Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Day 18 - Saturday 12th January

I didn't sleep well last night, maybe due to too much sleep the night before or maybe I was just over tired, either way I was still tired when I woke.
Never mind, after eating breakfast in the hotel again we waited for the bus. This time we were taking it to the Dubai Mall so we could go up the Barj Khalifa tower. To be honest after the crowds last night I was dreading the mall but I was pleasantly surprised that it was quiet.

Maybe Dubai doesn't wake until the afternoon! It was great being able to wander around and look in shops comfortably. I had researched and found out there was a Kipling shop. We located it on the information boards and that was our first port of call.

I LOVE Kipling! I have a good collection now but there's always room for one more! This is my second visit to a Kipling store, the first being in London last year. It's so much better being able to see and touch rather than relying on the internet for colours and compartments. I have been using my Fairfax bag for a few years now and whilst there is nothing wrong with it (Kipling quality is great, I think they are made to last a lifetime, lol.) it is starting to look a little grubby. I have been thinking for a little while about replacing it but have held off. I saw a really nice 'berry purple' one and decided the time was now. I reckon I've saved about £20 on U.K. prices too, bonus!

Mark decided on the next stop, Build a Bear. There was a camel inside and we let Charlie and Courtney 'build him.' He was named Humphrey!

Of course Michael needed a little treat too! (I like that their clothes fit my bear, Mark is not as amused, lol! Photo taken back at the hotel)

I had joked before we went in about them selling traditional dress clothing as in New York they sold Statue of Liberty outfits. I was highly amused to find they did!! I decided that Michael didn't need to dress as a 'sheppherd' so it was left on the shelf!

A short walk along the mall later we came across a shop which we knew Courtney would be in heaven in, we weren't wrong!

Floor to ceiling Hello Kitty!

At first Humphrey was a sharing toy but after finding this shop we let them have a treat each. Courtney chose a bag and hairband.

Note that Mark didn't but anything, just us! (also note that Charlie carried that box with Humphrey in everywhere today!!)

It started to get busier so we left to go up the Burj Khalifa tower. How impressive is this building?

At the entrance there was a screen saying every half hour slot was sold out! We queued up to ask at the desk as we could see people paying to get in. It seems we were supposed to book, we hadn't realised. The people paying were buying fast pass priority tickets at 4 times the price! We were told the government set the price and where that did us a favour with the taxi, it wasn't now, especially as Charlie was expected to pay the same as us, that it didn't! We were going to leave it but I happened to ask if there was a disabled concession (why not? Lol!) and they did! Mark had to pay the full 4x price but I could go in at the normal price and in the end they let Charlie in at the concession price too! As they were priority tickets we got to skip queues too!
The viewing platform is actually just over half way up which is a little disappointing but the views were good. It's a lovely clear day today, we could see for miles.

We saw the dancing fountains 1:30pm show from the top so that was a bonus!

This is the image taken before we went up.

We'd seen a Tim Horton's in the mall. We really enjoyed visits there whilst in Canada. They have 'TimBits' which are doughnut balls, supposedly the centre of a ring doughnut, this amuses Mark. They also do meals so we ate there early afternoon.
We decided the metro was actually a bit of a nightmare, not the actual system but getting to and from it inside the malls (remember the 7 travelators, there was also 4 in the other mall.) The only thing left on our list was a Gold Souk, we had looked at the one in the mall but it was mainly nice looking jewellery shops and a few barrow trollies selling pashminas, incense burners and vases. It was still only around 3:00pm so we thought we had time to visit an actual souk. We headed for the taxi rank. Souk means market and we both had visions of lots of stalls selling gold and a real atmosphere of people bartering. Again, our expectations were wrong! It was lots of small glassed in shops with odd glassed in stalls in the middle, there weren't many people around so no real atmosphere the jewellery was nice though!

We did dare walk in a couple of shops and I did have a go at bartering! It's not so easy though once they have you in their grasp and you're the only one in there! One shop kindly gave us all a drink whilst we were negotiating! I loved the ring but a deal couldn't be struck, I came close though! The earrings I bartered over were equally as nice but at £400 I decided they looked prettier in the shop! We wandered around some of the outdoor streets, there was more of an atmosphere there. Men wandering up to Mark offering him fake watches and handbags, trying to get him into their shops. One had Charlie dressed up in traditional clothing before we could blink and then wanted 300 dirham for the clothing! I mean, where would he wear it at home and at around £54 I whipped it off as quick as he'd whipped it on, lol! I enjoyed it there more than in the souk.
We saw a sign for the metro which was 200m away and made our way back to the Mall of the Emirates. It's still a walk back to the hotel but at least it's only one walk, not 2 and we nipped to the supermarket on the way back to get some supplies.
At the hotel we booked a taxi to take us to the airport hotel, as we are leaving early in the morning we thought it would be easier to be at the airport. I remember looking at my watch when we arrived, it was 7:10pm so not bad timing. We all settled for the evening, Charlie and Courtney fell straight to sleep, I checked us in for our flight then Mark and I had an early night too.

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