Abu Dhabi: My one-day adventure trip!

On my recent trip to Dubai I thought why not extend a day to Abu Dhabi and catch some winter sun. Amidst the golden beaches, water parks and desert drives, this emirate was the perfect stop to fuel my adrenaline soul.

My main halt to this Emirate was for the experiencing the surreal world’s fastest rollercoaster ride at Ferrari World. So within few hours of arriving at Abu Dhabi I made my way to Ferrari world. The name of this theme park often makes people feel that it’s a place designed specifically for car lovers. But you don’t have to be a die-hard fan of fast cars to appreciate the wonder and entertainment that Ferrari World has to offer. From the outside it’s hard to tell that this is the same structure that is shaped like a Ferrari, uh spaceship from above.

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My first encounter with Ferraris!

Super excited like a child to experience the Formula Rossa, I headed straight to the roller coaster.

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Awaiting for the ride of my life!

Sitting behind the wheel gearing up myself for something I never imagined to do, I felt a strange mix of excitement and fear. But the moment it began it hit me that this is the only place on the planet where you can be blasted to 240km/h in 4.9 seconds, and that too just for fun!

Ferrari World!
Wooooaaahhh here I go!

What strength and power the machine must hold, within seconds I was set off, shouting and screaming on top of my voice thinking yes I was almost dying, with the wind spraying my hair as the world passed by in a blur. Before I knew it, it’s all over. It honestly felt like life after death experience. I have never felt and heard my heart race like that before. A pure adrenaline rush!

Ferrari World!
Ferrari World Factory!

After this ride, I opted for the not so extreme experiences at the Ferrati world. With the 4D simulator, adventuring through the jungle, desert and mountains; exploring the Ferrari Factory and seeing how the prestigious cars are intricately made. Only after seeing this one can know how special the Ferrari is.

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Cant get enough of Ferrari here!

Yes Ferrari world definitely ticked off things on my bucket list at the speed of 240km/h in 4.9 seconds.

From the worlds fastest to world largest, my halt on the way back to Dubai was at the Grand Mosque. Being the third largest mosque in the world with the main dome of the mosque being the largest mosque.

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Sighting the Grand Mosque!

Yes we had to adhere to certain norms before visiting the mosque like getting all covered up and washing our feet before any prayer offering.

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Getting all prepped up!

The moment I entered the mosque I was thunderstruck by the beauty and serenity of the place. Each carving on the pillar, the marbles and granite used to build the floors were all spectacular. There was a sudden realm of peace and tranquil by my side.

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Inside the Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
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The beautiful work of art at the mosque!

You cannot find a more exquisite, delicate and airy mosque anywhere. The intricate pillars looked like pineapples, and were inlaid with semi-precious stones creating flower patterns throughout the mosque.

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The pineapple shaped looking pillars!

The more you keep exploring this magnificent beauty the more you are amazed by all the mosaics, stained glass, and stucco work everywhere. At times I found myself walking barefoot across the Persian carpets with a flower pattern as if I was walking across a vast meadow. Also something to get startled this carpet is in the Guinness book being the largest Persian carpet in the world. Wow and imagine the feeling of walking by it. As the evening began to fall the small pond on the exterior mirrored the flawless beauty of the Mosque.

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Admiring the beautiful mosque under the moonlight
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The Grand Mosque

The moons reflection on the white smooth stone was completely blinding. It was time to lift my head and embrace the grandeur of this place of this city.

A day well spent in the true sense.

Cannot Miss: 

  • Riding the Formula Rossa, worlds fastest roller coaster ride
  • Spend time at the Grand Mosque at sunset

GlobeTrotting365Days: ABU DHABI March 12th 2013.

 


Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe!

I am sure you came across this article searching for offbeat things to do, offbeat experiences, offbeat places or offbeat paths! And that’s exactly what happened with me while I was planning my next Euro-trip to an offbeat destination. Yes whilst researching for offbeat things to do in Europe my search came to a halt at this trivial country of Slovakia right in between the most visited and touristy countries of Austria and Hungary! Being guarded by stronger tourist destinations on all sides the capital of Bratislava is known as Pressburg for the Germans, Pozsony for the Hungarians, Požun for the Croatians it is. All these synonyms dint matter to me. All I knew was I was definitely making my stop at the wonderful Slovakian capital of Bratislava.

Continue reading “Bratislava: For an offbeat stopover in Europe!”

Jordan a country of Wonders! Not just one of the 7 Wonders of the World but many more!

I have always loved rummaging about places that have stories to talk about when you make a trip there or go someplace your friends and family actually want to hear about! And a trip to Jordan surprised me to the very end!

From ancient, man-made phenomena to modern cities, soul-stirring desert landscapes to unforeseen seas, Jordan fell squarely into my bucket list category of bragging rights, a land of fascinating contrasts and history, all within a single country. On arriving to the Amman airport as the taxi inched closer to the Petra guesthouse hotel, my eyes began to light up. Making my onset at this city with the sun dipping behind the mountains, it turned out that I already was in all awe of monumental city. I couldn’t wait what was there in store for me next morning.

