So here we are to the dreaded final day of my three-week stay in UAE. I wish I could turn back the time and be there again, but every journey has its final destination. This day was bittersweet as I will be saying goodbye to the country I have learned to love. To spend my last day there, they took me to two places known to the world.
Before proceeding on our journey, I have already prepared some of my things as I will be leaving the night of the same day. I couldn’t believe three weeks was that quick. But I have to be back to reality now and before doing so, I spent my last day in a memorable way.
Our first stop was the famous Emirates Palace, a seven-star hotel. But before going there, we had our brunch at Philippine House Restaurant and I must say, I love that place. If you’re in Abu Dhabi and you’re craving for Filipino foods, this place is the BOMB!! The foods are amazing and if you’re Cebuano just like us, you’ll be glad to know that most of the staffs are Cebuanos (Bisaya #Bisdak) and the owner, if not mistaken, is also Cebuano. I always get a full tummy every time we dine there, so don’t miss a chance to have your meal at Philippine House Restaurant.
After we had our meal, we then went to Emirates Palace. Now since it’s a 7-star hotel (officially falls in the 5 star hotel category), they have strict rules there, one of those is not wearing of shorts. Regardless of your nationality, you won’t be allowed to enter the premise if you’re wearing shorts. So always keep that in mind. Upon entering the gate, the lawns are well manicured and the moment you see the hotel, boy your jaws would drop so hard you need a forklift to bring it up. The Emirates Palace is a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and by gosh it’s the first hotel I have seen with gold accents. From the architectural features of the building, it’s suffice to say that it showcased the Arabian Culture.
The outside of the hotel featured a floor-fountain which you can step in but you must be prepared to get wet. I did managed to take some photos however I got wet. You can also see the Etihad Towers from the outside and marvel on its gleaming towers. You’ll be surprised to see ample of tourists flocking in the premise since it is considered a tourist destination which is owned by the Abu Dhabi government.
After we took some photos outside, we went to see the inside of the hotel, although my aunt and uncle had been there before. I honestly was so excited to get inside since it’s my first time to enter, I would say ultra-luxury hotel, and by gosh it’s GOLD! You know that saying “There’s a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow”, the rainbow ends there, but instead of a pot it’s an entire freaking hotel! The columns there with cove ceiling is decorated with gold, I mean who does that? Even the cornices of the ceiling are gold plated and the center ceiling is built with arches with mosaic decorated dome. At the lobby you will see portraits of Abu Dhabi Ruler Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed and Dubai Ruler Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
During our visit there, it was the holiday season. Although UAE is a Muslim country and they don’t celebrate Christmas but since it’s a hotel and it poised internationally, they added some Christmas decorations inside. At the center is this tall Christmas tree that my friend said that I look tiny in front of the tree on facebook, which is true, I mean for 5’2″ I’m tiny with or without the tree. We didn’t spend so much time inside since there are some areas restricted to visitors or non-staying visitors. But to see something that grand, I say it’s worth the trip.
After visiting the Emirates Palace, we then went to Yas Island where the Ferrari World is located. On our way there, we encountered a sand storm, which was a bit stronger from what we have encountered before. It took a long time before the storm subside that my uncle worried that they might close some of the attractions in the Ferrari World that might endanger the safety of the visitors. But thankfully, after how many minutes, the sand storm subsided and we then went inside the Yas Mall to buy some tickets. You need to go through the Yas Mall before going to the Ferrari World and when they were paying for the tickets, I couldn’t contain my excitement. The price is a nit hefty, I forgot how much was it but it was a bit expensive but the experience you get inside is worth the price.
After entering the gates, you’ll be greeted by different Ferrari sports cars and they were all so beautiful. I never thought I could fall in love with a car coz I normally don’t like sports car but seeing it in person, daaaaammmmmnnnn!
Since Ferrari World is an indoor theme park, one of the striking features that took my attention was the center mesh structure. It looks amazing the engineering behind the structure was just as impressive as with the entire edifice. Because Ferrari is an Italian car, they made the inside look like a small Italian town. It felt like walking in the streets of Italy and they were plenty of sights to see, although I wasn’t able to get a lot of photos since I was preoccupied with the idea of being inside the Ferrari World.
I have always dreamed of going there and being able to step foot inside it literally a dream come true. It may not be the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is my next target should I get enough savings, but it’s close enough. This is the first theme park I have ever visited in my life, you may think I’m such a loser, well you’re not wrong I mean I have never been to Star City and Enchanted Kingdom which are just in Manila.
There are plenty of rides you can choose from but there were also some rides that you have to pay, one of those is a simulation ride the Scuderia Challenge which costs around 700 dirhams and damn that’s one expensive ride. This was also the day I have tried my very first ever roller coaster ride, altough I didn’t start with famous Formula Rossa but we’ll get there, but it was an interesting experience. The first rolelr coaster I tried was not the fastest there but also was not the craziest there, it’s called the Fiorano GT Challenge. It will take you outside and it felt amazing!
After the first roller coaster, my aunt and I rode a very friendly and fun ride, the Belle Italia. You will get into these small Ferrari 250 California cars and it will take you to a tour around a miniature Italy. It’s amazing how they squeezed the famous tourist attractions of Italy into the miniature town. Since this is kid friendly ride, the ride took a much longer time since it’s not fast which my aunt loves so much because she couldn’t take those fast rides, even the 4D ride my uncle and I went, my aunt backed out. Hahaha 🙂 Yes, there is a 4D ride the Speed of Magic and there was also an interactive ride the Benno’s Great Race where you get into the cab and you have those control sticks which you will use in different obstacles. It’s fun I must say, I feel like a kid.
