Atlantis The Palm, Mall of the Emirates

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Today was all about water. We spent most of the day at Atlantis The Palm Aquaventure park which is a water park out on the manbuilt palm in the water here in Dubai. We went several times on the lazy river which had waves coming with short intervals, we went on the rapids “lazy” river and then on several slides. There were two towers with slides, one that shot water on the floatie thing we had so we actually went uphill (we had a two-seat floatie all the time), that was scary. We also went on a slide without the floaties, it was a competition and he won by one second. That one was fun too! And then there were a couple of slides with big rafters or what to call it where you had to sit inside a circle-shaped thingy, up to six people. That was scary with the deep falls. We only did those one time each. We both decided to skip the single slide where you started standing up and then the platform beneath your feet just disappeared and it went straight down (almost). Nope, nope, just nope! Our favorite was either Torrent (the lazy river with waves) because it was so chill, or Shark Attack which was a two-seat floatie slide where you went around in Helixes in complete pitchdarkness and when there was light again you were under a water tank with fish, rays, and sharks in it. It was so cool! And also the water was warmer in that slide than the rest. It is not exactly cold here, but in the shadow it can get a little chilly when being wet. I think Atlantis would be much more enjoyable when it is burning hot in the sun, then the water and shadows would be a cooler.

We would have been allowed to bring a GoPro, but we thought this morning right before we left, that this culture probably wouldn’t appreciate people using cameras inside of a waterpark (and also in general, who would want to be photographed and filmed there?), so we left it at the hotel. But when we got there they asked us if we wanted to rent a GoPro for the day. Bummer. So no pictures from Aquaventure, but you could just google the place to see what it was all about.

Right after the water park we went to The Lost Chamber which is the aquarium at Atlantis. It was pretty big and really cool! I love water animals, they had cool rays and sharks and lots of other fish. Cool experience!

Our third and last stop of the day was the second biggest mall in Dubai, Mall of the Emirates which is the mall that is home to Ski Dubai, the ski slope inside. It was cool, but except for that, I only bought a pair of VS panties and Jesper bought anti-inflammatory pills for his wisdom tooth. I feel sorry for him, I know what it is like to be in pain because of those stupid and unnecessary teeth. I hope these pills will help him feel better soon. My home insurance will probably cover it, but why risk it. We also bought a new sunscreen at Carrefour (a huuuge store) in the mall, and also some snacks for tonight when we watched the move, Ant-Man. Surprisingly good!

We were to late to sign up for the free shuttle to the beach tomorrow, so we can sleep in a little bit tomorrow (the shuttle leaves at 9am). The woman in the reception saw our disappointed faces and said it was okay to sign up for the shuttle on Wednesday, even if it was two days in advance. So tomorrow will all be about sleeping on the beach, and in the evening, another shopping center where Hard Rock Café is.

Also, something I forgot to write about day one, was that we had a celebrity on the airplane to Dubai with us. “Tobbe Trollkarl”, most Swedish people probably know who he is. He was/is (?) a magician when I grew up. Pretty cool!


IMG_20160118_184601 Atlantis resort. IMG_20160118_172934 IMG_20160118_174141 IMG_20160118_183630 IMG_20160118_174154 IMG_20160118_174800 IMG_20160118_174936 IMG_20160118_175637 IMG_20160118_180021 IMG_20160118_180301 IMG_20160118_180339 IMG_20160118_182823 IMG_20160118_182156 IMG_20160118_182343 PANO_20160118_183255 PANO_20160118_180605 IMG_20160118_191451 IMG_20160118_195440 IMG_20160118_191554

Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my travels. This full post can be found here.

Ten hours at a mall, not sure if I want to do that again, but it was a fun day! We didn’t do too much shopping, but we bought a few things, a cork globe where we can pin where in the world we’ve been, a box of cool Arabic postcards, a shot glass from the top of Burj Khalifa, a thermos I can bring to school, a deck of cards all in gold, a fridge magnet, flip flops to Jesper, and a new shirt for me and I will get to why later.

We also got a couple of birthday presents for Jesper’s younger sister. We walked around for hours and hours, it is ridonculously big!! But I think we manage to at least go everywhere, even if we didn’t go into many stores. We had lunch in one of the food courts, Johnny Rockets, haha! When it comes to food, this trip is more American than Arabic.

