Leisure to Work

Dubai Travel Blog

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My hotel entryway at Habtoor in Dubai

It’s soooooooooo early. What are we doing up?! As most everything was packed and ready to go, we didn’t have a lot to do but change clothes, fit the pjs in the bags and wait for room service to deliver our to-go breakfast bags. The spread wasn’t great, but the muffin was edible and got me jazzed to get on the bus. The ride to the airport was easy as there wasn’t any traffic this early on a Sunday and we gave Hassan his tip envelope and rolled our bags into the airport where father and I encountered a severe problem at the baggage check-in line. Apparently some idiot at the travel agency managed to book everyone else a seat to Istanbul and we were excluded from that wonderful list. For some strange reason, Macit had stayed to wave goodbye to us all through the security checkpoint and went into overdrive mode to get us on the flight.

Palatial bathtub

Long story short: We ran back and forth between the booking and check-in counter four times before getting on an earlier flight than our compatriots to Istanbul. That is, if we and our bags could make it to the plane in twenty minutes. Running through the airport like you’re in Home Alone is not what I would recommend for a good start to a day of airline trekking. All problems aside, we made it with plenty of time to find the plane completely empty. We spread out across two different rows for the one hour flight and slept slept slept. Baggage claim was fun as there weren’t any tourists at all arriving into Istanbul at this hour and our buddies weren’t set to arrive for another hour. We decided to wait with our bags to say goodbye to the comrades we’d made over the last week and even handwrote a sign to say “Howdy Y’all”.


Boy were they surprised to see us as they came to collect bags. There had been bets as to whether we would be able to make our next flights at all. Fortunately for me, my flight wasn’t until 6PM which gave me several hours to have fun in Istanbul except for several factors. 1. Hammams, or Turkish bath houses, did not accept single women in their midst. Only women coming with children or as a couple could participate. 2. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday. 3. My bags couldn’t be checked into the flight to Dubai until 4PM so anywhere I went, I’d have to tow the big bag. So the best thing I could do was stay outside the main terminal with only a coffee shop as company and wait for the one Emirates Airlines booth to open.
Now that's a bed
Dad was quite kind and stayed with me to the bitter end, which basically meant we slept on the plastic chairs as best we could for a few hours.

The lines to get through security at the International terminal got pretty crazy and Dad had to leave a littler earlier than planned, so we hugged and parted ways until our paths crossed in exactly one week. I ate some very old Sbarro pizza before getting in line first to check-in for the flight. After an easy jaunt through security I finally arrived in the big girl terminal and completed some souvenir shopping before sitting down for a glass or two of wine at the pub. The wine and journal writing, which only reached to the second day of this trip, took up two hours and I jumped on my again empty flight to Dubai.

Free fruit and everything
The three hour flight was great as I got my own row and vegged out. The 10PM arrival time was not so enjoyable. I waited in the worst line to get through security in Dubai and switched to an even slower line, just my luck. Bags were easily retrieved and I stood in line for a taxi to the Habtoor Grand Hotel.

The taxi driver was Egyptian and quite talkative and told me all about the city, how safe it was, how he wanted to move back soon, and the best bar in town near my hotel, Barasti. My attire was not entirely appropriate for the hotel I was staying at as it was tired and typical backpacker fare. The hotel clerk was less than impressed but a corporate credit card and reservation will get you anywhere. The hotel room was incredible and they upgraded me to a sea view room. The bathroom had a shower and a bathtub separate and the bed was King-sized and gorgeous. There was some awful racket going on outside my window and a laser light show with a stage which could be a problem considering it was 11PM and the din was still going strong. A quick shower did a world of good and I passed out for the evening.

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My hotel entryway at Habtoor in Du…
My hotel entryway at Habtoor in D…
Palatial bathtub
Palatial bathtub
Now thats a bed
Now that's a bed
Free fruit and everything
Free fruit and everything
Dubai
photo by: vances