Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Walked the 3.5 mile length of the Palm man-made island in Dubai. Least possible place I have ever been. Nothing can be that big. The whole thing is obscene.

The 20 or so residential towers that line the trunk of the palm.


About halfway across, the trunk ends and the eight long, thin fronds (for maximum beach front real estate) extend out with gaudy villas packed along all of them. A monorail continues straight out into the ocean toward the Atlantis resort at the far tip.



A monorail stop in the middle of nowhere. A mall will supposedly spring up around this station at some point.


Continuing the journey to Atlantis, the road turns into a vast, empty tunnel under the ocean floor before rising back out at the end.




I have to admit, the water park was pretty fun. Was too wet to take pictures of the inner tube ride through the shark tank and the almost vertical water slide that shot gallons of water up my nose.

Inside, they've got the Lost Chambers, which is worthy of an adjective I never thought I'd use in Dubai: classy.

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Take an aquarium and remove even the vaguest pretense of science or education, then swap in some elaborate sets posing as archeological remnants of a lost civilization. What I enjoyed most about this is they don't actually explain any of what you're seeing. It's up to you to imagine and interpret.

Through one window you can see a distant throne room where the king and queen once held court. Schools of fish swirl around the giant, empty chairs. It's actually beautiful and haunting, rather than the anticipated: tasteless and cheesy.