Das Vidanya Aotearoa
Well after a life changing decision for Angela to take up a position at a preschool in Moscow, Russia we finally managed to tidy up most loose ends at home, pack the most essential items into 120kg of baggage allowance and make it to the airport on time. Was good to be able to say goodbye to our families in Christchurch although made it difficult to leave, knowing that we probably won't see them again for at least 2 years.
We caught a brief night's sleep in Sydney, and after being told by our taxi driver that the airport didn't open till 5:00am, left it till then to check in for our 6:00am flight only to find that they were about to close off check-in and that in fact the airport actually opened at 3:00am, so just goes to prove you can't trust an Aussie. Luckily we were let through and were soon on our way for the 14 hour leg to Dubai.
|Moo after a walk around Dubai|
Kids handled the flights well, arriving in Dubai at about 3:00pm, transferring to our hotel at the Marina, unpacking our bags, by which time Angela and Jimmy crashed, leaving me and Molly to explore the area. Was so hot, poor Molly was red as a beetroot, so as evening fell we found an air-conditioned restaurant and sat down for a cold drink and some Pizza.
Dubai is an incredibly modern city, with an historic area at its heart so makes for a great mix (and a real contrast to what we were to soon discover in Moscow...). We managed to visit the old souk's where the merchants all hassle you for your business. While walking through this crowded market we at one point lost Jimmy, who we found having been escorted into a store by an eager salesman to try on an Arabian outfit.
After a bit of haggling we walked out with an overpriced head-dress thing, although did get out of buying the complete outfit so I suppose in some ways it was a win...
On the second day in Dubai we went on a desert safari and dinner. We were picked up at 3:30pm and taken by 4WD out into the desert to a conservation area. We were driven through the dunes in a hair raising ride that had the kids in fits of laughter as they screamed out for more, don't know how many times we braced ourselves for the vehicle to roll over. Along the way we stopped off to visit a camel farm, and see a falconry display, then just on dusk we arrived at this bedouin camp, where we were able to have a bit of a camel ride, hold a falcon and then have dinner. This would have to be one of the best value tourist attractions I have ever experienced, so if you are ever lucky enough to be in Dubai check out Arabian Adventures
and do their Dinner Safari tour, it cost about $NZ120 for an adult and well worth every cent.
The next day saw us take in the Aquarium at the end of the Jurimiah Palm, which again was a great attraction, probably one of the best aquariums we have seen, it is well stocked with plenty of good sized fish and has great tanks and environments in which to view everything. It was early to bed that night for the kids while mum and dad tried to repack our suitcases, ready for another early start on to Moscow and the next chapter in our life...