Thursday, 31 May 2012

On the Way Home

Fri 1st June. This is written sitting in the lounge at Sydney, waiting for the penultimate flight back to the Manawatu. We took off from Nice on Wed 4pm and arrived in hot Dubai at midnight. We stayed in an airport hotel which enabled a few hours sleep before getting back on the bird for the long flight to Sydney. We travelled on the double decker A380 aircraft, a pretty impressive beast. Not sure what they are like on the bottom deck but we certainly had no complaints upstairs. Rose has made the most of her four upgrades and is smiling like a Cheshire cat. We get back to Feilding at 7.00pm tonight, just in time to watch the mighty Crusaders take on the Highlanders. The Chauffeur is looking forward to a bit of footy after a month away. Look for our trip summary, coming to this blog soon.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Nice in Nice

Tues 29th. Our final full day in Nice before jumping on the plane at 2pm local time tomorrow. It appears that the Chauffeur's brother has come thru and it looks like Business Class all the way home on the Emirates for the three of us. The extra baggage allowance will come in handy. As you can see from the photo packing the bags has not been the easiest of tasks. We have had a relaxing day in Nice, a nice seaside city. Not all of the sights on the beach were that great with some old leathery muttons not great for viewing. John Wayne's saddlebags is a description that comes to mind.  The Chauffeur dropped the car back to Peugeot this afternoon and the little scrape is covered by insurance. We off to town tonight for the finale dinner with the Chauffeur looking forward to his final meal of veal for the trip.

Monday, 28 May 2012


Mon 28th. Today was our final travel day by road from St Maxime to Nice. It started off in brilliant Mediteranean sunshine and finished with a catastrophe for the Chauffeur at the end of the journey. The trip around the coastline was very picturesque and we stopped in Cannes on the way for lunch with our friends Lech & Lynne, who have a fabulous apartment overlooking the bay. They took us into town, which was still buzzing from the Cannes Film Festival finale the night before. Cannes was impressive, but not as impressive as the superb lunch provided by Lynne and the first class wine selection provided by Lech after our little sojourn into town. We were also shown around the amazing gardens of their apartment complex. A most enjoyable afternoon, with tremendous hospitality from our hosts. We left Cannes at 6.30pm for our short trip to Nice. It was heartbreaking for the Chauffeur that after 2800kms of travel on the trip without incident, and the day before Pierre the Peugeot is returned, an altercation with a concrete post as we descended into the gloomy, narrow catacombe like bowels of the hotel car park left Pierre with a scrapped mudguard. Bugger!!!!! We finished the day with another nice stroll along the Promenade d'Anglais to give us a bit of a feel for Nice so that we can explore it tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

St Tropez, C'est la Vie!

Sunday 27th.  Another experience of a different kind today with a ferry trip over to St Tropez, just 15 minutes across the bay. We docked amongst the super yachts. Some pretty amazing luxury gin palaces were a real eye opener. We arrived in ST early and it was quiet and peaceful, but after a walk into the old part of town, the Place de Lices and a visit up the hill to the Citedal for a view down on the town and out to the gulf, we arrived back at the waterfront to find things a lot busier. There were those who were there to see and those who were there to be seen. The pretty people were out and about and we sat in a cafe drinking our Perrier water and taking it all in. The Chauffeur thought that the two chicks from Feilding held there own in the looks department even though they aren't botoxed to the eyeballs.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Sunny St Maxime

Sat 26th. We started the day at a very leisurely pace with a bit of a lie in at our luxery Marseille hotel. To wake to the views out over the Old Port with the sun shining brightly, was magnified when we decided to treat ourselves to a breakfast on the top floor. The views were "magnifique" and the breakfast was delicious with plenty of fresh fruit and our first feed of bacon and eggs for the trip. C'est tres bon!  We were entertained by Buonana, a waiter from Senegal who thought the Chauffeur was an African chief, given the two "wives".  The trip to St Maxime was a nice easy drive of 120kms and took us thru a variety of great scenery, from rocky passes to vineyards and forests. We also took in the city of Toulon on the way. We now sit on our hotel deck looking out on the Med, sipping a gin & tonic and basking in a mild 26 degrees. We have another day here tomorrow and are planning to visit St Tropez, just over the other side of the bay from where we are staying. We are belatedly pleased to advise that Liz has lost her Elvis bouffant hairstyle that grew quickly on tour and is now sporting a sexy new French cut. Oh la la!

