Jordaan at sunset

The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of Amsterdam located west of the center. It is home to many modern art galleries, as well as speciality shops and restaurants.

Above, Noorderkerk (North Church).

Above, still some line at the end of the day at the Anne Frank House.

Above, Westerkerk (West Church).

Above, steeple of Westerkerk.


Walk in Amsterdam Zuid: Beatrixpark, Zuidas Business District, Vondelpark

Starting in De Pijp, I went on a walk, first to Beatrixpark then went on to the Zuidas Business District. On the way back, I walked through Vondelpark and Museumplein.

Above, in Beatrixpark.

Above, at the World Trade Center, in the Zuidas Business District.

Above, Amsterdam Zuid train station.

Above, Fortuna, by artist Leonard van Munster.

Above, on the way to Vondelpark.

Above, Amsterdams Lyceum.

Above, in Vondelpark.

Above, “I amsterdam” sign in front of the Rijksmuseum.

Above, back in De Pijp.

Abu Dhabi: Corniche, Emirates Palace, Marina Mall & Abu Dhabi Theatre

In December, a few weeks after Dubai, I came back to the United Arab Emirates, this time in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country. It was just a single day layover on my way to Amsterdam but I was able to see a lot.

After I arrived at the airport in the early morning, I took the shuttle bus to downtown Abu Dhabi. I then walked along the Corniche, a pedestrian path along the coast, until I reached the road that leads to the Marina Mall. Instead of going there, I continued along Corniche Road to the Emirates Palace, a 7-star luxury hotel. Part of the hotel is open to all visitors, so I got inside. It was indeed quite nice… After that, I took the bus to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which was actually pretty far away. It was a bit of an adventure so I will make a separate post about it later. After the Mosque, I took a taxi to the Marina Mall and had a quick look inside. Then I headed towards the Heritage Village nearby but there was an event for the Volvo Ocean Race so I went in. It hadn’t really started yet so it was not very interesting. I continued on the road, past the Heritage Village, until the Abu Dhabi Theatre. There was a great viewpoint on the skyline of Downtown Abu Dhabi from there. Finally, I walked on the road towards the Etihad Towers but stopped at a café for sheesha and diner until it was time to go to the airport.

Above, the corniche.

Above, the artificial Al Lulu island.

Above, Marina Mall in the distance.

Above, an oil exploration platform.

Above, beach.

Above, Emirates Palace and ruler’s palace.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre and its flagpole.

Above, the St. Regis hotel.

Above, Etihad Towers.

Above, Emirates Palace.

Above, below the dome.

Above, Gold to go gold vending machine.

Above, the white Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Above, Marina Mall tower.

Above, Abu Dhabi Marina.

Above, at the Volvo Ocean Race event.

Above, on the way to the Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, Abu Dhabi Theatre.

Above, downtown Abu Dhabi seen from the jetty.

Above, Abu Dhabi Heritage Village. It was closing just as I came in so I only had time for a few quick photos.

Above, café with a nice view. I had some sort of arabian pizza (manakish, I think), tea and sheesha.

Above, night on downtown Abu Dhabi.

Sunset at Jumeirah Beach in Dubai

After checking into my hotel, I went out again and headed to Jumeirah Beach, just in time for sunset. After dark, I walked around the Marina.

Above, Almas Tower.

Above, Yacht Club at the Dubai Marina.

Above, Jumeirah Beach Residence.

Above, Jumeirah Beach.

Above, Atlantis, The Palm hotel.

Above, Marina Mall.

Above, back at the Dubai Marina.

Above, Almas Tower at night.

Shalimar Gardens

The Shalimar Gardens (sometimes written as Shalamar Gardens) are a Mughal garden complex located in Lahore, Pakistan. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan (of Taj Mahal fame) in the mid-17th century. The gardens have been laid out from south to north in three levels of terraces. In the terraces, there are basins with 410 fountains in total. Unfortunately, none of them were working while I was there.

Above, next to the entrance, on the upper level terrace, named Farah Baksh (Bestower of Pleasure).

Above, the large basin of the middle terrace: Faiz Baksh (Bestower of Goodness).

Above, on the lower level terrace: Hayat Baksh (Bestower of Life).

Above, back on the upper terrace.

Above, outside the entrance to the gardens.