At 6pm we had booked to go up to the top of Burj Khalifa. We got a briefing beforehand with tea and some snacks, went through security and then took the elevator up to the 125th floor in only 60 seconds. That is pretty fast!! Then we took another elevator up to the highest floor people go to, 148, the floors up until 160 is only for telecommunication and maintenance and something. The whole tower is 828 meters high, but less at where we stood. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel any difference between the Eiffel Tower and Burj Khalifa, both are so high up that it feels unreal and that everything below is photoshoped. It was pretty cool up there though and we saw a little from the first fountain show of the day at 6pm (we got up to the top a little earlier than our reservation). We then saw the whole 6:30 show on the 125th floor where we stopped for a bit.

After that we decided to watch the fountain from the ground so we watched the 7:30pm one after some restroom brakes and some of the shopping. We got a great spot, I filmed and took pictures and it was kinda exactly like the Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas. I didn’t see it coming, but in the end of it, the water came right at us, there were no warning signs that we would get wet, so I wasn’t expecting it at all and was watching somewhere else when the shower hit me. Jesper saw it coming, backed away but didn’t tell me. I got soaked through! It was worse than SeaWorld… When we walked back to the mall I heard some Swedish people behind me say something about me being soaked, haha! We got the new shirt at Holister and then went to Cheesecake Factory to have dinner. It tasted kinda the same, but not really, or maybe my memory is piedestaling the food, or it’s different because this is Dubai, not California. I think I was too tired to eat as well, but we got the leftovers boxed up so we have dinner for another evening as well, yay. It was good!

Then we saw some really fancy pancy cars outside the mall, took a taxi and came back to the hotel at around 10pm. Tomorrow we have to get up a little bit earlier since we are going to Atlantis The Palm tomorrow and it opens at 10am and since we don’t want to waste spending time outside on the warmest day of the week (it will be around 27C tomorrow) and because we were inside all day today, we want to be there as early as possible.

PANO_20160117_114115 PANO_20160117_120521 IMG_20160117_122201 IMG_20160117_122715 IMG_20160117_123248 IMG_20160117_125226 IMG_20160117_135544 IMG_20160117_143900 IMG_20160117_145250 IMG_20160117_155629 PANO_20160117_171137 IMG_20160117_171955 hdr_00002_0 hdr_00001_0 IMG_20160117_180933 IMG_20160117_180140 IMG_20160117_180255 IMG_20160117_180630 IMG_20160117_180810 This is Dubai Mall, crazy big!!IMG_20160117_182122 IMG_20160117_182245 In the lounge at the top we got served snacks and drinks.IMG_20160117_182327 IMG_20160117_183108 Level 125.IMG_20160117_183325 IMG_20160117_184322 IMG_20160117_184526IMG_20160117_184541 PANO_20160117_181602 PANO_20160117_181638 IMG_20160117_192133 IMG_20160117_192156 A gold car.IMG_20160117_192304 PANO_20160117_192719IMG_20160117_193010 IMG_20160117_193110 IMG_20160117_193520 IMG_20160117_195946 IMG_20160117_203147IMG_20160117_200140  12545797_1060388483983160_1629833500_o A Tesla!!12556959_1060388520649823_1927103004_o A matte black Lamborghini.12544663_1060388460649829_191403_o


I took my medicine last night at nine, read for 30 minutes and then fell asleep like a baby. I woke up two hours later from loud roomies, but when I asked them to keep quiet, and they listened, I fell asleep right away again. I slept all the way to 10am and felt so well-rested. It was the best night I’ve had in a very long time!

I called the IRS in the morning and they told me that they just received my payment, not the actual form I filled out. So they need me to send them in again. And when that process is done, in 6-8 weeks I can send in my tax transcript to CSN (the Swedish company that gives me financial aid) which for some reason needs to see if I paid enough of my loans back last year. Why is everything so complicated? I should have just skipped paying taxes last year, it seems like it didn’t matter anyway and I could have saved $600.

I had lunch and then spent a few hours at the pool. It was very nice. Dinner back home and then I went to class. Today we talked about transportation and it was very interesting. I got so angry when we watched the movie “Who killed the electric car?”. The state of California totally made it illegal pretty much to have an electric car like 15 years ago. Or maybe it was 10. Anyway, the stupidest thing ever. Just so the oil companies can continue to earn millions of dollars every year. This greedy country makes me angry! That movie made me want to have an electric car in the future, zero emissions would be so great. But before I have money I will have to be satisfied with a gas car. I and Johanna looked into buying one today. We realized that we won’t fit surfboards in a small convertible so we need to buy a bigger car. I’ve been told that a Toyota 4Runner is very reliable and can go on forever and ever. I’ve texted two guys on Craigslist but it was probably too late for them to answer today, so I’m hoping for answers tomorrow. It would be so nice to have a car as soon as possible. It would make my life so much easier!

