April Senior Adventures

Lori Bayer, Linda Finch and Ray Schulhauser in front of Barj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Photo courtesy of Linda Finch

As promised last month I did go to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.  It was my first time in the Middle East and quite an eye opener.  After all, this is an area which until 50 years ago was made up of fishing villages, camel camps and Bedouin warriors.  Today it is home to the world’s tallest building (160 floors), the world’s largest indoor mall (at 3 min. per store it would take 3 days to hit them all), and the world’s largest single carpet (about the size )of 3 football fields, hand tied and laid out in the mosque in Abu Dubai).

The city today is an architectural dream with each building designer trying to outdo the other.  There are buildings which seem to twist, those that seem to lean, some which look like ovals and others with domes.  The Burj Al Arab hotel even looks like a full sail.  And then there is the Burj Khalifa which is 160 stories tall.  We could only go to the 124th floor but it only took 60 seconds in the elevator to do it.  The view extended far beyond the city out into the desert.

It took days just to explore the malls, not that we really did any shopping.  We went to look at the indoor ski hill at the Mall of the Emirates; the cultural sections at the Ibn Buttuta Mall which were designed to look like Egypt, China, Persia, India and Tunisia; the skating rink and massive size of the Dubai Mall where we waited to be able to see the spectacular water show
The stores included at these malls were a surprise.  We found stores and restaurants with brand names you would find at the Tacoma Mall, or any other in the US.  Added to these were favorite stores from Europe and Asia.  The grocery section could keep you occupied for hours–hamburger from Ireland, steaks from Argentina, lettuce from Iran, vegetables from Oman, etc.

The Jumeriah Mosque was open to the public for one hour and we took advantage the opportunity to see the inside and learn more about Islam.  We donned abaya, the traditional garb for women, and sat on the floor to learn.  Two women told us about their lives and beliefs, a gentleman showed us how they wash prior to praying and how they perform their prayers 5 times a day.  We saw the clock that rules the time of the prayers and learned about the prayer towers where someone calls them all to prayer. Not only was the mosque fascinating but the lecture was eye-opening.

Dinner one night was out in the desert at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort.  We drove about an hour out into the desert to find an elegant resort with a wonderful rooftop lounge.  It was here we had a cocktail and waited to see the sun set on the desert and then the stars come out so clear and crisp without all the city lights.  We continued to Al Hadheerah, a restaurant with an expansive buffet of Arabian foods some cooked on grills, some in the ground and all of it wonderful.  A cultural show followed with dancers, singers and even a pageant with a camel caravan and horseback riders.  All of this was followed by fireworks to light up the sky.

There is so much I could continue to tell about this adventure that it would take up the entire paper and there are so many things that we will be doing with Senior Adventures in the future.

Plans have been made to take an Eastern Caribbean cruise with RCCL in October on the world’s largest ship, “Allure”.  Don’t panic and think about crowds because you just don’t feel them: don’t say you have already seen the Caribbean and are therefore not interested because it is the ship that is the adventure; just join our group and come along for the fun.
After the first of the year there will be another cruise in the Caribbean but this time it will be with Princess on the “Ruby Princess” headed to St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.
And in the meantime we have a full summer ahead of us with Dinner Dates, Mystery Trips, Victoria, Long Beach, Leavenworth and so much more.

To find out further information or make reservations call Linda Finch at 253 927 8207 or ask to be on the email list at linda.finch@gmail.com.