We have had a wonderful time doing very little on Noonu Atoll for the last 6 days, and left 100 times more relaxed than we arrived. But all good things must come to an end, and so this morning we reluctantly boarded the sea plane for Male, and said goodbye to paradise.
From Male we flew to Dubai where we experienced one of the steepest descents we’ve ever had the misfortune to be involved in, and queued for well over an hour to get through passport control. Once we collected our bags it was easy enough to find a couple of taxis to take us to our hotel; Atlantis. The drive to Palm Jumeriah was slightly unsettling after spending time on Sri Lanka. Where were the crowded roads with the boards of ancient vehicles? Where were the street stalls, stray dogs and slums? Everything in Dubai looks new and well kept. We went past the tallest building, and saw the sail-shaped hotel in the distance get closer. Suddenly we rounded the bend, and there was the Lost Hotel, with its two towers and imposing arch.
We are only stopping over for one night, but we could easily stay for longer. The hotel has its own aquarium, which we visited today. It is, without a doubt, the most amazing aquarium I’ve ever been to. It’s a bit spooky with its Jule Verne type theme, and DD3 had a meltdown when she got to pat a horseshoe crab, as she convinced herself that she would turn into an alien as a result of touching it.
The hotel also has a water park and dolphin cove attached. We don’t have time to visit these attractions this time round, although we did manage a wander along the reclaimed beach. The water was freezing, and seemed crowded after the Maldives.
We also stopped for the kids to have dinner, and were surprised to find the service was terrible. The food was horribly slow in arriving and a couple of things were not what we ordered. After what could be eaten had been, we wandered up to the aquarium. The entrance is situated in the middle of a rather opulent shopping mall. It’s not my idea of fun, but I gather that Dubai is considered an excellent place to go shopping for just about anything.
The most surprising thing has been the heat, or rather the lack of it. Perhaps it’s because we’ve just come from such warm climates, but none of us have found it particularly oppressive. It’s warm, but nothing like as humid as it was in Sri Lanka.
Oh, and we had our first ‘bidet as a washbasin’ incident today. DH caught our youngest DD washing her hands in it this afternoon. The only question is why this hasn’t happened earlier because there has been a bidet in every place we’ve stayed. And, of course, when asked, DD3 happily admitted to washing her hands in those ‘funny basins’ in the other places we’ve stayed too. Grim.