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Published: September 22nd 2014
Early start, got to catch a taxi at 0330, wake up at 0130, 0200, 0230, etc. Rain starts bucketing, taxi guy arrives, I
load my stuff (got to love Australian taxi guys), get in, rain stops. Smooth trip in to the airport, check in (no complimentary upgrade), pick up Euro, pass through security with money belt securely fixed- body scanning machine says no money belt to be worn - have to take it off - OMG!!!!, I can feel a major disaster coming on... Heading to a country where you can't access an ATM, or a bank account, or a travel money card, or a credit card, the memories of losing my money last year are somewhat traumatic- at least in Nepal I could get some cash; in Iran there is no such luxury. World banking sanctions on Iran mean that travellers have to carry all the cash for their stay! I remove money belt, tell unsympathetic security lady I need my day pack back (thank you Rachel for the day pack- it's perfect!), wedge money belt inside a stuff sac (thank you Kathmandu TM), shove it inside a zipped section inside another zipped section and cross my fingers.... Pass through
security, head straight for loos, retrieve money belt from double zipped section and then from stuff sac- it appears untouched- all checked and correct. Reapply money belt, instantly gaining 2 inches on waist- due to wads of notes- ahhh, the cost of security. Try not to think about waistline when AUD, USD and Euro is converted to trillions of Iranian Rial (IRR). Enjoy a last cup of very good coffee and steal 12 little Vegemite packets from the Qantas Club. Emirates leaves bang on 0600 and I have 3 seats all to myself.
Pretty good flight, arrived Dubai 1250. The landscape coming in was spectacular- initially lots of mountains and craggy rocks, the red desert, then yellow, then civilisation and big buildings. Got through immigration and into a taxi by 1330!!!! Straight to the Dubai Mall where the Burj-e Khalifa entrance point is, my ticket was for 1530 and I was there at 1400. Managed to cajole my way in early after pleading with 2 worker people and then a supervisor. Bottom line - stunning views from the tallest building in the world even if you can only get up to the 50 something floor of the 829m tall
building. The roof top observation deck is cool. I would have liked to spend longer and read all the info panels- such a feat of engineering. I liked being surrounded by so many traditionally dressed people- I would rather be wearing the white than the black that's for sure. It was 38 degrees C in the shade. Got back into a taxi and back to the airport by 1600, a bit sweaty but achieved the goal.
Currently taking advantage of free wifi and a shower and probably my last glass of something bubbly for a month.
Get on the plane in 37 mins. The real bit is about to begin... I can't wait!!!!
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