We left just in time, since the winter seemed to have made a come-back in Germany (Frankfurt airport was closed due to snow).
The flight via Berlin landed in Abu Dhabi at sunrise. It wasn't too bad (the kids even slept a few hours) and we were in our hotel by early morning.
After dropping off our bags, the first stop was the huge (and brand new) Sheikh Zayed mosque. Truth be told, I wasn't very impressed. Yes, it's BIG (five football fields) … but seems more like a huge empty marble hall, full of tourists, than a place of worship. To me it didn't have that sense of awe that the older Mosques in Istanbul have. But it might be very different when it's filled with the 40.000 worshippers that it can accomodate.
What is amazing though, is how “bright” it is on the outside. The glaring sun reflects off the shiny, white surfaces, and it's almost painful to look at (make sure to bring sun glasses!). The one thing Finn enjoyed thoroughly was to wash his feet with cold water: “this is refreshing daddy, we should do it more often!”.
We all slept in the hotel for a few hours (nothing to do, except shopping malls during the heat anyway) and headed back outside to the seaside promenade in the late afternoon. After some ice cream and coffe, the sun set and we ended up in a Lebanese restaurant in downtown for dinner.
All in all, a nice stop-over.
I've put a few more pictures from our day here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/uwefassnacht/sets/72157632986521852
P.S. The pics I am putting on the blog are mostly shot with my iPhone or point'n shoot camera … not really post-processed (except for some cropping) either. So their quality isn't all that great, but we don't have a laptop with us and I don't really want to spend time fiddling with the pictures while travelling.