We began our Friday morning with a walk along the Corniche. It is a long road (about 6km) with beaches and pathways and picnic spots and small gardens to the one side, and roads and city buildings to the other. We finished off our walk by going onto one of the public beaches so I could swim in the sea (the Persian Gulf to be more specific). As a Friday is technically a Sunday in the UAE, the beach was relatively quiet. After our swim we took advantage of the quietness and hit the shops as these too would be quiet until around lunchtime.
We went past the same shop I had bought my swimming costume at so I could buy a bikini top to match the bottoms. We also went past the Krispy Kreme Doughnuts store as I just had to have a taste of these. We got 6 doughnuts, each a different flavour. Honestly, when I ate them later that day, I discovered that they weren’t out-of-this-world amazing. Perhaps I can attribute that to having super high expectations and having a whole day to salivate over them… Either way my sweet tooth got satisfied.
After our small shopping trip we made our way home to have some breakfast, shower and get ready for the day’s activities. Our first stop was Marina Mall so that I could go up the tower and get a 180 degree view of Abu Dhabi. It was quite spectacular! We then visited a few shops to see if anything caught our fancy before getting back into the car and heading to the port.
The port was an eyeful! There were so many dhows and they were so closely packed together that you could hardly tell one apart from another. And then there were the masses of wire fish nets strewn on the dock.
We then headed on to Saadiyat Island to the Saadiyat Al Mannaret Museum to see the Mesopotamia exhibit. The exhibit was amazing! Not only did you not have to pay to enter the exhibit, the information booklets were free too!
Mesopotamia means the land between two rivers, thus it had very fertile land which allowed it to become known as a granary (storehouse for grain) of the ancient world. It had three regions – Sumer to the extreme south, Assyria to the north, and Babylon in the centre. The cities of Mesopotamia were centres of learning and knowledge. Babylonian astronomers studied the night sky and recorded movement of the moon and planets. Cuneiform tablets were kept in the palaces and were used to record aspects of the city (land belonging to this person, that person bartering with another person, etc). These cuneiform tablets were made from clay and a blunt reed was made to imprint their alphabet. There was so much to see that the exhibition left me gobsmacked! The huge pieces of stone slabs portraying different battle scenes, the various sized cuneiform tablets, the clay pots, the beaded headwear, etc etc. I wish I could have taken photos of some of the items but unfortunately museum policy prohibited this.
After exhausting our feet walking through the exhibition, we decided it was time for a late lunch. We drove back to the city and enjoyed lunch at the Lebanese Flower Restaurant. The flat bread and humus were yummy as usual but the meat dish we ordered kept repeating on me. We stopped at the Lebanese bakery so I could indulge in some baclava after lunch and this helped keep the lunch repeats at bay.
The most exciting part of the day happened next…The Red Bull Car Park Drifting Challenge! We had seen something being set up while we were at the Corniche in the morning and this jogged my mom’s memory and she told me that this drifting challenge would be starting at 6pm that night. And our day had worked out so well that we arrived back at the Corniche and found a suitable parking spot by 6pm. We stood just behind a fence with the contestants’ cars in front of us and the demarcated challenge area in front of them. We were there to see a demo run of the course (the video below) as well as see the first few contestants have their go. But we left shortly after the third guy had finished as it was too hot, we were so exhausted, and the challenge was taking too long. It was fun though and quite an experience!
*Day 8’s adventure to come soon…
Hugs & Kisses
PS: I thought you may enjoy this as much as I did… The traffic lights at the Corniche have a 3D walking man when you are allowed to cross the street, along with a timer of how many seconds you have. (Apologies for the poor quality but I was trying to walk and record at the same time.)