Just like on the Green Route, I hadn’t realised quite how much time would be spent on Sheikh Zayed Road so had opted to go upstairs again. I can now say that I know that there isn’t a photo opportunity that is worth sitting in the open air section of a bus with no seat belts, belting along SZR at 100kmph in strong winds. Not only was it cold but it was a little scary at times!!
Thankfully it was the end of the day and so the traffic had started to build up in the marina so we didn’t hurtle our way through there. We got to sit in traffic, warm up slightly and take pictures of the water. I could have take more but I was fascinated with the people sat in front of us. I couldn’t work out if they were brother and sister, or an item. What I can tell you is that I have NEVER seen a straight man take so many selfies or organise his sister/partners face so much to get the right look, angle and light. It was unbelievable!!!
We were also highly ticked by a family of about 30 people, possibly more, heading down to the beach with their ghetto blaster (literally – I haven’t seen a tape and CD playing portable music system since the 90’s!) and dancing along. The kids were having a fabulous time. The mothers appeared to be pushing buggies with enough food to feed all of JBR and looking non too impressed at the men sauntering along, having a little dad dance, adjusting themselves and spitting every so often. It was like I was on a human safari!!
We eventually disembarked the bus for our final stop of the day. I know it as The Walk, or JBR’s The Walk. It has been re-named “The Beach”. Makes sense I guess. But I’m never calling it that!!
Very close to where the bus stops is a Godiva cafe and shop. I have to admit we practically threw ourselves through the doors. I had forgotten to eat breakfast that morning and it was now past 5pm. Mum hadn’t had a cup of tea since breakfast, which basically means she is dehydrated and caffeine deprived. Thankfully we had been having so much fun we hadn’t really realised but the thought of sugar and caffeine made us starkly aware of our low levels of energy, and we decided that Godiva was naturally the best place to fix this.
We started with the chocolate dipped strawberries, because they are healthy.
Then we chose a bag each of the exciting chocolates on the counter, which amused and confused the chap behind the counter in equal measures.
Next up was the bit I was looking forward to the most. In fairness I think Mum was too. She had a large black coffee which was delicious. I had a large hot chocolate…. which was the single most disgusting hot chocolate I have ever had the misfortune of being served ever, ever, ever.
I really wish I was kidding. I honestly felt that someone had just kicked a puppy or something. That’s how bad of a feeling I had. I have been waiting for so long to have a Godiva hot chocolate and it was completely and utterly pants. I didn’t moan too much though because we had it in take away cups and were too far from the shop to do anything about it! Also, Mum was all topped up and happy with her coffee and sugar fix so we had a new burst of energy!!
Just as we came out of the Godiva shop there was a fabulous looking restaurant. I couldn’t tell you what it was called or what kind of food it served, but I can tell you that it had a garden around it full of wonderful sculptures.
We then ambled down and found a fabulous looking market filled with stuff that you probably wouldn’t want to buy but is fun to look over!
We had a little walk onto the beach but didn’t go too far. It was getting dark and we were tired. Walking on an unstable material probably wasn’t the wisest idea. It did mean that I could get a great picture of the Dubai Eye. It had literally had the final section put in days before so yay me!
On our way back to the bus stop, and you can tell how tired I was by the lack of photos, we found a fairground type place. I think it was temporary but it was good and tacky so totally ticked the ‘seaside’ box for us!
We found ourselves back at the bus stop and within about 10 minutes a bus went by. Yep. Totally bypassed the actual stop. I was livid and considering chasing after it and making it wait. But there was the final bus due in 20 mins so we settle down to wait.
After 40 minutes we went off to find the bathroom and a taxi. I had checked the app and there was no more buses on the route. The one that had blasted by without stopping looked to have been the last. If you thought I was angry before when it bypassed us, you should have seen how cross I was now! Not for us as such, but for anyone who didn’t know Dubai and would have been thrown by this. It really was unacepable and I was really gearing up to have a good old moan.
Just as we were leaving the restrooms the bus pulled in. I then, embarrassingly, had to do my best impression of an injured flamingo and “run” to make it stop. I was not missing that bus. Again, not sure why I felt so passionately about it but since it’s about the 2nd time since I left high school that I have attempted to run, I must have.
I also must have really entertained anyone who could see me. I am not a natural runner. Not even when I was young, fit and healthy. Combine that with having a lot more weight, having not exercised in more years than I care to count, having been on the go all day with just a litre of water and 3 chocolate dipped strawberries to keep me going, AND having to hold my boobs down so they didn’t do me any damage if they leapt for freedom… I mean, can you imagine how hilarious I must have looked?!?! I am actually a little bit sad there was no one there to record it. I won’t be running any time again soon though, just to confirm!!
We were on the bus and finally on our way home. Or so I thought. I had forgotten that we got off at the half way point. We then sat in varying levels of traffic along the beach road (King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street to be technical), onto and off of the Palm, and back along SZR to MOE. We didn’t have the energy to climb the stairs so squished into the seats on the lower deck and tried our best not to fall asleep.
When we eventually made it back to MOE there was another Big Bus ready to take us off on the night tour. We decided that it was just too much for one day and we had seen the city sparking away at night anyway. We got into an unbelievably comfortable taxi and made our way back to Downtown for dinner. We thought that if we ate at MOE we would find it a very long journey home so if we ate closer then it wouldn’t be as painful. We hadn’t really factored in absolutely ridiculous traffic and re-assignment of traffic light patterns though, and what normally takes 15 mins took nearly an hour.
By the time we limped into The Meat Company, we were finished. We ordered literally as we sat and begged them to bring our dinners as quickly as possible.
They did as well! They were so lovely! The burgers which are normally really rather good were outstanding, as was the desserts!
We had SUCH a good day and really recommend that anyone has a try of the bus tours. It was AED 250 plus VAT for a single day pass. Turns out it is also in The Entertainer so that works out a lot more affordable if you know before you go!!
If you are only here for a few days and want to do as much as possible then I would also recommend getting a multi day pass. You get to see the whole city and stop in a few iconic places. This has got to be easier than muddling your way around in taxis!