Category Archives: Abu Dhabi

A Day in Abu Dhabi

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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First flights booked … and a destination added

Abu Dhabi

I spent the last two days glued to the computer screen. Researching destinations, crawling through flight options, constantly discussing (and re-discussing) possible itineraries with Anna.

A few (for me) interesting observations:

Flights used to be quite a bit cheaper when bought through U.S. web sites. No more. The prices I see are identical (sometimes down to a Euro or two) no matter where if I look in the U.S. or here in Germany.

Hipmunk.com is the best site to find flights (but you can’t book directly) … followed closely by my old favourite kayak.com (or kayak.de if you are in Germany). Google’s ITA Matrix is excellent, but not as well visualised as hipmunk. Neither Expedia nor Opodo find the cheapest tickets on complicated itineraries.

Going to the airlines directly finds the same cheap flights as kayak does (that’s where they get them from). But without services like kayak or hipmunk, you’d never know how to manipulate the flight searches on their sites to find the lowest fares.

A few hours ago I booked our tickets to Kathmandu … and included a one night stop-over in Abu Dhabi. Not that it’s high on my list of places to visit, but the stop-over will only cost us about $150 (includes hotel, transport and ticket price surcharge). We figure it’s worth that to have a quick look and to break up the long flight to Nepal.

Almost 1:00am now … got to get some sleep.