Family Trip to Abu Dhabi Via Amsterdam
(Tom in regular type; Lucy in italic)
Wed 21, we arrived in
Our room was ready in half an hour, so we had a chance to unpack and lie down before starting off again for our 11:45 tour of the Anne Frank House. After a block, Rebecca was crippled by back pain and went back. After three blocks, Tom and Lucy gave up finding tram tickets, and returned to the hotel room, where we all gave in to jet lag and slept until Puck was thinking that she should cancel her trip to
Thurs 22, Puck knew she had to fly home. We returned to Schiphol , where a wonderful
Tom and Lucy returned to
Fri 23, we remaining two took the plane to
Peter drove us to the One To One Hotel, where we ate a simple Lebanese dinner of cold mezza at the Sahriye Restaurant at the hotel and smoked an apple-flavored shiska in the Ramadan tent in the garden at the hotel, where he stayed the night in our room on a rollaway bed. Tom gave Peter a little green tomato from his garden on
Sat 24, Peter had to shake us awake at because we had just 20 minutes to make the tour of the Grand Mosque. I used the time to take my first long shower.
Next we had lunch atop the 20-story Mariner Mall, a walk around the Heritage Village, back to Peter’s apartment, then to the vegetable market, one of his work sites, soon to become a media center, where we bought dates, and finally a visit to Saadiyat Island, where Buro Happold is helping engineer the Louvre Abu Dhabi. We all had room service supper.
Sun 25, Peter picked us up to visit his office in the Al Mamouna building and meet his co-workers.
We were still sleeping when Peter called at 11:15 to say he was coming over to pick us up for lunch. An hour later, we were having sandwiches at his usual place -- Joe's Groceries – elbow to elbow with British expats talking business deals. Could have been
That evening, we had a sumptuous dinner at the Diwan L’Auberge Lebanese restaurant in the Emirates Palace Hotel with Rima Al Mokarrab, who was disappointed that her high school classmate had not made it that far.
It is date season. Peter had gone to the date festival at the Liwa oasis before picking us up on Friday. There are date palms all over town bursting with clusters of dates, which the owners often wrap them in a sack even while they're still hanging.
Mon 26, we hit the hotel gym and Peter met us for lunch at our hotel’s 24-hour international buffet. We tried to do some sightseeing in downtown
Peter drove us to the airport in the evening. He tried to drive us to
Peter and Tom tried valiantly to find the exit for
Tue 27 we flew out of
Before taking that nap, I walked around the neighborhood waiting for the city to wake up. At , I found a tiny aromatic bakery with Rob the Baker himself selling hot rolls. I ate sitting on stairs outside the day care center by our hotel and watched the parents on bicycles dropping their tots and pedaling to work..
Wed 28 our KLM flight back to
The package claim was such a mess -- carrousel 4 bags deep, and suitcases so heavy that people couldn't pull them off to make room for new ones. Customs, similarly. So we missed our connection, and many hours later -- in fact 24 hours later from when we started, we got home.