Since the weather was forecasted to hit 90 degrees on Sunday, I decided it was high time I spent the afternoon at the beach. My first step was to figure out how to get there by bus. Now that I know most of the routes, I can't bring myself to pay the taxi fare when each bus ride is only 27 cents! The downside is that it takes soooo much longer and I have to figure out the route. This one was fairly easy, however, walk the 10 minutes to the bus stop near our apartment, take #56 almost to the Al Wahda Mall (next to the hotel where we used to live), then transfer to the #34 going to the Marina and I got dropped off just outside the beach area I was looking for. Sweet! And it only took me an hour and a half! :) (by car it probably would have been 30 minutes tops). But then again, what else did I have to do on a Sunday afternoon? Actually, the bus is kind of nice in that it allows me to see the city - I think I probably know the streets and locations of things better than Brian at this point. I can also check out all the little stores along the way to scope out potential future shopping trips. (We're currently looking for some very large area rugs, so I was on the lookout for carpet stores on this trip.)
So, I made it to the Corniche, which is the boardwalk along part of the coastline of Abu Dhabi. There are a number of different beach areas along here. The one I chose is the nicest because you can rent chairs and umbrellas for the day. For about $10, I paid my entrance fee and got a chair and umbrella for the afternoon. This section also has a lifeguard, a volleyball court an area to rent water sports equipment and a snack bar, so I was all set. I think most of the other sections are free and open to the public. One area is a children's beach where they have a kid's playground set up on the sand, and I've heard there is a ladies' only section of the beach, but I haven't seen it (might be that it's designated for ladies' only on certain days of the week).
Sunday being a work day, the beach wasn't too crowded - seemed like mostly tourists. I had French families on either side of me. Coincidence or some French holiday I don't know about? The rest was a usual day at the beach - I snoozed, read, wrote a letter to my aunt, got some lunch, took a few dips in the water. The sun was hot (it actually only got up to about 87, not the 90 predicted), but there was a decent breeze for most of the day so it wasn't unbearable. And the water was very cold! Very refreshing when the sun became too much, but you couldn't stay in for too long. It was also really salty so took no effort at all to just float and enjoy the day.
Brian then came and picked me up after work so I didn't have the 90 minute bus ride back home. I think that may have been when he suggested I step up my job hunting efforts. For some reason, the crew back at Epic who worked the day while I sat at the beach now hates me. :) (as I'm guessing now some of you do too!)