From Paykans to Urban Metros.
Trip Start Apr 23, 2010
41Trip End Jun 14, 2010
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Urban Metro [ur-buh n meh-troh]. The complete opposite.
We awoke to our last day in Iran. With a bit of leftover cash, we decided to treat ourselves a little. For breakfast: creampuffs and banana shakes. To quench our thirst a little later: freshly blended watermelon and honeydew juice. For future snacks: copious amounts of candy.
Checking out of our hotel, we caught what could very well be our last Paykan taxi
During the one hour flight, we enjoyed some humorous clips of Tom and Jerry (giving us our daily dosage of nostalgia) and, of all things, Just for Laughs gags - a nice taste of Canada! Before long, we landed in Sharjah, a neighbouring city to Dubai. In the terminal, we saw the first hint of Western culture since we left: McDonalds. We both ate (and dare I say, enjoyed?) Big Macs before stepping outside.
What a change. Gone are the Paykans and Kia Prides. In the parking lot were brand new Toyotas, Mercedes, and BMWs. The air is a blazing 40+ degrees, and humidity is high. It's interesting how a one hour flight can bring you into a seemingly different world.
We took a bus from the airport to a bus station in the outskirts of Dubai, and caught the sparkling new metro the rest of the way. The hotel we had booked online was the cheapest we could find - $50 a night. For that price, we weren't expecting much.
We were surprised. The first sign for me was that the place has a concierge. I won't even pretend to know what the purpose of a concierge is. Checking in, the man at reception handed us our key cards (no rusty-bolted doors here!), and another man grabbed our bags and led the way
For supper, we headed to the nearby mall, where we, still baffled at this Westernization, ate at Chili's. After dinner, we went to bed.
Before breakfast, we needed to cool off. To do this, we headed to the roof of the hotel, where we took a dip in the swimming pool. Not a bad start to the day!
Further satisfying our cravings for the familiar, we picked up some Cinnabon and Starbucks for breakfast. After this, we wasted a solid hour searching for the seemingly nonexistent Tourism Office. Taking matters into our own hands, we the metro to the Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world. Pictures don't do it justice. The thing is MASSIVE.
After snapping a few pictures, we headed into the nearby Dubai Mall (embracing the glorious air conditioning), which seems to rival the West Edmonton Mall for sheer size - it has a 22-screen cinema, indoor aquarium, and even a waterfall, among countless stores
When the movie was done, we wandered around the mall for a while longer, having Taco Bell and KFC for dinner (hey, we have to enjoy these things while we can!). Going outside the mall, we watched a 10-minute water fountain light show, similar to that of the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
After a full day of walking, we went back to the hotel for some well-earned rest.