Beautiful sunsets over Abu Dhabi
The next morning we went down to the restaurant to indugle in the amazing breakfast buffet. I just couldn't get enough of those fresh made pancakes with honey or Nutella, veggie egg white omelets and yummy fruits. The food at the hotel in general was pretty good. A great mix of western and middle eastern cuisine. It was hard to stay healthy or resist those incredible deserts at night.
Our first couple of days, we just wanted to wind down and relax by the pool. It was definitely hot, but we actually adjusted to the heat quickly. We pretty much just ate, sunbathed, or did our little yoga & training sessions at the hotel gym studio.
Visiting the Grand Mosque
After enough recharging we were ready for some more action. We wanted to explore some of the attractions of Abu Dhabi and thought a Souk would be a great start. All I can say is, don't expect to find souks like in Marrakesh there. We actually told the concierge that we wanted to visit one (expecting it to be one of those busy market streets), and ended up at a very cold seeming mall filled with fast food restaurants. That was disappointing!
But there where still plenty of other things we wanted to see. So we planned a trip to the beautiful Grand Mosque.
We spent a lot of time picking out appropriate clothes and were excited to finally find the perfect outfits. But when we arrived at the Mosque we were immediately guided to a changing room. We had no idea that gowns would be handed out to every visitor. But it makes sense that they want to make sure everybody is covered appropriately and looks the same. I really wanted to wear the one in mauve, but I was too tall and ended up with a blue one. In the end, I felt pretty good in it and it was so comfortable to wear!
When you're in Abu Dhabi a trip to the Grand Mosque is a must. The colors, architecture and atmosphere of this place are magical.
Another highlight of our trip was a desert safari. We booked a tour which turned out to be quiet a challenge for me. The driver went through the sand dunes with full speed and I got extremely car sick. Luckily the first stop came just in time, before I made a mess. But if you like to take pictures in beautiful natural light, you will love this.
Next stop was the visit of a camel farm. Those animals are so gentle and simply adorable. I think I've hugged all of them and had lots of fun to feed and mingle with them. Though they seemed pretty happy and at peace, we were wondering why some of them had their ankles tied together. I asked the guide and he said that those camels were pregnant. I'm not sure, if that was true. That part turned me off a bit and I was worried that they weren't treated well. I couldn't help but feeling guilty to support it, if that was the case. If anybody has more information on that, I'd be grateful to hear your thoughts!
After visiting the camels we went to a place in the desert where food was served, a henna artist painted hand tattoos, and a belly dancer performed. After the dinner and performance they turned off all the lights and music so we could watch the stars. That was one of my favorite moments. Lying there in complete darkness and stillness was overwhelmingly meditative.
We had a great time in Abu Dhabi and would definitely come back. But I recommend to go between March and May or between September to November.
I hope you enjoyed my little travel diary. leave your thoughts, questions and comments below!