Fun packed first full day in Dubai

We had quite a program today and for that we had to navigate the Dubai Metro system, which is actually pretty easy.

Since I had mapped out everything beforehand, I knew what stuff is in which area and what makes sense to combine.

First order of business: Wild Wadi Waterpark. We got a day pass for the Metro and took it all the way to the Mall of the Emirates. One would think there is a direct bus link to the park from there, but there is not. On the map it looked walkable, and I still think it is (1.5 – 2 km) … but we took a bus, which first circled around a lot, and when we were finally heading in the right direction, we were soon told ‘this is the closest stop’ and got off.

30 minutes wasted and still 1km to go. But eventually we found it and had our first lining up to get our tickets. Thanks to the ‘Entertainer Guide Book’ we only had to pay 2 tickets for 3 people. And then the fun begun.

The white water ride was the first on our list, those tube navigated slides actually use jet-streams to push you UP the slides, pretty cool, but one also always feels like your pants are coming off.

Other highlight were the Jumeirah Sceirah, a near free-fall slide, you start standing up, barely leaning at the slides back, and then on the count of 3 a trapdoor opens. Half our lining up and 45 seconds of scary fun.

Overall the park is well organized and it was not too crowded. And I liked that the lunch options did not feel like a total rip-off.

It started to get chilly after 5PM (when the sun is setting)

and the park closes at 7 PM … we left around 6:30 PM and hald to line up again for a taxi, when suddenly someone from the park shouted ‘we have a free shuttle bus to Mall of the Emirates here’ … and so we got a ride back for free.

We checked out the mall just a little bit, mainly to see this very surreal ‘Ski Dubai’ … an indoor ski slope, basically in the desert. Those temples of consumerism are hard to wrap one’s mind around. On one hand you have the Indian migrant workers who build all this glitzy stuff for barely 200$ a month, on the other end of the spectrum are people with way too much money, who pay people to go shopping for luxury items FOR them.

Some ice cream, some minor shopping (Carrefour), and then back on the train to go even further south to the Jumeirah Lake Towers. Ritsu had found reviews of a nice, no frills, Vietnamese restaurant (‘Hanoi’) and with no real map, we had to ask around, but eventually found it and we were very lucky to do so. Climate was perfect to still sit outside and the food was fantastic!

Our only concern was that Julius was getting very sleepy (it was already 9 PM when we got our food) and we tried and bribed and he managed to eat his pho and walked back to the station at around 10PM.

Train came at 10:17 and after sitting on the floor a bit, nodding off, a nice lady offered her seat and he was out within seconds.

Sure enough he was not happy when we woke him up and he had to walk the 5 minutes back to the hotel. He was about to just sleep on the sidewalk, and I was not able to carry him, as a) he is too heavy now and b) I, too, was tired, my back hurt, and I must have sprained my left ankle on one of the rides, I was limping quite some and the pain got worse.

But we made it home, tired but happy and went to bed really quickly!

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