Saturday, March 19, 2016

Mid-East Blog # 9

March 12, 2016 - Abu Dhabi

Tauck does a good job when it comes to filling a day with activities, providing upscale hotels to rest our head and excellent restaurants to keep us nourished. Our Abu Dhabi Ritz Carleton hotel room was great. We had a large corner room overlooking a newly constructed retail area and a bay off in the distance. Unfortunately, as in most of the hotel rooms, we were never there to enjoy them.

The only problem with any of the hotel rooms has been - not enough plugs to power up our devices. "Clever Jerry" found a way to "beat the system." Hidden underneath a floor tile were plugs. He removed the tile and "Viola" - we could charge up our devices.

Unlike Oman, Abu Dhabi building architecture was mind boggling. To think that there was barely a scrub bush 40 years ago and 20 years ago, there was (only) the beginning of some construction. To see what has transpired has been amazing. Money, labor and perseverance can do most anything.

Abu Dhabi Skyline 

The following building is called, "The coin." 

Look carefully! Here is a side perspective of the building called, "The Coin!"

Some building designs try to maintain the country's history and culture. The roof area is supposed to look like Bedouin tents

 Very futuristic!

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Falconry is a significant hobby as well as a profession . In years past, the Bedouins used falcons to catch rodents, rabbits and other birds. The prey might be the only protein food available to the Bedouins for awhile.

Like any other animal, falcons can get sick or injured. Our first stop for the day was to visit the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital.

Like Our appointments At Home, Falcons Waiting To See Their Doctor

Unless being fed, to keep them calm, a hood is placed over the head of the falcon.

Falcons are put to sleep when a medical procedure is required. 

There is a mask covering the bird's head.

 Often the talons are too long. They need to be trimmed.

Talon (Pedi) Cure

A little filing down. Yes, The Falcon Gets Talon (Nail) Polish

 Beak Gets Trimmed - Bird Gets Some Meds

Say, Ahhhhh...

Let's Check The Ears

 Removing the hood

Time To Feed The Falcon a "Fresh" Rodent. Yum!

A Remarkable Bird
Not A Lot of Endurance For Lengthy Flights. Must Continually Eat Meat. Eyesight is 10X Better Than Humans. Falcon dive speed is 200-300 MPH!

A Day At The "Spa." A Good Meal. This Bird Is Good To Go! 

60 - 70 birds are brought in each week for some sort of medical care. A falconer may need to fly from his home town to the hospital. Falconers must buy a plane ticket - the bird sits next to his owner.

Surgery: Fathers Are Being Grafted Onto A Wing

For healing, A Protective Pad Will Be Attached To Foot

Two New Falconers!

Historical Pictures

Wealthy Falcon Owners Could Have Up to 100 Birds

The Falcon is The National Bird

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Following the falcon hospital was a tour of Masdar.

 Masdar is a futuristic city with a surrounding community

In the "middle of nowhere" is a university, a Siemens mid-east headquarters where science experiments can be conducted and other support entities. 

Masdar is making huge strides in renewable energy and urban planning  

 Buildings Are Positioned Close Together Providing Summer Shade/Cooling

Door And Office Building Window Slats Block Sun

Special Materials & Design: Better Cooling And Warmth

Students Going To Class 

 Modern "Wind Tower" Provides Additional Cooling

 Solar Panels Are Everywhere

Residents And Visitors Can Use Lithium Battery Car That Flows On Magnetic Tracks To Navigate Through Complex

The campus is a zero-carbon entity
Going For a Ride

 Reflections Off Building Window

Natural Energy Message 

Ecology Emphasis

Multi-year building plan: First Stage

The immediate area surrounding Masdar is desert and building cranes. 

Surrounding this complex are scores of square miles of construction: Homes, condos, apartments, commerce and retail. 

There are cranes everywhere. Cement is pouring faster than water out of a faucet. 

"Build And They Will Come!"

The Master (Model) Plan Is Below: 

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