You know, I had that plan of going running in some of the mornings – because I really gotta get used to running in the heat, not knowing what temperature is gonna be during my half marathon in July. But what was waiting for me here in Abu Dhabi beat it all – and beat me up.
I went for a run really early in the orning, because it´s the lowest temperatures – so just around 30°C. The 4km one way to the beach were bloody hell. I felt like I was dying and I´ve never been sweating as much as I have been during this run.
It´s been the slowest run ever, and I´ve been drinking tons. And then once at the beach, the dip in the sea was the best thing ever -so refreshing, swimming a round and two and some more, before putting on the clothing again and then taking a little run besides the water right
away before going back to the pavement and suffering even more on the way back to the hotel.
That was the point where I decided to not do another run – the humidity was the main issue, it felt like I had run a marathon in sauna, fully dressed. And it also didn´t exactly feel healthy to be saying the least. So once showered, the breakfast felt like THE thing in the world – never been so happy about breakfast like this morning.
Afterwards I got packed up for sightseeing – planned on taking this hop-on-hop-off bus, supposed to be running every half an hour according to
the app. But once I found the stop (walking 1,5km in the heat), I had to face the fact that it was just running once an hour. I was pissed, because it´s totally useless. That on top of my failed purchase of a ticket online, it made me a grumpy girl. Once the bus came I was happy though – free cold water, good commentary and sitting on the top floor in the wind was really lovely!
The first stop after mine would´ve been the WTC mall, but I stayed on the bus – and planned to do it on another day when I will focus on shopping 😉 The fort, which was the second stop was – from what I had read – not accessible because of construction work, which kinda made me sad. So no hopping off there either. The first stop I took was the Heritage Village – with old traditions, crafting and everything. It was interesting to see old weapons, ancient jewellery, and such things – it gave a first glimpse on how it all started and I love such things. not a typical museum, but outside, built like a little village as the name suggests already.
I hopped onto the bus again and then hopped off at the end of the tour at Marina Mall – a massive mall where you actually have information brochures with maps to really get anywhere. And it´s one of those places where you freeze to death when entering from the outside. I had some snacks there, and wandered around a bit more because I had the plan to go onto the little Dhow (ancient wooden ship) cruise that was also included. And I still had plenty of time, and so I did also after a little bit of shopping. And it had 40°C outside – it sucked when trying to find where the cruise was supposed to start. But at least I met two other Germans whilst searching. It was a nice time to talk about experiences and sightseeing and everything. The Dhow cruise was nothing special, nice to relax a bit but that´s it pretty much. A nice slow-down in this big and buzzing city.
Afterwards I hopped onto the bus again, and we passed by the Ethihad Towers, with the Observation Deck – also something I was gonna do later on on another day. ext stop: Sheikh Zayed Center – which was unfortunately already closed, as the evening was approaching with big steps. So we just drove by, and as it´s not around the corner, I was not gonna be returning there.
The main goal for the day still was to come: the Sheikh Zayed Mosque (or also called “Grand Mosque”).
For me personally the most important part of sightseeing in Abu Dhabi – because I am always keen on learning about different cultures and religions, and this mosque is the place to go – take off the shoes, get a dress to cover you up to be allowed to enter.
The dress is made of polyester, which makes you melt outside on the way from the changing place to the entrance of the mosque. but it´s worth it. It´s stunning what they built, I mean I know churches and smaller mosques but nothing compares to this. You see the love and passion for worshipping their god when looking at the details.
It looks like brand new and so beautiful with all the lamps, details and everything. I am still lacking the words to describe this experience – it was simply breathtaking. Every step in there.
And then I was there at a time of Maghrib prayer – which was making goose bumps when you heard the muezzin…It felt magical. Maybe it WAS magical, I don´t know. I really felt caught in this moment.
After listening to this and observing the whole moment from already outside of the mosque, I hopped onto a cap fully exhausted, went to the hotel and jumped into the restaurant to have some dinner. I hadn´t been eating for long and the heat really had worn me out. So massive food enjoying just happened – with several dishes and a dessert at the end. but I totally deserved that!