Sorry I haven’t been writing on here very much, I’ve been so busy lately that I just haven’t had the time to write a nice long post with lots of pictures!

After I got back from leave I had 2 short days off and then I left for a 5 day trip to Singapore and Melbourne! Once we arrived in Singapore, 4 of us girls (me, Kirsty from England, Kat from Ireland and Aneliya from Bulgaria) went out to get some delicious street food for dinner and decided to go to a place called Sentosa Island the next day. After dinner 2 of the girls went into Chimes bar, right next to our hotel, and I went straight up to bed!

The next morning us girls and Peter, a guy the girls had met the night before (who was also doing the same trip, but on his way home) squeezed into a taxi and drove to Sentosa. We picked up a map of the island and wandered down to the beachy area, stopping every few meters to take pictures!

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There were palm trees everywhere and it really felt like we were on holiday on a tropical island!

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As we were walking along the beach we saw another very small island which had a couple of little lookout towers on. We walked over (not without a quick stop at the 7/11 that was well placed for some cold drinks!) and found it was the southernmost point of continental Asia. We crossed a wobbly wooden bridge and climbed up to the top of one of the lookout towers. Luckily there were some chairs up there so we stayed enjoying the breeze and chatting for about an hour or so!

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Once we had decided it was probably time to start making a move back to the hotel, we walked back down to the beach and just as we were about to cross back over the bridge to the main island, spotted a horizontal palm tree perfect for climbing on and taking pictures!

It was a little less stable than it looked and actually quite scary once you were dangling over the water!

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We then headed back to the hotel (did have to run to catch the free shuttle bus!) for a little nap before the night flight to Melbourne.ย 

We arrived in Melbourne early morning and after checking in I headed straight to bed for a good few hours sleep. And then….. my cousin Sarah came to meet me! I packed my bag and we got the tram to her place where Aunty Mary (her mum) and Granny were waiting for us! They had driven all the way down from Canberra (8 hours!) just for the night, which was very lovely.

We sat and had a cup of tea and some biscuits and chatted until it was time for dinner. We went to a lovely Italian restaurant and I had pasta – surprise, surprise!

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After dinner Granny and Aunty Mary went back to their hotel and Sarah and I started getting ready for a night out in Melbourne! One of her friends from uni was having a little party so once we were ready we went over there. Later on we ordered a taxi and drove over to a club that was having a 90’s night (YES!) and danced until we were too tired to stand! (Very glad I decided not to wear heels!)

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ย Back at Sarah’s we went to bed for a few hours sleep before meeting Aunty Mary and Granny for breakfast in their hotel. Real bacon!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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We said goodbye to them as they got ready for the long drive back to Canberra and decided to do a bit of shopping in Melbourne Central.ย We then walked over to Victoria Market which is an absolutely amazing market which has everything you could possibly need, including hundreds of fresh food stalls. We bought some ham (real pork, not turkey or beef ham!) tomatoes, mozzarella and bread for lunch and I got some fresh fruit to take on the plane. Sarah also did most of her grocery shopping and we walked back to hers with our hands full.ย 

After lunch I packed up my stuff and we hopped on the tram back to my hotel. Soon enough it was time to say goodbye and fly back to Singapore. We arrived pretty late and had made up our minds to go for a Singapore Sling (which originated in the Raffles Hotel, just opposite where we stay) but unfortunately it was shut! ๐Ÿ™ The next morning Kirsty, Kat and I walked over to Bugis Street, a huge undercover kind of street market mostly selling clothes. We all bought a couple of things hoping they would fit as you can’t try anything on there! We then decided it was time for some lunch so we crossed the road to the “food court” and got some fried noodles and sat with the locals. Just as we were finishing we noticed that it had started to rain, and not just a bit of a drizzle, a huge downpour! We waited a while for it to stop a bit and ran over the road back under the cover of the market.ย 

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We saw a couple of food stands and decided on some dessert – I got a crepe (which was sliiiiiiightly larger than expected!!) and Kat tried some fried mars bars!

