Posts Tagged ‘Burj Khalifa’

Visiting Dubai and Newcastle Upon Tyne

November 18, 2014

Another visit to Dubai to see our son, daughter in law and (of course) gorgeous 3 year old twin grandchildren. I always say to people that being a grandparent is intellectually stimulating – you have to be sharp and inventive to amuse 3 year olds – and physically a reality check, as you forget how much energy 3 year olds have and how your ability to cope with this has declined since you were a young parent yourself. My wife and I went into the huge Dubai Mall and one of the most interesting features – for a non-shopper (books excepted) like me – is the Waterfall (video). This is a stunning site inside the mall, with the constant falling water and the diving figures, which sometimes seem to be moving down with the water. The 2 photos below show the Waterfall with the United Arab Emirates flag moving down the wall, and a close up of one of the divers. The Waterfall comes in two parts, both 30 metres wide and 24 metres high and it is a mesmerising site.

Dubai Mall Waterfall

Dubai Mall Waterfall

Diver at the Dubai Mall Waterfall

Diver at the Dubai Mall Waterfall

If the Waterfall is mesmerising, then the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – is mesmerising in the extreme. When you walk out the back of the Dubai Mall and look up to the Burj Khalifa, it’s hard – as my wife noted – to believe that it’s real. It’s as if a giant Meccano set has been dropped next to the mall and the lake. It is only when you realise that the buildings around the Burj would be classified as skyscrapers anywhere else in the world i.e. they are 60+ storeys high. It’s just that the Burj dwarfs them and makes them look much smaller than they are. Photo 1 (taken from the car) shows the Burj and surrounding buildings and Photo 2 shows the actual structure which, no matter how many times you stare up at it, still astounds.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

We landed back in the UK at Newcastle airport and in the afternoon, we got an email saying that a piece of property had been found in the seat next to my wife’s – my camera! I’d taken some photos from the plane of snow capped mountains (but the quality was poor through the plane window, so I did not keep them) and we managed to leave it on the aircraft. It’s an ill wind that blows no-one any good and we had to go back to Newcastle to get the camera so, a day out in Newcastle was our reward. We got the train from Dunbar and were in Newcastle 70 min later. The city of Newcastle is properly known as Newcastle Upon Tyne and locals stress the 2nd syllable, so it should be pronounced Newcastle and not Newcastle. It’s a very interesting city architecturally, with many 19th century stone buildings and equally impressive modern buildings. We headed for the Baltic Centre – a large building which used to be a flour mill but now has 6 floors which house a gallery of contemporary art. The restaurant on the 6th floor has views across the city through the large windows. It also has excellent service and food. The Six Rooftop Restaurant menu provided us with a choice of interesting dishes. For example, I had a delicious chorizo scotch egg and salad – the scotch egg was halved, with a slightly runny yoke and a crispy chorizo and sausage coating as a starter. For the main course, my wife had a leek and mushroom orzotto. This was a new dish to us but we found out that orzotto  looks like risotto but is made from barley, with orzo being Italian for barley. Both starters and mains were of a high standard and very good value.

The exhibition we went to – next to an outdoor viewpoint with even better views of the city – was entitled They Used to Call it the Moon and is described as “A group show exploring the enduring presence of the moon and the rich iconography of space on the popular imagination of artists”. When you enter the exhibition, there is a large and imposing cylinder which is like a round mirror – see photo below. There are also photographs of the moon, imaginative videos and science fiction books – altogether a fascinating and varied exhibition.

Baltic Centre Exhibition

Baltic Centre Exhibition

Newcastle is well known for its many bridges, most notable The Tyne Bridge. Popular myth has it that the Sydney Harbour Bridge was based on the Newcastle bridge, but in fact, it was the other way round. the photos below show the Tyne Bridge and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge.

Tyne Bridge

Tyne Bridge

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

Gateshead Millennium Bridge

 

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A Word a Week Photo Challenge- round

April 18, 2014

Here is my contribution to this week’s challenge – many more great attempts at Sue’s website.

Camellia flower after rain in Wagga Wagga

Camellia flower after rain in Wagga Wagga

Bales in a field near Dunbar

Bales in a field near Dunbar

Fountains at the Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Fountains at the Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Poppy seed pot in my garden

Poppy seed pot in my garden

Chagall stained glass - seen in Nice gallery

Chagall stained glass – seen in Nice gallery

Creme brulee - afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

Creme brulee – afternoon tea at the Burj Al Arab, Dubai

A Word a Week Photo Challenge: contrast

April 2, 2014

Here are my photos involving different types of contrast. Many more excellent specimens at Sue’s website.

Please note that I’m unable, at the moment, to make photos open in a new tab – looking for a solution.

Height of man and height of termite mound in Litchfield National Park,  NT, Australia

Height of man and height of termite mound in Litchfield National Park, NT, Australia

Bright sky and dark shore at Belhaven Beach, Dunbar

Bright sky and dark shore at Belhaven Beach, Dunbar

Silhouettes against sea and sky, Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Silhouettes against sea and sky, Cathedral Cove, New Zealand

Burj Khalifa dwarfs 70 storey buildings in Dubai (Photo taken from car)

Burj Khalifa dwarfs 70 storey buildings in Dubai (Photo taken from car)

Contrasting colours in the summer sky above

Contrasting colours in the summer sky above the summer night sky in Dunbar

Upright donkey, leaning tower in Pisa

Upright donkey, leaning tower in Pisa

In Dubai: Burj Khalifa and Amal Restaurant

February 25, 2014

A rather belated blog entry as we flew to Dubai on Wednesday to stay with our son, daughter in law and two gorgeous 2 year old twin grandchildren Abigail and Lola. So we come back to Dubai, a city, for those affluent enough to enjoy it, of spectacular architecture, rampant (as some would see it) consumerism, and unashamed luxury. On Friday (first day of the weekend here) we were taken out to the excellent Amal Restaurant which is one the third floor of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. I’ve included photos of this architectural wonder – of course, not everyone would agree with my evaluation – in the blog before, but I’ve only taken photos in the daytime. At night, the Burj Khalifa becomes even more of a building out of science fiction. Night photography is not my best – I need to do much more homework but below are two photos taken from the restaurant balcony and looking up to the top of the building, which has 160 storeys.

Looking up to the top of the Burj Khalifa

Looking up to the top of the Burj Khalifa

Looking up to the top of the Burj Khalifa

Looking up to the top of the Burj Khalifa

The Amal Restaurant is by a country mile, the best (and yes, most expensive) Indian restaurant that we have been in. It is part of the Armani Hotel – representative of the unashamed luxury referred to above) which has the modest strapline of “A world of sophisticated beauty”. The restaurant has a very tall ceiling and it is decorated with (thin) arches to give it a cathedral like appearance. The complimentary starter made of semolina and fruit was delicate but very tasty – picture below.

Semolina cake and fruits

Semolina cake and fruits

 

I had intensely flavoured lamb and my wife had sea bass with a mild curry sauce, which she voted best ever. One of the biggest differences from “ordinary” (but still very good) Indian restaurants that we’ve been to in the UK and Australia, was in the quality of the naan bread. This was small, delicately herbed and spiced and cooked in a tandoori oven – pictures below of the naan bread and of a chef taking one out of the oven, taken in the kitchen (with permission) near to where we sat.

Nan bread in the Amal Restaurant

Nan bread in the Amal Restaurant

Taking nan bread out of the oven

Taking nan bread out of the oven

 

We are also going to the Dubai Masters Tennis tournament while we are here – more sophistication, more luxury – watch this space, as we live like part of the other half for  12 days.