I've been to Abu Dhabi.

Trip Start Nov 30, 2007
Trip End Jan 17, 2008

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Flag of United Arab Emirates  ,
Sunday, December 9, 2007

Dearest reader,

I write to you from Abu Dhabi. I'm currently all the way over in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi. I love that name, and beng able to say I've been here.

That's the best part of Abu Dhabi.

To get here, I first left Dubai (after a lightning 30  minute power tour in the morning to sort of say farewell to the neighbourhood of Bur Dubai, to swing through the Spice Souk (only one actual spice vendor), but mostly as an excuse for a couple of extra abra rides. I also went to Western Union; they're jacking my mother around, which sucks, since she was trying to help me, and is just getting no end of grief in return.

Then I took the Emirates Express, which is often a series of handsome motor coaces rolling between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, but in this case was a city bus. For two hours.

And... then nothing much happened. I'm staying in the plush Crowne Plaza, which is the cheapest hotel with available rooms. Last night, I went for a wander through downtown, which was interesting but nothing special. Then, I visited the waterside park and the corniche (the seaside road), which was pleasant enough. I caught a cab over to the Heritage Village which was very quiet, and sort of fakey looking. Then I walked over to the Marina Mall via a carnival; the carnival had about 8 rides -- I took the ferris wheel and got a good view of the city, but it's only medium-impressive. The downtown has dozens of high-rise buildings, but they're all pretty pedestrian looking and maybe 15-20 stories high. The mall was decent; it would be the best mall in Calgary, but compared to the others I'd visited, it was feh.

So Abu Dhabi is a lot more laid-back than Dubai, and it's pleasant enough to spend time here, but for $200 a night, I was hoping for a little nicer than pleasant. Hopefully, I'll see something more interesting today.
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