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As the Long Bar at the Raffles hotel had been shut the night before we had to try one of their famous cocktails before flying back that night. (we were probably only just legal within the flying time to drink, but shh!)

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Of course we all tried the Singapore Sling ๐Ÿ™‚

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Kirsty and Kat decided to walk over to the Marina Bay Sands hotel but as I had been there on my last trip I just popped over to the supermarket and picked up some really fresh sushi for the flight home and went to get a few hours sleep.

By the time the flight came round we were all ready to get home, it had been a great trip but everyone always looks forward to getting back to Dubai!

So this week I surprised mum and came home on leave! I didn’t write it on my blog as I had told her that all the flights were full and I couldn’t come…of course everyone else was in on the surprise though! Friday morning I made my way to the airport, dropped my suitcase off and boarded the flight. Once I arrived in Vienna, Harry and Lizzie were there to meet me which was a nice surprise! We made our way to the train station and got ready for the 4 hour train journey to Klagenfurt. Once we were home, Harry and Lizzie went in while I snuck round the back through the garden and surprised mum!ย 
On Saturday I met up with my friends Iris and Claudio. We went out for lunch and then did a bit of shopping, and of course we had to finish off with a big ice cream!

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On Sunday it was Mother’s Day in Austria. We all drove up to a very pretty mountain area and went for a long walk through the woods! It was great weather, really sunny and nice and warm.

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Back home mum cooked a delicious roast dinner in the evening, haven’t had that for a long time! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Monday mum and I drove to Ljublijana Airport in Slovenia to pick up Matthew and his girlfriend and her mum. They had been on a weekend trip to Istanbul! He had to go back to boarding school in Salzburg almost as soon as we got back though, but he’s coming home tomorrow evening so I’ll see him again before I go back to Dubai. Lizzie also had to go back to Vienna for uni in the morning, so in the evening the 4 of us (Mum, Dad, Harry and I) drove up to our house in the mountains. We stayed the night there and drove back down to Klagenfurt in time for lunch on Tuesday.ย 

In the afternoon I went to my hairdressers (I hadn’t had my hair cut in almost 6 months!) and got a trim. It turned out to be slightly more than a trim and I had about an inch and a half chopped off! She gave me a nice blow dry though and I am really happy with how it turned out, even if it does feel quite a bit shorter now!

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In the evening I arranged to meet my friends Maria and Simone (the ones who came to visit me in April). We drove to a lovely restaurant/cafe called Jilly Beach in Pรถrtschach. It’s right on the water and the weather was beautiful, so sunny and warm! I was driving so I only had ginger ale, but it would have been the perfect place to sit and relax with a glass of wine.

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Today I met up with Maria for a bit of shopping in Klagenfurt. I even managed to come away without any new clothes, not quite sure how I managed that! ๐Ÿ˜€
Tomorrow Matt’s coming home from boarding school for the weekend, and on Saturday I’m flying to Vienna. I’ll stay the night with Lizzie and then on Sunday fly back to Dubai. I can’t wait to get back!

Just thought I would add in a quick hello to Granny and Grandpa, who I’ve been told quite a few times this week like reading my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

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A couple of days ago I got back from Beijing! It was a relatively short flight on the way there, only 6 and a half hours, but it was a bit longer on the way back, just over 8 hours! I had heard some rumours about the flight and I can say they were definitely true…I think 99% of the passengers took their shoes off so lets just say the smell was not the most pleasant! Most of them didn’t speak a word of English either so there was a lot of pointing and guessing going on, but I survived (just)!

Once we got to the hotel, one of the girls and I decided to go to the market to do a bit of shopping! Can’t go to Beijing and not buy anything, so I picked up a new handbag. A girl can never have too many bags! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The next day 6 of us had arranged for a mini bus to come and collect us and take us to the Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City. We met downstairs bright and early and drove a couple of hours to the Great Wall. We got really lucky with the weather, the sun was shining and it was an absolutely beautiful day! Once we got there, we bought our tickets and got on a chairlift to go up!

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First view of the Wall!