Time for bed! A long day tomorrow again.

Internet again

This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.

That only took a few days. Boring days. But early-to-bed-days.

Yesterday I was at the library for most part of the day studying. Doing homework in Transportation Engineering. It took 4 hours to do 6 out of 8 problems, and another two hours of trying with the last two in the evening. It didn’t work. So I will go to office hours with our professor on Monday morning and ask for some help. I guess most students might go. We had two problems which we haven’t even talked about in class.

At 8pm I went to salsa lesson with Johanna. My roommates dissed me because they wanted to go to the social salsa dance tonight, but they ended up not going. I had fun last night. I was so much better than the first time.

I went home and spent the rest of the evening talking to people. Everyone was at the toga party, I wasn’t in a party mood so I just waited until everyone got back and didn’t go to bed until 3am for some reason.

This morning I went to Pismo Beach with Johanna and the Cal Poly beach volleybal club. It was very very foggy this morning but the sun came out eventually as it always does. I couldn’t play as much as I wanted though. I pulled a muscle in my upper but and I couldn’t stretch it out. It still hurts, even if I’ve been on a foam roll a lot this evening. I should probably do some more before I go to bed (which I should have done a long time ago).

Pismo BeachBeautiful Pismo Beach! New bikiniMy new bikini (Victoria’s Secret) is beach volleyball friendly. A little more athletic than my other ones. The neon color makes my tan look nice. Retrieving a flip flopWhen we were getting to the car I dropped one of my flip flops down the rocky side down to the beach. It stopped in the middle, so first I tried throwing rocks at it to make it slide dow to the bottom. Then I decided to walk down there (walk all the way to the staircase and then back on the beach) to try to reach it from down there. It took me like 30 minutes to finally get it. Stupid flip flop…

When we had had a cinnamon roll at Old West Cinnamon Rolls we drove to Avila Valley Barn where there was a pumpkin patch. All the holidays are big here in the States (I’m sure I wrote the exact same thing last year) and a pumpkin patch is where you buy your pumpkins and do stuff like ride horses, feed fat goats, buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, go on hayrides, and buy corn on the cob and stuff like that. It was a fun event and I am going back next weekend with my roommates. We are gonna by pumpkins and carve and put in our windows for everyone outside to see. I so look forward to that. Today we went there with the international students. I only saw a few though.

Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin Patch Avila Valley Barn Pumpkin PatchI got three small pumpkins to have as decorations in our apartment. They are soo cute. The big ones are being bought next weekend. I also bought a lot of fruit. It felt good buying something from a farmer’s market. I do buy a lot of organic food here, but it still felt more special.

When I got home I did my Sustainable Environments homework. And that was a fun homework actually. By taking a test (you can take it HERE) I found my ecological footprint and wrote a 1-page paper about it. I took the test twice, once for my life in Sweden and one for my life here in SLO. If everyone in the world lived like me we would need 1.44 Earths (Sweden and 4.09 (USA). I compared and retook it again to see if some changes made big differences. Very very interesting.

Kelsey baked banana bread tonight and I’ve been trying to figure out what to wear on Halloween. It is not easy. And I feel like it has to be something good since holidays are big here. I have four options so far. What do you think?

Halloween 2014Minion from Despicable Me, Viking, Penguin or a Zombie Fairy? Or something else?

I also got to see the car I probably will buy in December. It is a small convertible and it works perfectly. I so look forward to buying my first car!! And it will be a VW convertible! An international student bought it the other day, but he is only staying this one quarter so I will buy it together with Johanna to use for the next two quarters. I am so excited! And about the driver license. I called the DMV office in Sacramento and they told me I didn’t need to retake the tests. I just have to show up with all my legal papers, take a new photo and wait for the plastic card. I am so happy! Everything works out in the end, like is has for the past year. Life is good.

Volkswagen Cabrio 1999

I really need to go to bed now. I am planning on going up at 8am to study before going to the beach around noon. (And I don’t have any trouble going in and out of bed anymore. I was extremely sore yesterday (3 days after TRX) but now it’s better. I played some beach volleyball at the PCV court Thursday late evening and that removed the last of the soreness. Too many people there though so it wasn’t fun. Next time I will exlusively invite only three people to play seriously with. I look forward to a new week of exercise starting on Monday, for real this time, I will take it even easier this time.)