Up at seven, we enjoy the good restaurant buffet, check out and drive to Dubai mall to approach the Burj al Khalifa. It’s still very quiet at this time of the day, the luxury shopping mall is slowly waking up, employees are preparing the grounds for 10:30, when avid shoppers will be able to splurge at Gucci or Dior. We emerge at the foot of the iconic building, and have a pleasant stroll around the artificial pool lake in which a crew of neoprene cladded Filipinos are performing maintenance tasks.
We see our second Tim Hortons here, it’s funny that a Canadian chain selling hot soups has become popular in a country were most of the time temperatures are scorching. Right now it’s really pleasant, a balmy 25 degrees.
We hop back in the car for what should have been a short drive to Dubai heritage village. But traffic, roadworks and missed turns makes it a bit complicated. We find yet another Carrefour shopping mall were we park the car before taking a walk along the Al Ghubaiba Canal. It’s a nice contrast to the super modern Downtown Dubai area we just left. Old adobe houses with their wind towers, wooden boats, a souk and an old fort fringe the Canal, and we enjoy the lively yet not crowded atmosphere. At the heritage village, we stop for a lunch of Camel Burger, very tasty, albeit a bit rushed, as we don’t have a lot of time left before our flight. We still take the time to make a quick tour in the narrow alley ways in the old fishing village. It’s thoroughly renovated, and uninhabited, so it has a bit of a Disneyesque atmosphere, but it’s very pretty and a nice time capsule in the concreate jungle of Dubai.
The drive to the airport is quite stressful as we are caught in roadworks and the clock is ticking. But we manage to reach parking E in terminal 3, only not on the right level, and a Pakistani worker Sandra asks to, hops in the car to direct us to the ramps down to the Hertz rental spot. We did not have time to fill the car, there is not much missing, so hopefully there will not be too much of a surprise on our Visa deposit. We arrive on time and are through quite rapidly because we already have our boarding passes and the security check is again super-efficient in this airport. Much less so is the passport control at our arrival in Geneva, we manage to board our train with only five minutes to spare, good thing we had cabin baggage. After this whirlwind trip, it feels good to arrive home, and even better when Skye arrives a couple of hours later, back from a business trip to London. Travelling is great, but it’s much better when we are the three of us!