Thursday, April 03, 2014

Photo dump, part 3 (Dubai and the Seychelles)

These photos actually predate the previous set. They capture my September layover in Dubai and my October trip to the Seychelles, a paradisaical chain of islands northeast of Madagascar.

What might link these two places together is that, unlike Ethiopia, they are not the cheapest in the world. Dubai is a land of seven star hotels and world's largest malls, and food and accommodation in the Seychelles are priced in Euros for European honeymooners.

My 18-hour layover in Dubai included a trip up the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building:

Here are some views from the top:

Dubai is an extraordinarily new city. It feels in some ways like Las Vegas: the highways are wide; the malls are gleaming; the new construction is endless. Almost all of it has been built since 1970. But I managed to fit in some history, too, visiting the city museum at the old fort... 

...and taking a water taxi across Dubai creek for a few pennies:

As could be expected, the Seychelles was a very different destination. The highlights: beaches ranked among the tops in the world, cycling between them across a sparsely populated island, delicious octopus curry. We spent most of our time on La Digue, which Wikipedia tells me is the third most populous island of the Seychelles, with 2,000 out of the total national population of 90,000. Here's a couple shots of the gorgeous beaches (and beach goers):


The islands were first settled by the French and then the British, but the majority of the population descends from Africans brought in as plantation workers--initially slaves--and some Indians as well. The Seychelles's capital is the bustling metropolis of Victoria. It can feel like you are in the capital of a toy country; here is the supreme court...

...and here's a view of the new artificial island intended as a second home for those whose first home is Monaco:

Here's a nice view of the Meridien Hotel, our final night's accommodation on Mahé (the island housing Victoria), with thanks to my colleague's Starwood rewards points:

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