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Welcome view to the city!
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Night view from the hotel!

On my very first day at this city I visited the Mt.Nebo from where I had a boundless view over Jordan, the Dead Sea and Israel. As the weather was clear, the border of Jerusalem was in visibility range too.

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Boundless borders of Jerusalem!
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View over Mt.Nebo

Upon arrival at Madaba I was entranced by the Mosiac marvels. All the attributes depicting the Sea, these million pieces put together unveiled the largest mosaic art in the world that can ever exist. What was more fascinating was the detailed map of Jerusalem as it was during the sixth century AD located centrally on this mosaic floor.

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Mosiac art work!
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Old map of Jerusalem in Mosaic work!

 

After being astounded with this artwork I reached my first stop nearby Mount Sinai, St. Catherine’s Monastery; where Moses received the 10 Commandments. I spent a long time scrutinizing religious artifacts at the Monastery but soon it was time to take to the road again. Hitting the road the Bedouin way I found myself marveled at the beauty of the striking silhouette of the fortified town and castle of Kerak.

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Kerak Castle!
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Inching closer to the Kerak castle!

 

Known for the crusaders walking down this beautiful maze of stone vaulted halls and endless pass ways, one can only realize the primeval stories each of these stones and rock depict. How drenched they are into history. Just a simply walk down to this beautiful town of Jordan was enough to relive the agelessness it devoured.

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Stone Vaulted passways at Kerak castle!

Next on the plan was to make a move towards another milestone, visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A trip down the most anticipated rose-red city of Petra, covering an area of about 100 square km, where over 800 monuments can be found. This was one of the places I was really looking forward to on my trip to Jordan, and let me just say, it did not disenchant. I spent the day exploring the vast, ancient city, wandering along narrow canyons and exploring the famous Indiana Jones facades. My camera couldn’t stop flashing by as at every seam you can witness here steep valleys of limestone, sandstone, and granite with surreal colors.

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Making an enter to the lost city of Petra!
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Cervices and colours that astound you at every seam!
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An overzealous me trying to capture each monument along the way!
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Golden red blazing view the sun over this red-rose city!

Walking in deeper into The Colored Canyon, I was flabbergasted with the intricate swirls of blazing red entwined with stark yellows and deep purples. As the late afternoon sun began to set I could see the secrets this city had to unfold from a topmost viewpoint that overlooks the famous treasury. Every step deeper into this red carved limestone monument it felt I was in a word of my own. The stunning rock formations here are a true reminder of the fact that sometimes nature is really the utmost artist out there. The sights were spectacular but it was the opportunity of witnessing them so closely that made the place truly spellbinding, a journey meriting a story all on its own.

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Making way through narrow coloured passages!
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The Royal tomb at Petra!
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Captures along my journey!
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An overview of the Petra city with the Bedouins!

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Some sunsets can set your path ablaze!

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The famous Petra Treasury!

Another day was set for another adventure to the jagged mountain popularly known as the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Yes Visiting Wadi Rum was all about its immensity, color and awe-inspiring shapes creating an almost supernatural atmosphere. Upon arrival here you can feel the Bedouin regime and culture further. Walking along barefoot on the dark sand of this famous desert valley it is easy to imagine you are lost in some lunar landscape, unchanged for millennium. As the afternoon clouded over, the sun would peak here creating a perfect dramatic backdrop to the expedition.

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Enroute the Wadi Rum!
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Inching closer to this marvel!
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Seven pillars of wisdom!
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Experiencing the Bedouin camps!

After visiting the highs it was time to proceed towards the lowest point on Earth the Dead Sea. At 400 meter’s below sea level, the Dead Sea is infinite in what it has to offer. Parching straight under the sun, I tip-toed my way down to the water and eased my way in. As soon as you step into the Dead Sea, you float. Because of the high density of the super salty water, you can’t sink if you tried.

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Get muddy at the Dead Sea!

Minutes later I found the child in me awake smearing myself from head to toe with the mineral-enriched mud from the Dead Sea. And the mud playtime came in with many health benefits too! It was easy to float in the Sea watching the day wrap up in front of me and reflect back on my time in Jordan with nothing but delight and a feeling of triumph.

What a way to end my time in Jordan.

If this was not it, Amman’s capital city Jerash had me fascinated with its displays in the Archaeological Museum, and digs and ruins everywhere you step.

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When a city does Wonders to you!

All in all, Jordan was amazing.  No country has ever surprised me as much as this one did, and I mean it when I say I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there. This is one trip reading about it again and again still inspires me to pack my bags immediately and make another run for it.

Cannot Miss: 

  • Boundless view over Jordan, the Dead Sea and Israel from Mt.Nebo
  • A night stay at the Petra guest house in between the caved city
  • Walking tour to the city of Petra and explore the famous treasury
  • 4×4 ride to the Wadi Rum to see the Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Dinning experience at the Bedouin camps
  • Floating experience in the Dead Sea
GlobeTrotting365Days: JORDAN January 6th 2011.