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!

ImageImage

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.

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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!

Image

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.

ImageImageImageImageImage

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™‚

ย 

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!

ImageImageImage

Image

First view of the Wall!

ImageImage

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˜€

ImageImageImageImage

Image

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

Image

ImageImage

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˜€

Image

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!

ImageImageImage

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!

ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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!

Image

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!

ImageImage

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!

Image

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!

Image

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!

ImageImageImage

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!

Image

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!)

Image

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 
Image

We had a look around the gold souks imagining what we would buy if we were rich Arab women, haha.

Image

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.

Image

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!

Image

Image

Image

Image

ย 

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.

Imageย ย 

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!

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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 

ImageImageImageImage

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 

Image

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!

My most recent flight was to Dublin and back. The fight itself was so so busy, we literally had about 5 minutes to eat on the way there! Let’s just say the Irish like to drink… ๐Ÿ˜‰
I had a really great crew, so we had a lovely time and 6 of us went out to explore the city (it might have had something to do with the fact that I forced everyone to come to Primark/Penny’s!) – the weather was nice, very very cold but lovely and sunny!

ImageImage

ImageImageImageImageImageImage

We got back to the hotel in the evening and I climbed straight into bed and slept until the wake-up call the next morning!