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We spent about an hour or so walking along the Wall, going up and down a lot of steps! Of course we stopped every few minutes to take pictures as well ๐Ÿ˜€

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There were lots of beautiful blossoming trees all along the wall!

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Coming down a Chinese family stopped us to ask if they could have a picture with us, so of course we took one on my camera as well! ๐Ÿ˜€

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To come down we had to go on a kind of toboggan, which was great fun! Unfortunately there was a woman in front of us who was going really slowly so we had to keep stopping so as not to crash into her!

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Once we had come down our driver came and picked us up and we drove to the Forbidden City. It was quite a long drive and as we had all been up so early we all slept on the way! He dropped us off at the side and we walked around to the main entrance under lots of willow trees and next to a river, it was very pretty!

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We had a nice stroll around, but it was a public holiday in China so it was extremely busy! We were all feeling quite hot and tired so decided to head back to the hotel for a few hours sleep before the flight home.

Now I’ve got one more flight to Zurich before 10 days leave! After that I’ve got another 5 day Singapore Melbourne trip which I can’t wait for and I’ll also be flying to Lagos, Nigeria at the end of the month!

The last time I posted (was that really 10 days ago already?!) my friends had just left Dubai and I had a flight to London. That was pretty uneventful; it’s an easy night flight and the hotel beds are to die for! I made the obligatory trip to Primark and stocked up on a few maxi skirts and dresses (essential in Dubai!) and of course, plenty of work tights.

Back in Dubai I had 2 days off, and to be honest I can’t remember what I did – probably lots of sunbathing and eating! That seems to be what I do best at the moment! ๐Ÿ˜€

After that I was back to Kuala Lumpur for the second time this month. We arrive at the hotel just in time for the start of happy hour, so of course a few of us made out way down to the pool and tried a couple of the buy one get free cocktails in the sun before dinner. A group of us took the metro two stops to the street restaurant area and all shared lots of delicious food!

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After dinner a couple of us stopped off at the market area and I got a new watch for work. The next morning a few of the girls were going to the caves and I had originally planned to go with them but I ended up sleeping in and then going to gym. Before the wake up call in the afternoon I decided to go to the Petronas Towers and have a browse around in the shopping mall inside. I also got some chicken satay for lunch overlooking some lovely fountains!

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After KL I had 2 days off again and then another trip to London. I was flying with Jess, one of my batch mates, which was great ๐Ÿ™‚ Once we arrived at the hotel we decided to go straight out and go to Primark and also go for a big food shop at Asda! I stocked up on lots of bacon, sausages, crumpets, English muffins and wine! ๐Ÿ˜€

Once I arrived back in Dubai in the evening I got the bus home, showered and got ready as quick as I could and headed straight out to the Shangri La to meet all of the girls! I think this was the first time since training college that all of us were together! We had a really great evening and it was so lovely catching up with everyone together!

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On Sunday my friend Bruno invited me and a couple of his friends round for dinner – roast pork! It was so delicious and definitely just what I needed, washed down with a few glasses of wine and some cocktails!

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Yesterday Sally and I spent the day relaxing at Emirates Towers pool (free entrance for FACE card users, yes!) and getting a bit of sun. Even though it wasn’t the hottest day ever in Dubai, it was a refreshing change to have a bit of a breeze and some clouds! I still managed to top up my tan slightly!

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Thursday early morning I’m back off to Kuala Lumpur again, and then the May roster will have come out, which is very exciting, I can’t wait to find out which new destinations I’ll be going to! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s been way too long since I managed to post anything on here, but I have a very good excuse…my friends Maria, Simone and Georg from home came to visit! They stayed for a week and we had an awesome time!

I went to pick them up from the airport on the Wednesday evening and then took them to the hotel which was just across the road opposite my apartment. A few hours later I had to go to work, so I left them with lots of information about where to go and what to do in the 2 days that I would be away. I flew to Kuala Lumpur (seems like I am there this whole month!) and then on Friday evening I was back.

They had been to Al Mamzar beach on both days as it is only a few minutes drive from where I live, and they all managed to get slightly (very) sunburnt! We started off the Saturday by going to the Dubai Mall for a look around, and the girls had big plans to shop as well!

