unfortunately, I found out the wedding was NOT in Calgary, the event was NOT the Calgary Stampede, and the bull was NOT impressed.

You can see me up there, I’m still hanging on!!

            Instead the wedding was in Vancouver and the event was the fifth game in the battle for the Stanley Cup.  Hockey fans had taken over the city and my inanimate Canadian friends all sported blue jerseys.

I looked in every store but was unable to find a shirt in my XXXXXSM size.  I decided to steal the idea given to me by some of the fans walking around and I dyed my hair blue.

I was able to pick up a hockey stick my size and, with stick in hand, I was ready for the game.

            I didn’t have a ticket but the city set up huge screens outside Rogers Arena for the thousands of people filling the streets.  The crowd was in a great mood and they were partying in high style.  Someone offered me a beer from the local Whistler Brewing Company and I made a slight error by asking for a Sam Adams Boston Lager instead.  I’m not sure what was wrong with that but I had to leave, right away.

The next day brought a lovely wedding for my friends.  I went to the reception but I forgot to bring a present.  I picked the biggest one there and put a “From Bubba” Post-It note on the box.  I then pushed it back into the pile.

I signed the guest book.

Checked out the wedding cake.

I treated myself to a few glasses of wine.

There were paparazzi snapping pictures and I’m sure one of them will make all the tabloids soon.

I maybe had just a little too much wine and my friend Anthony offered to give me a lift home. 

But before I left, I did catch the bouquet!!

            Bubba would like to thank Heather and Bill for putting on a great wedding and reception, Anthony and Kim for helping him out, and Ryan and Kari for being Ryan and Kari.