Of all the rides there, my uncle is fixated into doing the Karting Acadamy. You have to book your tickets though, so when you buy your entry ticket, you book your ticket for the karting, don’t worry it’s free. And since we didn’t book ours, my uncle went there and asked the in-charge if we can skooch, so the in-charge said that if there are no-shows, then we can get our tickets, luckily there were no-shows and hurrah we got it. But you have to take the height restriction test, they have a 5″ restriction and when the lady in-charge saw me she had this concerning looks that I might not get in, but when she let me step in the measuring bar, she just smiled and laughed because I got in! Hahahaha, thank you additional 2 inches. Before going on the track, you will be given an orientation about the rules and regulations while on the track. After that, you then proceed to your kart and feels like you’re a race driving because of how authentic looking it is from a race competition. The karts are monitored remotely so if they see someone being rouge and disobeying the rules, they will stop the carts and give warning to that person before they will resume. In our race we’ve halted plenty of times because there were some who were too fast that they bump to other racers which is illegal, so if you’re planning on doing karting make sure on following those rules. But at the end of the race, it was fun and there’s also a ranking, I was on 6th place and my uncle was on 7th.
We also went to see the display of Ferrari cars in the Galleria Ferrari where you will see the process and the prototype and the actual car. There is also a ride wherein they take you to a tour on the making of a Ferrari car, the ride is called Made in Marranello, unfortunately I was not able to take a video of it but it was amazing to see the attention to details and the commitment the people behind this amazing sports car.
And now, the moment I have been waiting for, the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster. I couldn’t contain my excitement even though this was the second roller coaster I have ever tried but to try this crazy roller coaster is a milestone. There was a long line waiting for the ride so you can tell how in demand the ride is, and I’m surprised to see kids younger than me, but taller, took the challenge. While you’re waiting for your turn, you see the group before you swooshing into the mist screaming, you think “Did I make the right decision?” and finally it’s our turn. They were strict with the riders, all your phones, wallets, watches anything that can be swept away must be left into the depository section. Once you’ve deposited your things, you’re ready to go.
The cabs will move forward from the platform taking its position. Once it is positioned, just hope and pray because there is no countdown before it begins and honestly I’m shaking while typing this part because it brings back to that moment when you’re just thinking when it will start. Like I said, there was no countdown so your best hope is to start anticipating it because before your know it, it starts but the thing is, it doesn’t start slow, it starts at a whopping 240 kmph!!! Remember the scene where Harry Potter first tried his Firebolt in the Prisoner of Azkaban, that’s what it looks like. You’re like a cartoon scene where your spirit is left where you stay and your body just whoops into the air. I kid you not, it’s so freaking fast that I wanted to scream the F-word instead of just screaming. You won’t believe me, just watch the video my aunt took. It’s so crazy that I don’t know if there is something out there crazier than this. Before you know it, it’s all over and the people waiting in the platform will give you a round of applause for partaking the fastest roller coaster in the world.
After that ride, my uncle asked me to ride the last roller coaster, the Flying Aces, it has the world’s tallest loop, but I just saw my life flashed before my eyes back there that I couldn’t take another crazy ride. I got so dizzy that I want the world to stop spinning. I’m such a whimp! Anywho, the last that we had was the Viaggio In Italia, it’s a ride that would raise you up so high and then there’s this massive screen that will take you a flight over Italy. It’s so amazing, it’s like you’re actually flying but scary at the same time because your tens of feet above the ground just sitting with the mechanical seats move up and down and side to side. But it was great!
The Fastest Roller Coaster in the World: FORMULA ROSSA at Ferrari World @ 240 KILOMETERS PER f***ing HOUR!!! I cant stop screaming hahaah. That's me, forth row in gray stripes sweater :). Enjoy the thrill. Trust me, it's faster than it looks.
Geplaatst door Ronualdo Tariman Batusin op donderdag 15 december 2016
After the craziest day of my entire life, they treated me into a lovely dinner, a seafood dinner at Yas Mall. Although I enjoyed the day and the foods but I was also sad at the same time because I’ll be leaving on that night. We went home and took a short rest since I’ll be leaving soon. And now the time has come, they drove me to Abu Dhabi International Airport and I just had a last glimpse of the city. I didn’t know what to feel knowing that it had ended, but I know this is just the beginning of more adventures to come.
I love every minute of everyday I was there. I’m surely going to miss Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I will the foods, the sights, the fragrance that I eventually got used to. For three weeks I have seen so many wonderful things that I will always cherish. To my aunt and uncle, thank you so much for having me there. You have always been so kind and generous to me and saying thank you isn’t enough to give back on what you have given to me. This was my first ever trip outside the country and first ever vacation trip I have ever had and you made it all possible. Thank you so much and know that you will always be in my prayers.
Anyway, this has been fun doing this and I hope you had a great time reading my posts for the past 6 weeks. I know it’s mostly personal experience and not so much on giving tips on making itinerary, but I hope you appreciate my posts. This won’t be the last, I hope so, but this is likely the end of my first ever travel blog. I hope I would be given another chance to travel and share my experience. I don’t usually travel since it’s not on my pay grade, I’m just thankful to have my aunt and uncle who paid my trip, the only things I paid were my visa and my ticket from Cebu to Manila, the rest were theirs, so I owe it to them.
So see you soon and don’t forget to comment what you think and also share if you enjoyed this one. Have fun and God bless you all!
Check the part 5: