Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sam To The Desert- Part One

We live in a pretty unique place, that is fairly indisputable. Desert, ocean. Wealthy beyond compare next to poverty beyond imagination. Sparkling new mixed with recently antiquated. It really is something you have to see and experience for yourself.

So, when Ian's best friend, Sam, asked about coming for a visit we jumped at the chance. We have only had a few family members come see us and no friends from the US so we were over the moon. Plus, he was able to come during Ian's annual leave, which meant some concentrated, work free time with our friend!

Today also happens to be Sam's birthday! So, Happy Birthday, Sam (though I doubt you even read this!) We love you and are so thankful for your friendship all of these years.

We took the opportunity to do a mini tour of the UAE with all of its highlights. Here is part one of our adventures with Sam in November.

Ian and the girls took Sam for a driving tour around Abu Dhabi. They went down by the waterfront and to a historical replica village down by the marina.

We went to the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival. We had been to this same festival almost three years ago but this time it had been built up so much more! The festival grounds were really developed and the stalls and exhibitors did a wonderful job. We wanted to return another night and watch the camel races but we never did.

We did finally by the girls their own Jalabiya- the casual, colorful dress worn by locals. Little girls wear them all the time (when not in western clothes,) and women often wear them as house dresses or underneath their Abaya (the black outer dress.)

We also went to Al Ain, which is the seat of historical and cultural sites. So many neat place to explore. Old palaces, forts, museums.

We also went for a drive up Jebel (Mt.) Hafeet, a tall mountain that pops out of the flat desert and straddles the UAE and Oman. We last drove up it when Sophia was born, over three years ago. Time really does fly.

My favorite thing we did was stop at Jahli Fort. Ian's taken many of our visitors there over the years but I was always great big pregnant or with a newborn at the time so I've never been able to climb around in it. There is a gallery of Wilfred Thesiger's photography and the old fort and surrounding buildings to explore. It really feels like you've stepped back in time!


Courtney said...

I love all the pics. Grace has some sass I. The family pic. Love it!

Unknown said...

What a great post. There are so many interesting things to see.