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Published: December 17th 2014
Hello Everyone! Hope you're all well!
I thought I'd let you know how I'm getting on on my trip, starting with my first destination: Dubai.
After a late flight from Heathrow on a cold Tuesday morning and flying over desirable locations like Syria, Iraq and Iran, I finally arrived in the United Arab Emirates just as the sunset to begin my 77 day adventure. And the first thing that hit me (quite literally) was the heat! Although it had been the same temperature in Hungary just three weeks earlier, the humidity was so much more making you feel sweaty almost instantly - everytime I went outside my glasses steamed up! The thing I can compare it most to, is like when you open the oven door when cooking and all the steam blows in your face....only this didn't end!
One of the most annoying things was actually the air conditioning...being that it was kept too cold! Meaning the inside temperatures were around 25 degrees colder than the outside. It was quite annoying that just as you got used to the heat, you'd go inside and freeze...then as you got used to that you'd be
boiling again - a bit like whe you walk round the frezer section of the supermarket in your shorts - I resorted to bringing my jacket round with me all day!
On my first full day I was still getting used to the temperature and so I had a long lie in before a short walk around the area, where the souks were located and then going back to my hotel before being picked up at 3 for my Evening Desert Safari! This was a lot of fun, being driven over the sand dunes as well as getting to ride a camel and then an evening meal whilst watching belly dancing. Definately worth the money!
One the second and third full days I had booked myself onto the bus tours of the city (having experienced what heat does in Hungary, I knew that this was probably the best way for me to see the sights in my limited time in the city) and so on the first day I saw the Bur Dubai and Deira areas and then change bus to see the new development areas such as the Palm and the Burj al-Arab
hotel and many of the huge shopping centres.
This then took me to the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa, where I had booked a ticket to assend to the observation tower, although for a momnent I wondered whther I would infact make it up there - having put my bags through security, Kevin Bear was picked out as being food! (something banned from the top) Whether this was a genuine mistake, or a reflection of Middle Eastern eating habits is still unclear. But once making it to the top it was an incredible experience, being on the 124th floor looking down over the desert - although unfortunately the humidity does limit the distance that can be seen. I had timed this visit so that I would be able to see the city in both daylight and at night..amazing to see a city lit up at night! I spent a while up the tower before coming back down to view the fountain show and then heading back to my hotel.
On my final day, I had a late flight (or is it early the next?) at 2:50am, and so I had
a long day to visit more of the city. I therefore took the free Dhow cruise down the river, before making my way on the bus tour to the meeting point where we would have a free guided tour of the neighbouring Emirate of Sharjah just to the north east of Dubai. After arriving back I then made my way over to the Dubai Museum and Sheikh's house which were too free after purchasing my tour bus ride, before making my way back to my hotel to collect my luggage and travel to the airport...albeit 5 hours early.
Dubai was an incredible experience...seing both luxury and Arab culture although I would say go in the winter months instead, as several continuous days at 40+ is really uncomfortable!
Next stop: Tokyo!
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