May 28, 2012

Mystery trip. Part 1

A month ago I threw my first anniversery give away. (Is it really so long ago?). Apart from the stuff promised, there was an extra question thrown if for fun. I asked the wheretos of the next trip with almost no clues given.
Still some talented Sherlocks got it right; Wivi with all the details (should she ever try her hand at a crystal ball she would be a rich woman).
I did promise to show you the pics, but as there are a lot of them I'm going to split our mystery trip into two parts. If you are new on this blog; don't worry, there will soon be some quilting stuff. Promise!

This is part one.

We started out one day after Easter, my youngest daughter and I. We both had a bad cold and for me it was the first day out of bed with shaky legs. Princess was coughing her lungs out.

I had booked the flight with an arab airline from Germany to China in November. Afterwards I noticed we had a 4 hour stop over in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates. I tried to change our flight to a later departure from Abu Dhabi, because Princess wanted to see the desert, but to no avail.

Imagine my surprise as the airline changed the flight shortly before departure so we had a 17 hour stay in Abu Dhabi. I was rather skocked, because this meant I had to change our hotelbookings as well, or we would have stood in China without any hotel at all (coming one day too late).
For once I had done a good thing and booked the hotel through a German agency, so it was easily fixed. I wouldn't have liked to call to China, making all the changes, as email is not an option. Still there was currency to check out, sightseeing and visa regulations. Boy, was I happy I had a new passport. I had some custom stamps from Israel in my old one and would have been turned back in UAE because of them! As it was we just had to go to a counter and sign up.

I wanted to keep the day in Abu Dhabi as a birthday surprise for Princess (yes, we were travelling on her birthday), but finally I had to tell her because some of her things need a cool storage. Not so easy in a desert. And then there was the sunlotion...No way you can take it abord an airplane in the original bottle and no way for me to explain why I needed it in my purse.

We started out rather late at night and arrived 5 o'clock in the morning in Abu Dhabi after a 6 hour flight. It was everything we had imagined and then some more. This picture is from the airport. I've never seen anything like this before. 
Because it was so early in the morning we dropped down on some chairs in the airport and slept an hour before setting out to discover the city. No point in wandering around a sleeping city.

This is one happy birthday child eating breakfast.

Abu Dhabi is quite a modern city, with some stunning buildings. Arab custom is to have a lot of shops at street level. It is a bit different from what we know from home. The people were friendly and ready to help where ever they could. Most spoke English very well, so we had no problems asking for directions. Best of all - no hassle with people wanting to sell you some stuff or other.

The biggest surprise was this sight from  the sea front in central Abu Dhabi. It looked so inviting and we would gladly have stayed a little longer here. The beach promenade was one of the best I've ever seen.

This was a rather common sight, a small mosque in between the skyscrapers. The best way of getting around   is taking a taxi. There are modern malls and delicious food in this town. I wouldn't mind going back there again some time soon.

This picture is taken out of a moving bus, going back again to the airport. This palace was like a sight out of a fairy tale. This is only a small part of it.

We had a great time in Abu Dhabi and were rather sorry to leave. Not so sorry that the cold  did leave us as well. One day snow, the next over 30° C and spotless sunshine! Easter sunday it snowed where we live. We didn't have snow for Christmas, but for Eastern...Quite a difference.

More is to follow. I'll tell the next part of our trip next week. Until then, stay safe!


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, it was a quite different world from what we usually know. But nice!

  2. What an amazing stop over... Looking forward to hear about the next leg of the trip.

    1. There is much more to tell about the next stop. If UAE was different, so is China even more...