Road to Madinat Zayed

Always up for an adventure, I decided to take a ride out to the Western Region of Abu Dhabi with Kathy and Kalli.
Kathy will be living out there in a town called Madinat Zayed and since we (by we I really mean Kalli) have a car, and it being the weekend we thought why not go see the place and drop off some stuff Kathy had bought.
After grabbing a bite, we got a couple maps from concierge and hopped in the car.
We were ready for our big adventure and boy did we have one.

There are three main roads leading out of the city of Abu Dhabi City, we just had to take one. It sounds pretty simple but things are complicated by the fact that there are no real street signs and tons of construction and detours along the roads. Not to mention that none of us had any clue about the city we had been calling home for the past three weeks. Sure we had seen it but from the comforts of our passenger seats of our cab rides but nothing compares to having to navigate this city on your own.

Well we drove around for a bit trying get out of the city. Attempts were made to use the little scraps of information that the concierge had provided and the maps that really offered no help.
We stopped at a local grocery store but no one spoke English so that was also a bust.
Eventually, I spotted some folks driving alongside us so I waved them down to asked for directions. They happened to work for the company that hired us,yay!. They were kind enough to not only give us directions but led us out of the city through the maze of construction.

We were finally on our way, or so we thought. I won't bore you with all the details but we missed our exit and drove around and around and around until we finally found our way back to the road we needed.

After that it was a straight road out to Kathy's town. We had a pretty uneventful journey until we got to Madinat Zayed.

I laugh out loud now as I write this because it really is hilarious.

So Kathy had only been to this city once. The company had bused the teachers out to see their apartments. Of course when someone else is driving you aren't as keen of an observer as you should be.
So, relying on very vague memories of landmarks and absolutely no street names or apartment complex name we drove in search of Kathy's villa. Ummm... we drove around and around, all the time with Kathy pointing out things she had seen when she first visited.

After driving for awhile, we decided to take a much needed break and head over to the local hotel for a few drinks and some food.
On our way we saw these guys. They are the stars of the annual Camel Races that take place in December.



As we drove on further, we had to stop and give way to this amazing scene

We got to Tilal Liwa Hotel, tired and ready to rest.
The hotel sits on nothing but sand and it's literally in the middle of nowhere.
It  is a spectacular view. There is something amazing about seeing those sand dunes surrounding you and the vastness of the sand.
view from the pool
While sipping on cocktails and relaxing after our long drive, I overheard a man asking where the teachers were. Again being up for an adventure I waved at him and he immediately asked us to join his party.
I am sure glad we did. They were a bunch of rowdy Brits who worked for the oil company doing engineering and construction. They lived out in the desert in Bedouin style camps and were at the hotel to get some drinks and enjoy the comforts of civilization.

We had some drinks, conversation and lots of laughter. Good times and good memories.

After a couple of hours it was time to head back to Abu Dhabi. The ride back was wayyyyy easier and we made it home safe and sound.
Oh, and we never saw Kathy's villa. Lol

By the way, if you ever find yourself out in Madinat Zayed, follow the signs out to Tilal Liwa Hotel and have a few cocktails. You may run into my friends and trust me it is worth the trip.