Saturday, 12 April 2008

Jebel Hafeet

It's my birthday tomorrow! I will be 54 - I need one of those little round button badges that kids have, you know the ones, red with white lettering, I am 54.

Anyway, Mrs Dubaibilly booked us into the Mercure Jebel Hafeet hotel in Al Ain for the night to celebrate. It's been quite a while since we have got out of Dubai, and it was great! Just to get away for 24 hours. As soon as we left Dubai behind we both started to relax, probably for the first time for months! I'll tell you, this place is just too stressy. And at the moment we aren't getting out of it enough. We should have booked in for two nights! Anyway, we didn't, but we had a lovely time (apart from breakfast this morning - how can a 5 star hotel claim to offer international cuisine but don't offer pork bacon it defeats me. I wouldn't mind so much but they do serve alcohol - bit of double standards there perhaps. Never mind. the little pain au chocolat were delicious.

Anyway, we noticed on the way there that the wind was getting up and the sand was blowing somewhat. Now for those who don't know, Jebel Hafeet is a large lump of rock in the middle of the desert, just outside Al Ain. It has a spectacular road going up it - y'know what, just google it - jebel hafeet and search the images - there are some pics that will show you what I mean. Anyway it is about a thousand metres high (I think) and on a clear day you can see for ever from the top. Now the hotel is pretty much at the top, this was the view:

View from our room

As you can see, once you get past the swimming pool you can see for yards! Shame, but you can't have everything - I guess to get the best photo's from there you really need to go in December, January or February.

At night, though, the sand settles down:

View from our room at night

The lights in the distance are Al Ain (I think). Now those of you who know me will know that I am a mathematics teacher so, when I saw it, I just had to have a picture of this sign:

Uneven Numbers?

I'm sorry! Uneven numbers - what are they, a bit lumpy or all on different levels or something? What is wrong with calling them odd numbers? Some connotation in the word odd perhaps? Beats me!

Anyway, the night out over we packed up this morning and headed back to Dubai. Mrs DB was driving and I was gazing out the window, listening to the Beautiful South on the CD player when I happened to see something.

"Stop the car!"


"Stop the car"

She stopped the car and asked if I wanted her to reverse a bit, but by that time I had grabbed my camera and jumped out to get this picture:

Two Arabian Oryx

I was quite chuffed at spotting them, given that I was just gazing at a desert full of sand going past at 120 kph, two Arabian Oryx - I've never seen them in the wild before.


Keefieboy said...

Oryxes! Foto fantastico!

MamaDuck said...

That's amazing - to be able to see them from the road! I thought they were all on reserves. What a wonderful birthday treat!

dubaibilly said...

I think they are bred in captivity but then released - not entirely sure, but it was indeed a treat.

Mars said...

aren't they extremely rare? so coool that you caught them on camera

Peggy said...

WOW! I would have shouted to have the car stop too!! Lucky lucky you!

Jayne said...

It's a lovely place to get away to & the views are spectacular on a clear day. However, the highlight had to have been seeing the magnificent oryx's - I envy you!

CaliforniaKat said...

Hope you got the comment I sent you via e-mail for this post when it was impossible to work with blogger the other day.

Mme Cyn said...

Happy birthday, Billy. What a lovely present... makes you remember what we LIKED about this place, doesn't it?