Thursday, June 28, 2012


Dubai Shopping

Dubai has the biggest shopping malls in the world. We walked around the Dubai Mall for several hours each day and in 6 days we didn't manage to see everything in it. One thing that I did find was a branch of my favourite shop, "Build a Bear". This shop had lots of things that I hadn't found in Australian branches, so most of my pocket money sort of disappeared. I came out of that shop with my very own iPawd and BlackBearie. These were very handy keeping me amused onn the flights home. The other thing I bought was something that I found in a souk near our hotel. Souks are Arab markets and you can find all sorts of fascinating stuff in them. What I found was this small camel. He has socks and a rug on his hump that are in the colours of the Emirates. I have named him Lot. He is really cute, my Camel Lot. That's the results of my Dubai shopping. Now I am saving for my next trip.



Singapore Flyer Again

Here's another couple of photos of the SingyPaw Flyer. In the top one I am about half-way up the rising side of the wheel, looking along the Singapore River. The river is blocked by a barrage at its mouth now, but years ago it was packed with ships and small boats. Most of the people in Singapore live in high-rise apartment blocks. Large population and small land area makes this the sensible way to live, but the people have also made sure that there are lots of trees and gardens as well. The bottom photo was the "official tourist" photo taken by the operators of the Flyer, just to prove that we were there. Just look at Mum, she is mostly not there, almost a ghost. What happened to her? Well, she was wearing a green dress. The photographer takes your photo in front of a green screen and puts anything not green in your photo onto the standard image of the flyer. So most of Mum's part of the image disappeared, turning her into a cute ghost. Just another experience at the world's biggest Ferris wheel.


Saturday, June 23, 2012


SingyPaw's Giant Wheel

This is the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world. It is in SingyPaw (bear-speak for Singapore) and I have ridden it! It is called Singapore Flyer and it was being built when the Oldies were last in Singapore back in 2007. At the top, you are 42 stories high; that's 165 m or 451 ft. That's 30 m taller than the London Eye. It looks a long way up when you are in a gondola that looks like a big glass barrel. You get great views of the city from the Flyer. At the top you see for 45 km on a clear day (only about half that on the day we were there). One funny thing is that the wheel used to revolve in the other direction when it first started but some Feng-Shui gurus said it would be better running the other way so the direction of rotation was reversed. The makers obviously had small bears in mind because the gondolas have a rail just below the windows at the right spacing for my-size bears to ride on. I am looking out over Marina Bay to the port area where thousands of ships per week dock. The picture of the wheel was actually taken from the observation deck of the building you can see in the left of the bottom photo (more about that one later).


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


The Tallest Building In The World

Here we are in DoBuy in front of the tallest building in the whole world. It is called the Burj Khalifa and as well as being the tallest building, it also has the most stories, the highest occupied floor, the highest observation deck and the elevator with the longest travel distance. And I was there! It is 828m high (that's 2,716ft for non-metric readers). Building started in January 2004 and the tower was officially opened in January 2010. The Oldies saw it partially built when they passed through Dubai in 2007; even at that stage it was the world's tallest building. It really is a spectacular tower. During the day it changes colour through silver, blue, white and gold, depending on the Sun angle. You can see it from most of Dubai, depending on the amount of dust and sand in the air. From the observation deck on the 124th floor you can see all of Dubai. Lots of photos from there. The elevator to the deck does 124 floors in around 20 seconds, enough to make small bears giddy. You will see the Burj in lots of our photos over the next weeks.

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Back From OS

Hi everybody, I am back from our overseas trip to SingyPaw and DoBuy. It has been a great couple of weeks and the Oldies took 3400 photos (don't worry, they won't all be shown on the blog). We flew Singapore Airlines. They offer the best deals on flights out of Australia and reasonably cheap stopovers in Singapore (that's SingyPaw to small bears). We flew in an Airbus A.380 on the Australia-Singapore legs of the trip. What a great aircraft. Lots more space than on other aeroplanes and very, very quiet. In fact the only disturbing noise was a Malay kid who screamed during most of the climb and letdown on the Dubai to SingyPaw flight. If small bears weren't so peaceable, I would have throttled him. The Oldies planned ahead and booked the exit rows on the flights, so we had plenty of leg-room and space to stand up and bounce around in. What I specially liked was the pop-up TV screens that I could watch movies on and check out the 'plane's position. Flying is fun, although it does tend to be a bit of a bind on the long stretches. That's where small bears have the advantage; we can sleep in small places, like Mum's cabin bag, while the Oldies have to try sleeping in the seats.

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