Friday, 25 May 2012


Fri 25th. This photo shows the view from our room over the Old Port of Marseille. This is an historic fortified port with the first inhabitants of Marseille being dated back to the Bronze Age. That's pretty old. Our trip today was about 140 kms and first took us to Arles, and old Roman town and also where Van Gogh painted some of his masterpieces. We visited an old amphitheatre which is also used as a bullring. Lovely old buildings. Then we headed down thru the Camargue, a National Park wetland area. We saw the white horses, the black bullfighting bulls but didn't see any flamingos. A late lunch was at a little portside cafe where we enjoyed a meal of baby octopus and salad. It felt a bit funny chewing on all those arms and legs. Then into Marseille, a busy and congested city and France's second biggest. Another day on the big adventure comes to a close.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Aix en Provence

Thurs 24th. A lovely sunny day here in AeP and the markets were up and running in the town. We have had a very leisurely day strolling around the streets taking in the sights and sounds. The Chauffeur is quite enjoying some of the elegant ladies in their little sun dresses. We again caught up with Merrin and Kaye and had a relaxing morning together. Liz's hair has grown to the point of looking like Elvis, so Rose and the Chauffeur have packed her off to the hairdressers this afternoon for a "chic Francais coiffure". Meanwhile, we sit in a bar waiting to see the result with a nice cold beer in our hand. We are again going to dine with M&K tonigt before making our way to Marseille tomorrow via the old Roman town of Arles and then thru the saltmarshes of the Carmargue.

Ye Olde Friends

Wed 23rd. Another second installment due to the girls catching up with some old friends, Merrin and Kaye, who travelled down from England to see us as part of their holiday. We had a very enjoyable evening over another fine dinner in the heart of Aix en Provence. M&K were at a slight disadvantage in that their luggage was still in Manchester when they arrived in France, leaving them only with spare knickers and a letter from Fay in their carry on. Good advert for Ryanair, NOT!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Into Provence

Wed 23rd. Because of late night last night we had a leisurely start to the day at our Hotel du Clos in Le Rouret. Breakfast in the garden was a nice way to get things underway. Our journey today was 170kms to Aix en Provence, a large university town famous for Paul Cezanne, the artist. It was an easy trip down thru the countryside with the roads in France considerably wider than they are in Italy, resulting in far fewer underpant threatening moments. There were so many vineyards on the way that it is hard to imagine that this area produces only a small part of the wine for France. Aix en Provence is a bustling town and our hotel is just a 100 metres from the main area and close to the shops and market. Great! Tonight we are dining with some English fiends of Liz and Rose, who they first met nearly 30 years ago in their cricket days. Merrin and Kaye have coincided their holiday to catch up with us, which is great. We will update you on this front tomorrow, but the Chauffeur has been looking to buy some ear plugs given that he is dining with four women tonight. The photo of the day shows the girls outside the perfumerie in Grasse.

La Bastide St Antoine - Yum!

Tues 22nd. This is our second post for Tuesday, but our experience at the restaurant La Bastide St Antoine in Grasse deserves a special mention. Our friends, Lech & Lynne, who live part time in each of Cannes, Cyprus and Clearwater in Chch, took us to this fantastic restaurant for what has to be one of the best meals available on the planet. We all had the degustation menu which gave us an amazing array of tastes and flavours in small portions. The Chef and Owner, Jacques Chibois is a Michelin starred chef and it certainly was a dining experience that we will never forget. Monsieur Chibois visited us at our table at the end of the night, which ended up very late, to ensure that we enjoyed our meal. Superlative.  It was great to catch up with Lech & Lynne in their part of the world and we appreciated the opportunity to share both their company and this amazing restaurant.

Allez les Bleus

Tues 22nd. We spent the morning in Monte Carlo and got a good look at the principality that covers an area of less than 2 square kms. A long walk to visit the royal palace rewarded us with great views looking back into the city.  Monaco exudes wealth and is a nice place to visit but we didnt think it would be great to live there unless you were a squillionaire. We headed out of Monaco on a short trip into France to a place 70kms away to a place called Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. The girls did a tour of a perfume factory and came out smelling delightful. Our camp for the night was a short distance away in Le Rouret where we stayed in a lovely little stone cottage with relaxing gardens. We had time in the late afternoon sun to sample a bottle of Rose and a tasty cheeseboard before heading out to our dinner date with our frinds from Chch.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Another World

