Thursday, July 12, 2007

Dubai - Day 2

After a night of rest, we rose in time for breakfast at 8 am. Some of us were up earlier, and were able to hear the mournful call to prayer at sunrise.

Breakfast was a delightful buffet of traditional fares, including beef bacon and veal sausage, as well as omelette's and fruits and yoghurts, with an "H".

After breakfast we went to the beach. Originally just for sight-seeing, as the students said they didn't want to swim, but when they saw the clear azure waters of the Persian Gulf they fell in love, and insisted that we return in the evening when the temperatures would cool down to a moderate 100 F.

We did some shopping at a souk, and then returned to the hotel to meet up with Daryl and Toufic for a drive to Sharjah and the American University. While driving we noticed that the temperature outside was 46 C, almost 120 F! The students spent several hours laughing and playing with introductory lab equipment in the well equipped facilities, and a delightful professor who enjoyed answering questions and discussing his approach to education. Lunch was in the cafeteria on campus, with in depth discussions of the Mach principle and intertial frame dragging. We then had a quick tour of a souk in Sharjah. Then we rushed back to the hotel so that the students could grab their swimsuits, and headed back to the beach.

We'll have a late dinner, but an early night, in order to get ready for the flight to Tehran at seven tomorrow morning.