Monday, April 18, 2011

A Weekend in Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah

The weekend started like this...(I'll explain).
But we finally got to this...
But the journey is part of the fun!  I'll begin with the components. A fast (and free) car, a hotel stay, and a birthday present all combined their forces to pull together one fabulous weekend in our neighboring emirates - Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.  Lisa, dear sister that she is, gave Matt and I a night's stay at Le Meridien in Fujairah to thank us for boarding her for six weeks whist she made the move to London (anytime sissy!).  Then Matt decided that while we were on the way back we might as well check out the new Banyan Tree resort in the desert of Ras Al Khaimah as a belated birthday present (who was I to protest?).

Then there was the car.  With winning the Best Dressed Couple at the Dubai World Cup, we were afforded the privilege of zipping around town in a 2010 XKR Jaguar.  Did I say zip?  More like flew.  A weekend out of town was the perfect opportunity to enjoy her on the open (and non-radar controlled roads).

I picked her up from the dealer and called Matt to tell him that this piece of machinery might make me a "car girl".  I looked down at the speedometer to find myself doing 160km in a 80km.  Hmm, double the speed limit and smooth as silk.  Hadn't even noticed - this car was dangerous.  For you car folks, here is what the manual told me: 0-100km/h in 4.8 seconds powered by a supercharged 5.0 liter V8 engine.  Matt was impressed.  Here he is enjoying his first few minutes down Sheikh Zayed Road.

He fulfilled his need for speed, while I played with the touch screen controls, awesome audio and activated the seat coolers.

Now for the ostrich.  With an emergency pit stop necessary, and signs indicating we couldn't find another gas station for 60km we were forced to take the Jag to Bedouinland - the only establishment for miles - to find some facilities.  The 9 foot tall ostriches roaming the facility took a particular interest in Matt (seen above) and stalked us all the way back to the car.

Pay close attention to this picture, because this car is STUCK.  That's right.  When the dealer said "no off roading" I didn't know it meant that the car would get stuck in 1 inch of sand!  Just after this photo, we were huffing and puffing trying to push the car out of the dimple of sand it was caught in.  In the nick of time, two young Emiratis came flying over the dunes in a quad bike and helped push us out.  I could just see it on their faces, "these people got a $150,000 sports car stuck in parking spot..."  Yup.  That's me.  But seriously Jag?

Finally we arrived at the Meridien in Fujairah and enjoyed the view from our balcony, mountains and sea, it was just fabulous.
And what a balcony it was!  Thank you Lisa!  To see more on our Fujairah activities visit Matt's post on the local fishing techniques.

On Saturday we made our way to the Banyan Tree resort in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK).  The emirate is known for having picturesque dunes and abundant desert wildlife, which provides insight into what Dubai might have looked like back in the day.
The villa (the smallest they had) was fit for a queen.  The art work, lighting, wood carving, and carpets were all wonderful.
We enjoyed a barbecue on the beach while enjoying the fresh catch of the day (we think we met some of them earlier in the fishing net!)
The Moon Bar under the light of a (near) full moon.
The desert scenery by night.
The pool off our villa.  It was amazing!
The next morning we had the chance to go horse back riding.  The scenery was beautiful, and it was a much different way to experience the dunes.  I loved it!
The horses were just amazing.  They are all pure bred Arabians who are former racers and show jumpers, and they come from the Sheikh Mohammad center for rehabilitating race horses.  My gal, Thunder, is 30!  (Looking good Thunder!)  She is an ex-show jumper and now has a great life here at the resort.

With Thunder, and Matt's headstrong buddy, Zach, he's 25 and apparently likes to pal around with Thunder.  But she likes much younger men.  I'm told that she and Toby are an item, he's 14.

Puppies!  A great ending to a perfect ride.
Next time Matt complains about the time and effort put into a race day outfit, I'm going to show him this!


Kenna said...

I'm going to Banyan in two weeks, I'm really excited! Nice car!

jimdad said...

What a great odyssey!

Ostriches, jaguars, and horses, oh my. You are definitely not in Kansas anymore.