Sunday, July 18, 2010

Part 14 - A hectic day in the park

At the point where Bur Dubai and Deira Dubai meet, was the Dubai Creek park - there was a water body surrounded by land. The park had a dolphin show at specific timings daily. The ticket rates varied - we picked the day on which it was the cheapest. Having travelled on buses and metro, we opted for the bus instead of a taxi since taxis would be quite costly for such a distance. A couple of bus changes took us to the park and we were just in time for the dolphin show. You can make an online booking and pay at the counter.

The place wasn't crowded since it was a weekday. We went straight to the indoor stadium. The show duration was for an hour - seals and dolphins stole the limelight; there were plenty of school children to fill up the seats and the dolphins added to the fun by splashing water on the audience. We picked up a couple of cute dolphin souvenirs from the stall outside the stadium. My niece took a ride on a pony followed by which we headed to some building located at the center of the park. We headed here after enquiring about a little notice board which said there was a planetorium in the park. The structure was called "Children's city" for which the entrance ticket was separate. This 'city' had even fewer people - it seemed as if most people were hardly aware of what was present inside. Even my sister had never been here before. Since we had time for the next planetorium show, we had our junk lunch and visited the various areas within the building. It was quite awesome - reminded me of the Birla Planetarium in Chennai; the only problem out there was that they never maintained the equipment; but here it was relatively well maintained. Each exhibit demonstrated some science concept - you could try the experiment, see the result and then read the short theory to understand the concept - electricity, force, pressure and what not. Wonderful place for inquisitive students. Going through everything took well over two hours; there were even ineresting exhibits on the concept of how aeroplanes work.

After that we took a 4 seater cycle and went roaming around the park - it was nice initially but quite tiring after a few minutes; two people cycling with 4 people sitting is very taxing on the legs (the bicyle itself having a considerable weight). The cable car ride was not operational because wind speeds were too high for safety. My nephew and I took the cycle on short cut routes cutting across lawns and even on the mud close to the Creek. Not many people new that there was an abra (boat) ride in the park. The place was almost like you had to figure out what facilities were present. We had gone one entire lap around the park to locate the abra ride!

Next stop was the Dubai museum; I had been there only once when I was a kid but always remembered it as a pretty good museum. We went through the Bur Dubai shopping area to reach the Dubai museum. I noticed a few shoe shops on the way and decided to come back later to this area to check them out. For now our mission was getting to the museum. To our good luck, the museum would be open for another hour. Just after we entered, a large group of touristers entered the museum - they were part of a tour trip and the tour organizer was rushing them through the museum (the drawback of being stuck with the tourist guide!). I'd have to say that the museum did seem fairly similar to what I had in my memory. After zipping through the museum we took a cab to the nearest metro station. From there we headed to the Airport station and from there took a bus home. One nice feature of the RTA was that they didn't charge for each switch over; in case you jumped from one bus to another within the space of a few minutes then it would be considered as a continuation of the original ride and you won't be charged a fee on the second leg of the ride. Same was applicable between metro and bus. At 10:30pm, we reached our stop and hopped into a Sangeetha restaurant for dinner - had a mini tiffin plate that was tasty. We were dead tired when we reached home.

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