Mon 21st. Today we left Italy and have bunked down for the night in Monte Carlo. Our day started in heavy rain in La Spezia so we decided to hit the Autostrada to get some quick miles on the clock rather than meander thru winding roads. We left the autostrada in Genoa, a large port city and then followed the secondary roads thru the Italian Riviera, arriving in Monaco at 4pm after a journey of over 300kms. Unfortunately the weather was poor to average for most of the journey, but didn't detract from the trip too much. Monaco certainly shows signs of affluence with tidy streets and gardens and grand buildings. They are gearing up for the F1 Grand Prix at the end of the week and you can see the preparations already made for the track. We managed to stay out of the Casino but Rose had to have her photo taken with a flash Maseratti parked outside. If you like cars and boats, this is the place to be with many fine boats docked in the marina and an array of Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Maserattis, Mercedes, Maybachs and Porsches roaming the streets along with garden variety BMW's and Audis. The prices in the shops are pretty high so the girls have stowed away the credit cards for 24 hours. Yeehaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Cinque Terre

Sunday 20th. We got an earlier than scheduled wakeup call at 4am when an earthquake rattled thru La Spezia. It was centred at Bologna, a town we travelled thru a week ago and caused some damage in that area. We got a fairly good shake here and for a moment thought we were back in Chch. Back to the holiday, we caught the ferry out to the Cinque Terre villages and explored 3 of the 5, plus Portovenere, missing on Riomaggiore and Corniglia as the weather closed in and became wet and cold. While we all certainly enjoyed the experience perhaps it may have been more spectacular if the weather had been better. Because of the inclement weather we were unable to walk between any of the villages which was a bit disappointing. Tomorrow we say Ciao to Itsly and head to Monaco. Arrivederci.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Ciao the Med

Sat 19th. Today we left the lovely Tuscan countryside and headed east towards the sea. We stopped off at Pisa to see this badly built tower that somehow got a building consent from the local council. Then onwards to Lucca, an old town surrounded by a huge brick wall, where we had lunch and a wander. Next was the drive through changing countryside to La Spezia, a fairly large port town from where we are going to explore the Cinque Terre villages tomorrow. The trip here was about 160kms and took us from rolling hills, thru farmland, coastal and finally back to some large hills that fall into the sea. We took a stroll down by the waterfront and viewed some rather large yachts and fishermen hopefully casting into the water. We have a big day tomorrow so an early night is in store.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Franca's, Italy's Best Ristorante

Fri 18th. We have met some very nice people on our travels, and this is Franca, owner and chef of the Osteria Lo Ziro restaurant in Impruneta, who is one of them. We have had two special Tuscan dinners at Franca's and are heading back there tonight for our last meal in Tuscany. The food has to be some of the best that the Chauffeur has tasted anywhere in the world. Franca speaks little English and despite our very limited Italian we have had no trouble in communicating with her and meeting her and dining at her restaurant will remain in our memories for a long time to come.
Another kind experience occurred on our first night in Impruneta. We were walking the short distance into town for a meal when it started raining heavily and we took shelter under a tree. A lady who was out walking went into her house and returned with umbrellas and offered them to us. Again, she did not speak English but her kind gesture blew us away. These are examples of the friendliness that we have received from the Italians as we have travelled thru their country.

Arrivederci Tuscany

Fri 18th. Our last full day in Tuscany has arrived and tomorow we depart for La Spezia at the base of the Cinque Terre villages. This morning we took a short drive out to Grassina and took a look at the oldest golf course in Italy. You would certainly want to have the ability to hit off side hill lies. Grassina was bigger and busier than we anticipated and we decided that we would soon head back to our own village of Impruneta, especially after a viking demanded protection money for our car in the car park. We have really enjoyed our stay here at the Villa l'Olmo in Impruneta. We have had lots of space and the view over the Tuscan hills has been soothing. This afternoon is about some more relaxing and re packing for our onward journey. We will have very fond memories of the Tuscan / Chianti region, and Liz has the photos to prove it. The photo shows the town square of Impruneta.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Under the Tuscan Sun

Thur 17th. After some hectic travelling and sightseeing so far, we all decided a day of rest was in store. Luckily it concided with our best weather day in Tuscany. The girls broke out the togs and we spent the day reading and relaxing by the pool. The water in the pool could be described as fresh and invigorating and caused the Chauffeur to resemble many of the statues seen in recent days. Unfortunately this physical resemblance did not apply to the abs. Tonight we are returning to a lovely little Italian family restaurant in the village, where we had a great meal the other night. The hospitality of the Italians has been one of the highlights on the trip so far. We are loving our cottage here and the peace and quiet of the surrounds. Although this has changed a bit this afternoon with the arrival of some loud Yanks, but I am sure the Chauffeur will sort them out if they get too annoying. Tomorrow is a toss up between a trip to Lucca and another rest day. Watch this space!

