I made it! A few bumps along the way but I am finally here…. and it was raining on arrival!!!
It all started Monday in the wee hours. I was checked in with Emirates as everyone had told me how great it is. No one had told me about their baggage charging policy though!
I had packed most of my bags and working along the lines of the other airlines. I thought I would check to see if the bags were 23kg or 25kg. Good thing I did too. You are allowed 30kg free but then are charged for every 5kg over. For my three bags, it would have cost me £975 in baggage charges.
I had a major meltdown.
Enter British Airways. I hate British Airways. I hate losing £1,000 even more though. I cancelled my Emirates flight and booked, paid for my extra bags, sucked up the cancellation charges and still saved two thirds of the price it would have been. Thankfully!
The slight, but very minor issue was that I would have to leave Tuesday night instead of Wednesday morning. That meant fitting a lot more preparation into a much shorter time, but we got it!
Despite the M25 trying it’s best to delay me, we got there on time. I had a slight issue with my cases and had to repack but the biggest delay was at the wheelchair desk. I had an age to wait. The wait was worth it kind of though as I had a really nice ‘driver’. He didn’t stop talking, but he was super sweet. He took me around some of the shops and laughed at me when I bought enough water and Ribena to get through the flight as apparently it is more than he has seen anyone buy before. Strange!
We got to the gates and discovered that there was a delay. The emergency lighting wasn’t working so they had electricians and engineers on board trying to fix the problem. Eventually they decided that it wouldn’t be logical to keep trying to fix the issue so they just bought a new plane in. Why couldn’t they have decided this right away?
So, 110 minutes later than planned, we set off! I am very proud to say that I actually managed to sleep for about 4 whole hours! Very exciting!
Even more exciting was my first sight of Dubai. It is huge and it is a proper city. I know I knew that, but I had no idea how built up it was or how densely packed the buildings would be. However, the most exciting part was seeing The World and one of the Palms. Super cool! Apparently they are sinking though which kind of sucks!
I got off the plane and this teeny weeny little chap was there to push my wheelchair. I felt so bad for him. I was also very thankful for him when I realised just how HUGE that the terminal was. I have never seen anything like it. I was pleased to spot a Costa Coffee, a Starbucks and a MacDonalds!
After being scowled at by absolutely every uniformed man in the airport, I was finally out into the fresh air… and there waiting for me was my lovely friends M and G! I have never been so happy to see a friendly face!!
We packed the car full of my luggage and set off. G is an awesome driver and negotiated the evil lane crossings like a pro. I am officially super intimidated! There appears to be very little structure and everyone just goes for it. Insane.
We got to the apartment and got into the elevators to take us up to the 32nd floor.
My ears popped!
I have apartment envy! It is absolutely stunning! The views are amazing. It is not like Bermuda’s beauty but is absolutely awesome! There are these huge buildings everywhere and you look down and you are looking at toy cars! You look left and the marina is there, right and the beach is there. Wow!
We spent the morning chatting while poor G went to work and then I crashed. I had to have a little napnap. M and I agreed that I would snooze for an hour and then go and have a little explore. M agreed to knock on the door for me because my alarm clock was still packed.
She knocked after an hour.
She knocked after two hours, and came into check on me.
Nothing! I was absolutely unconscious! Didn’t even stir!!!
I work up a little while later and stumbled into the shower. I felt much more alive after that. It took us nicely to a chill out half hour which I mostly used as a Q&A session, and then we headed out to dinner.
I have found a restaurant that make wicked awesome burgers, and, just to top it all off, sell biltong! It is literally a 2 minute walk. I think I am going to be a regular!!
After a little stroll along The Walk we came back to the apartment, and this is where my very long day ends!
I have had a great time and my brain is a bit mushy. Far too much to try and absorb in one day, but I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it.