Showing posts from December, 2017

Day 16: New Year in Dubai

I traveled to Dubai on the last day of 2017 and spend New Year's eve there. ___ 3:00am Going home was absolutely bonkers! It took us 3 hrs to finally get a train and get back to the hostel. 12:00 midnight And the countdown began - and it's a happy New Year! This is my first time to spend NYE away from home, so the experience is a bit different. The lightshow was better in some ways from the fireworks, but nothing can come close to exploding things that light up the night sky to usher in the new year. Hashtag #justsaying. Financial Road, 10:00pm We picked a spot along the Financial Road overlooking Burj Khalifa where to see the lightshow. Then we waited. Al Safadi Restaurant, 8:45pm We decided to eat first, and we picked a Lebanese restaurant to have our NYE meal. I ordered shawarma and avocado drink. 7:30pm My hostelmate from Japan and I decided to go to Burj Khalifa to see the NYE lightshow there (fireworks were canceled this year). At Th

Louvre Abu Dhabi

One of the museums that's on my list of must to visit within this lifetime is the Louvre. I sort of check it with (an asterisk) today when I visited the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The Louvre Abu Dhabi was established in November 2017, though construction of its building started in 2009. The museum is a partnership between Abu Dhabi and the French government. Located in the island of Saadiyat, the museum is the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. I visited it on my second day in Abu Dhabi. First thing that you will notice as you enter the museum complex is its architecture. Made to look like it was set in the middle of the sea, tidal pools surround the building. At the center and seems to hover around the it is the web-patterned metal dome, the pattern arising from aluminum stars that are joined and tesselated in several layers. This lets through the light from the sun, which then casts shadows like that of "palm fronds in an oasis." As you enter yo

Day 15: Abu Dhabi

Day 15 is mostly just exploring the city, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. ___ 4:30pm I spent more than 2 hours inside the museum, then I called it a day. I won't visit the Sheik Zayed Mosque today, instead I will go there tomorrow before going to Dubai. I went back to the hotel and was sort of cocooning there since afternoon. Louvre Abu Dhabi, 2:00pm There was a long line going to the ticket counters, and it took me about 20 mins or so to get a ticket. Once inside, it is all worth it though. The art works and artifacts on display are priceless. Like Hagia Sophia I will do a separate post for the museum. World Trade Center Mall, 12:30pm UAE is known for their over-the-top malls, and this one did not disappoint. I chanced upon a multi-adapter in a gadgets kioks, so I got one. I also got my caffeine fix in a Starbucks (as always, they mispelled my name). After coffee I took a taxi to Saadiyat Island, to visit the Louvre. Souk, 12:00am I crossed the road fro

Day 14: IST to AbuDhabi

Day 14 will be just mostly in transit. I am flying from Istanbul to Abu Dhabi. ___ Global Filipino Cuisine, 10:00pm I found a Filipino restaurant! Finally, rice after 2 weeks of kebap and bread. I ordered caldereta (a kind of beef stew) and rice, and the Filipina owner gave me bulalo (beef marrow soup). I was so happy with the meal. After eating I went to a supermarket to buy some snacks and drink, then back to the hotel to have a shower then rest. Next update is tomorrow. Emirates Plaza Hotel, 9:30pm I am checked in at the hotel for 2 nights. Not so bad, but there's a club downstairs so it is kind of noisy. I got down to get some food. Abu Dhabi Airport, 8:00pm We landed around 8pm. Long line at passport control but I got in with no issues. I changed some dollars to dirhams, then got a cab to the hotel. Aboard Etihad A330, 5:30pm Chicken or beef? 1:50pm Boarding now. We are flying on an Airbus A330. Boarding Gate 205, 1:00pm I am ju

Day 13: Back in Istanbul

On the 13th day I flew from Tbilisi to Istanbul, where I will stay for one night before traveling to UAE. ___ Istanbul Sweet Shop, 9:10pm I had tea and some baklava here. I then went back to the hostel to rest. Barbeque House, 8:30pm I decided to get dinner and I ended up in this restaurant. I got chicken skewers, some bread and soup. Cheers Hostel,  7:00pm Just chilling out in my room and chatting with my roommates. Grand Bazaar, 5:00pm After another walk I reached the Grand Bazaar - it is even bigger than the Spice Bazaar! (Duh, that why it's called Grand, dummy) Goods of all shapes and colors are on sale. I remember this is where James Bond has a chase scene in Skyfall. I went from shop to shop, sampling the free Turkish delight until I am full. I bought a few gifts for back home, and I went outside to the tram. I got my ticket and took one that will take me near the hostel. Topkapi Palace, 2:45pm I reach the palace after a short walk. Top