After the whirlwind tour of Europe – on Saturday 09.11.2019, Iamo and I woke up to a typical London morning – grey and overcast, that reflected our mood. We were sad our holiday was coming to an end and at the same time excited to be heading back home to our family. Promising ourselves to make it back to this beautiful part of the world in the future with our family. Can’t say this enough – thank God for His travelling mercies – keeping us safe all throughout the entire trip.
We slept in, as our flight was not until after lunch. However not that late of a sleep-in – we didn’t want to be delayed and miss our flight because of catching the wrong bus or correct bus, just disembarking at wrong stop & so on. We learned our lesson the night before 😅 where we waited for ‘hours’ (it felt like that but I’m sure it was only 20 mins or so), for a taxi to arrive at the wrong hotel. Ha yes, yes, wrong hotel and taxi, because the shuttle bus service between airport hotels that had just dropped us off, was done for the day (apparently we’d been on the last run) – just our luck, no thanks to ME and my logistics 😁🙄
So that Saturday morning, we helped ourselves to a hearty English breakfast, eating as much as we could from the buffet. Food was delicious and the tea just delightful! We checked out after breakfast then asked at reception about shuttle bus to airport – they advised we’d just missed one, by 5 mins and the next one would be in half an hour or so. We thought we might be late so decided to take public transport.
The bus-stop was conveniently located across the road from the hotel, so after taking a few more photos in and outside the hotel, we crossed over to the bus-stop. We caught the 9.41 am bus and, lo and behold, arrived at Heathrow Central bus station at 9.45am – huh!! 🙄😅 now that was funny. We knew we were close to the airport – just didn’t realise it was ‘that’ close 😆. We could’ve waited for the shuttle bus.
Anyhow, better early than late and rushing around like headless chooks! So we were an hour early, for check in 😆 and that proved to be to be a good thing, because the check-in lines were quite long. We were flying with Emirates this time, and oh my, were they busy. Infact our Canadian friends had warned us earlier that morning, to get to the airport early as it was quite busy.
We checked in and cleared customs without any issues, then went on a ‘window 🛒’ spree 😅 at the countless duty free shops, before heading to the departure gate to wait for boarding call. We left Heathrow at about 1.35pm, London time. The flight to Dubai was just over 7 hours long.
We landed in Dubai shortly after midnight (local time) and were there for under three hours, before boarding our flight to Sydney. Nothing exciting happened except this was our first time, so yeah, we were thrilled just to be there. I thought Kingsford Smith airport was big, until we arrived in Heathrow and then all that changed when we landed in Dubai, wowww!! In terms of size, its the 3rd biggest in the world – however apparently it’s the busiest and has just taken over from Heathrow.
We bought a few souvenirs and gifts from the duty free shops! There were so many shops but there were also so many people from all walks of life, and for that time of night – it was just amazing to watch. Don’t think those airports (Heathrow and Dubai) sleep, they must buzz 24/7 (of course, all that may have changed during covid)!!
We reboarded our plane and were off by 2.35am Dubai time on Sunday 10.11.2019 – it was a pleasant trip back home. And we finally landed back on home soil just after 10pm on Sunday night. Sounds like a long day on the plane, doesn’t it? 🙂 It was ‘just’ 13 hours, lots of time to catch up on much needed sleep.
Can I describe the whole trip in one word? Oh yes, exhilarating! That’s what! Or exaltant (French), esilarante (Italian), berauschend (German), opwindend (Dutch). We came, we saw, we walked, we ran, we climbed, we challenged ourselves physically and mentally, we learned and most importantly we made new friends. What a way to celebrate turning 50! What an absolute adventure!
Let me conclude with my own quote:
The best journeys are those shared with loved ones, exploring places you’ve only ever dreamed of and discovering new ones you never even imagined you’d see or set foot on.Idau Rawali, Nov 24, 2020
For anyone who may be interested – below is the link to the tour we were on, organised by tour company Expat Explore. Once you get to their page, you can check out other tours/adventures they organise. Not sure what or how post covid travel will look or feel like, but there’s nothing wrong with looking.