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We had lunch at a nice Italian restaurant overlooking the water, however we didn’t realise that the fountain show doesn’t start til 6pm! After watching the Burj Khalifa’s windows being cleaned by about 50 men dangling from long ropes, we headed back inside to do some hardcore shopping. In the evening after we had all spent too much money (thanks 20% discount at Sephora!) we went outside to watch the fountain show, which was lovely as always! (However, it is very difficult to take a good picture!)

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After we had finished we all got a taxi back to the mine to drop things off. As we were driving home a huge sandstorm started up! I’ve never seen anything like it, I think it has only rained once since I moved here. The automatic doors to my apartment building wouldn’t even open! We had to cross the road to get to the hotel and just as we walked outside it started pouring with rain and then thunder and lightening started as well! Luckily we didn’t have far to go, but our plans to go out that evening were very much cancelled!

The next day we decided to go to the spice and gold souks. We were going to get a water taxi across the creek which I have heard only costs 1 Dirham, but the weather turned against us and it started to pour with rain again! So we got the taxi driver to drop us off just outside the spice souk, and luckily the rain had just stopped. We had a wander round and the girls bought a few different spices to take home. I bought some vanilla pods for baking as they were so cheap!ย 
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We had a look around the gold souks imagining what we would buy if we were rich Arab women, haha.

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We then headed over to the Pyramids at Wafi for some lunch at a delicious Italian (where I happen to get 40% off – thanks Face Card!) before our plans for the afternoon/evening – a desert safari!

The driver came and picked us up outside the hotel in the afternoon, and we drove about 50 minutes through Sharjah to the desert somewhere – I did ask him where it was but I can’t remember now! We stopped at a little place outside the desert to let some air out of the tyres, ready to go dune bashing.

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Driving over the sand dunes at a ridiculous speed is probably one of the scariest things ever, and at one point even the driver was making fun of our screams! He stopped just before sunset (which coincidentally was probably the first time there wasn’t an amazing red and pink sky because of all the rain) for us to do some sand-boarding!

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After all falling over numerous times, we carried on the drive through the dunes and made a stop at a camel farm! We couldn’t get very close but managed to get a few pictures.

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ย Our next stop was to the dinner area, which was a load of tents and buildings (well, more like little shacks really) in the middle of the desert. We got to ride camels, very exciting!

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The last part of the evening was inside the tent area. We got to try on the traditional Arab dress (not sure it suits me!) and then had dinner and watched some dancing.

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Once we got back home, we stayed up until midnight, because it was Maria’s birthday the next day! We would have had some champagne, but unfortunately it’s not very easy to buy alcohol in Dubai, and I forgot to bring any back from Duty Free. The next morning we decided to get up early and go to the Burj Al Arab.

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We had a lovely walk along the beach and took lots of the obligatory tourist pictures. If only we had been able to just go into the Burj for a few drinks!
We then decided to go and have a look around the Marina. It was my first time going to the Walk as well, and it was really beautiful! Lots of boats and cafes along the waterfront. As we were walking along we spotted one with a breakfast board outside, and decided to have some brunch! Us girls all ordered some pancakes (so good!) and Georg got eggs with all the side dishes. After devouring our food and getting baked in the sun, we walked along the Marina Walk admiring the view.ย 

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The plan for the rest of the day was to sunbathe and get as brown as possible, until it was time to get ready for Maria’s birthday dinner! We went to an amazing steak restaurant on The Palm called West 14th. Amazing views out on to the Marina and the food was incredible! After we headed to the Crowne Plaza for a few more birthday drinks, where we met up with my friend Bruno and had a great evening!ย 

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The next day Georg and Simone got up early to sunbathe, whilst Maria and I slept the morning away. I had a flight at 2 am the next morning, so I had to get a few hours rest in the afternoon. Their flight was leaving at 1am as well, so they decided to go back to the Dubai Mall for a couple more hours of shopping.ย 

All in all we had an amazing week, thank you so much Maria, Simone and Georg for coming to visit me!