Friday, September 21, 2007

Escape From Al Ain

A Friday adventure to another of the Emirates. This time Al Ain.
Al Ain means "spring" in Arabic. This is considered the greenest of all of the Emirates.
Through a series of underground canals this city in the middle of the desert keeps itself green and lush.

Here is the view from the road side rest stop on the
drive from Dubai. Rolling dunes of red sand.
The beach is that way!
AHHHH shade.
It's a good thing that I know what the can is for without having to read the sign.
These cans line the highway in hopes of keeping the streets cleaner.
Drive-thru waste receptacles.

28 km... not far now.

How far are we now Kenny?

The journey to the South Eastern part of the country took us just over an hour. We passed the time by looking for camels out on the desert sand.

The red sand dunes turned to mountains soon after we reached Al Ain.

The Hajar Mountain Range surrounds the "Garden City".

This one is called Hafeet Mountain. (There were a couple of jokes cracked about that name and the smell that might come from it but it might be one of those you had to have been there kind of jokes so I won't share.) It is the one mountain that is sits on it's own sort of away from the rest of the range.

Our Amazing Race team photo!

There was a whole park full of these palm trees. Not much shade at high noon though.

Kenny preparing to dip a toe in the hot springs at the Green Mubazzah. It's a green oasis. You don't see much of that lovely emerald shade over here so we took our shoes off just to feel the grass between our toes. The water runs down the mountain and sits in pools. There are places to swim for the public but, they are segregated. Women and children in one and men in another. A skin burning dip with a bunch of other men was not Kenny's idea of fun so, we passed on testing the pools.

A vantage point as we climbed Hafeet Mountain. In the background you can see the Green Mubazzah that the hot springs run down into.

The Bin Ladden residence.

Up up up we go.

1160 meters up to the top.


I hope that this one isn't that important.

It's a long and winding road.

Now it's time for a dip!

We made ourselves at home at the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet Resort at the top of the mountain.

No segregation and a pool bar!

We live a tough life!

Back in town we ended up lost... of course! And happened into a date plantation. It was the coolest spot we had been in all day. Plenty of shade in here. I later learned that this is called the Al Ain Oasis. And although we thought that we were trespassing we could have gotten out of the car and taken a stroll through... next time!

We then ventured to one of the many old forts that they have scattered around the city for a bit of a history lesson.

This is the Murraba Fort.

What's up there?

Looking out at the town now looks a bit different then when someone used this as a residence I'm guessing.

This was a big day for us as it rained! It's been nearly 5 months since we've seen a drop.

Who are these houses built for?

Some Friday shoppers.

The Al Ain Museum. It was closed when we went. Sorry folks no pictures from there.

Jahili Fort.

These forts are all built from mud bricks. It's a good thing that it doesn't rain often.

Kenny in the courtyard. It was massive. The sunset from here was really beautiful.

I regret to report that this is where the camera battery died. We did take some great video and I'll be editing that to add to this post. Stay tuned for more of the amazing adventure of our

Escape from Al Ain!

1 comment:

grandma gail said...

You guys look like you have so much fun all the time. People keep asking me if your enjoying your new home and I'm not sure what to say but your pictures say yes you are. We are all jealous. I love your hair cuts (both of you). Kenny.....I'm sending an early "Happy Birthday" message as I get a seniors moment every now and then (more now then then). I know it's Fri. so just in case...have a great birthday! Take some pic's so we can all feel like we were there.
Erica...I think I have your ailment (SP?) I can hardly walk today...I think it's from the weight of B.J. on my hip for 4 days. He probably weighs the same as Burtie. Check out his blog and you'll see Beth and Bill and B.J. so cute. I hope your back feels better.
Lots of Love,
Mom or Grandma

OnlyWire: The Only BookMarklet You'll Ever Need!