This is going to be the final instalment of my mini “Staycation Series”!

As you may remember, my sister Lizzie and her boyfriend Jarett came to stay with me in Dubai. Lizzie had visited Dubai before (but not for quite a few years!) and it was Jarett’s first time visiting, so we tried to make the most of it and do/see as much as we could squeeze in!

On their last day, we decided to visit a lovely part of Dubai that we still hadn’t had time to see – the Marina!

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The Marina is a really nice part of Dubai. It’s full of crazy skyscrapers, and since it’s mostly Western expats, there are lots of nice cafes, restaurants and bars. It’s also one of few “walking-friendly” areas in Dubai, as there’s a path all along the waterfront.

We strolled along enjoying the lovely sunshine, and decided to stop at Pain Quotidien for a coffee.

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Jarett is ready for his coffee! ^ ๐Ÿ˜€

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Part 2 of Lizzie and Jarett’s stay here in Dubai is here!

After some tasty cocktails at a great little rooftop bar just across the street from mine (Level 43 Sky Lounge, at the Sheraton Four Points) we were ready for an early night.

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Because we had an early start the next morning…. off to Abu Dhabi!

We decided to get the bus as although I have a Dubai driving license I still haven’t driven here and it’s only 25 dhs each way per person on the bus (around 5 Euros).

Our first stop was a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

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I got back yesterday from a lovely week with my family in Australia. My cousin Sarah studies at university in Melbourne, and my Aunty and Uncle and Grandparents live in Canberra.

The original plan was for Sarah to come and visit in Dubai, but somehow that ended up not happening and I decided to make the most of my staff travel benefits (as I like to do every month!) and fly to Australia!

The flight was looking pretty good, with around 40 spare seats, so I booked my ticket and packed my bags. However as I double checked the loads the night before, suddenly there were only 3 seats available to Melbourne! Luckily the guys at staff travel did their best and I managed to get on, even it was the dreaded middle seat! But who’s complaining when you’re paying practically nothing ๐Ÿ˜‰

13 hours later I finally arrived in Melbourne airport, and Sarah came to pick me up. As it was only around 6am we headed back to hers for the most important thing – sleep!

After some much needed sleep it was onto what somehow turned into a theme for the rest of the week – breakfast! Or more like brunch, although not in the Dubai sense of the word (going out on a Friday from 12-4 and eating and drinking as much as possible!).

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After cycling around 400km in 6 days, we deserved a little break in the beautiful city of Budapest.

This was our first time visiting the city, however my brother Harry has some Hungarian friends and one of them was handily available to play tour guide and drive us around in her car!

Our first stop was Heroes’ Square. A very impressive square with monuments of the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and lots of other important national leaders.

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Viki, our tour guide for the day, then dropped us off at a gorgeous castle. We had a walk around the grounds and admired all of the beautiful architecture.DSCN6882

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We then stopped off at St Stephen’s Basilica and decided to climb to the top to see the amazing views over the city. It must have been a popular day to get married as we saw 4 or 5 brides in the space of a couple of hours!

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After stopping for some traditional Hungarian lunch we drove up to the Buda side (Budapest is in two parts – Buda and Pest, split by the river) to see the Citadella.

The Citadella is a kind of fortress which was built in 1851. The view from the top spans the city as well as the Danube and its 8 bridges.DSCN6946 DSCN6949 DSCN6957 DSCN6960

We then drove to the Fisherman’s Bastion, which was actually like a town inside a castle!

There was a church there as well and we saw another 3 brides getting married!DSCN6963 DSCN6969 DSCN6979

It looked like we’d stepped into a beautiful fairytale castle!DSCN6981DSCN6989

In the evening we’d been recommended a river cruise. The boat sails along the river after sunset so you get to see all of the glistening lights and enjoy dinner and a drink at the same time. DSCN6994 DSCN6998 DSCN7013What a beautiful sight to end our holiday!

Thanks again to mum and dad for taking me with you and putting up with all my complaining about sore legs after every day of cycling! ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

P.s. If you want more regular day-to-day updates of what’s happening in my life, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @rachelwwilson!

Right after my trip to San Francisco, I had around 2 weeks of leave! Mum and Dad very kindly invited me to come on holiday with them. They were going to be cycling around 400km from Vienna to Budapest!

I decided I might as well join them and get a bit of exercise!

Right after I landed from San Fran I quickly packed my bags and headed back to the airport for an overnight flight to Vienna. I made my way to their hotel and our first day of cycling was from Vienna to Bratislava.

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Most of the route was right along the Danube river on cycling paths.

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We stopped along the way by a huge cherry tree and Dad insisted that I climb the tree to get cherries for us!

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Once we arrived at our hotel in Bratislava, we had a nice walk around the city before dinner. There was some kind of food festival going on, so we just couldn’t pass up a glass of wine for 50 cents each!

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The next day our route took us from Bratislava to Mosonmagyarovar, in Hungary. (Not the easiest name to pronounce!)

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A lot of the way we were cycling along gravel paths, which was very tough going!

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Passing by fields and fields full of beautiful white poppies.

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After Mosonmagyarovar, our next stop was Gyรถr, also in Hungary.

The company that organises the cycling holidays arranges all the hotels for you, and every morning they come and pick up your suitcases and drop them off at the next hotel. Very handy for us, as it meant we didn’t have to carry anything with us except what we needed for the day.

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From Gyรถr we cycled back into Slovakia, to a town called Komarno. It’s actually in both Slovakia and Hungary, split into two parts by the Danube river. We stayed on the Slovakian side, and whilst exploring we discovered some beautiful buildings in the town.

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Our second last day took us from Komarno to Visegrad, back into Hungary. I think this was one of the longest routes we did, at about 80km!

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Finally on our last day of cycling we went from Visegrad to Budapest.

We stopped off at a very picturesque little town on the way called Szentendre, which was absolutely full of tourists!

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Once we finally made it to Budapest we were pretty much all cycled out!

Luckily we had two days here to do some exploring and sightseeing…and all of those pictures will be in my next post! ๐Ÿ™‚

P.s. If you’d like to see more day-to-day updates of what’s happening in my life, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @rachelwwilson!