Out & About in Tuscany

Wed 16th. This started out as a pretty tough day for the Chauffeur. First there was extreme difficulty (abject failure actually) in getting the girls out of their beds for an early start on the road to Siena some 60 kms away. Then he forgot the ipad that allows you to view the picture of the day. Next was falling foul of a carbineri with his speed camera as he tried to make up for lost time. And lastly, upon arival in Siena to be met with so many vehicles circling to try and find a car park it was like watching a large school of pirranha fish pouncing on a fresh T bone steak. With so little chance of finding a park we decided to head 30 kms to San Gimignano, an old walled town with narrow alleyways (yes, more of them) and tall smoke stack like towers protruding into the sky. SG was a pretty special place to visit and has probably been the favourite in Italy for the Chauffeur. On the way to SG, we stopped into the castle at Montiriggione, where we had lunch and again wandered the cobblestoned streets. After SG, we decided to head back to Siena in a hope that a lot of the tourists had gone home. Fortunately they had and we were able to explore the streets and famed palazzo without too many numptys getting in the way. There were also a couple of old churches and a number of handbag shops to view. We finished the day successfully with dinner in a cafe in the palazzo as the sun was setting. How romantic! sorry about the photo, it is from todays lunch as explained earlier.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

A Day in Florence

Tues 15th. Today is the halfway mark of our holiday. The time has gone both fast and slow, as it seems ages since we boarded the plane in Auckland and we have fitted much into our journey so far, but we are also conscious that we are racing thru our destinations and are closing in on the finish line. We marked this point with a trip into Florence on the bus. The thought of trying to find a car park in Florence and then finding where we left the car at the end of the day was going to be too much for The Chauffeur. The bus picked us up outside our front gate and we headed into the big smoke at 8.00am. We wandered the narrow alleyways, walked around the Duomo and across the Ponte Vecchio bridge, all the main touristy things. The girls also found time to look at leather jackets - as you would expect. Theay also had a good look at some of the statues, also as you would expect. Lunch was a pizza in ristorante sitting in the sun in one of the piazzo then we did a 2 hour tour of Florence on an open topped bus, which gave us a great perspective of this city. There is beauty, there is drab, there is opulence, there is poverty - but over riding it all is the feeling that this is one of the great cities this world has seen in history. 

Monday, 14 May 2012


Monday 14th. Our day started somewhat leisurely then we headed down to the local supermarket for a few supplies for our cottage. Late morning we headed out into the Tuscan countryside. Beautiful rolling hills, with stone buildings, vineyards, olives and trees. A leisurely drive to the Chianti area, where we took in the villages of Greve, Castellina and Radda. We strolled around the villages and generally enjoyed the scenery and relaxing. We returned to our cottage for a picnic dinner with local tasty product. Another very enjoyable day on this special holiday. We head into Florence tomorrow, by bus, to give the Chauffeur a well earned rest from his driving duties. That, and the difficulty in finding car parks in the city. Todays photo show the girls in the piazzo in Greve. Naughty girls wanting their photo taken with that statue.

Onward to Tuscany

Sunday 13th. A cold day dawned in Brunate but our blood pressure was soon increased by our trip away from our hotel. Once again we ran the gauntlet of extremely narrow roads as we came down off the hill. The roads are pretty narrow here at the best of times, especially as we are staying of the motorways to better experience the villages and the countryside, but this road in and out of Brunate was something else. Imagine driving down your hallway, at a steep angle with s bends and switchbacks and with the odd car coming at you from the other direction, well that was driving at Brunate. Whew!!!!! But thanks to the exceptional driving skills of the multi lingual Chauffeur, and our talented GPS system - Lady Penelope, we left the area without a scratch on our Peugeot. Amazing!!!! Our trip south to Tuscany was undertaken in cold and wet weather and took us thru some average scenery and some even more average cities such as Milan, Parma & Modena. They all looked pretty grungy and has reinforced our decision to spend more of our time in the countryside. We are staying in Impruneta, a few kms out of Florence at the Villa L'Olmo, a working olive farm and vineyard. Check it out on - Our accommodation has exceeded our expectations and is a great two bedroom cottage with its own swimming pool. Pity the temperatures have dropped to the mid teens and we are back in our warmer clothing. Rose is rapt to have her own room with a double bed. The photo shows the front of our cottage.

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Lake Como View

A view of Lake Como from our hotel.

Brunate Heights

Sat 12th. Another relaxed start to the day at our B&B in Meina. Our hosts were very nice people and we presented them with a silver fern badge and some NZ chocolates as it was his birthday. All of the people that we have had contact with so far have been very friendly and they have helped make our trip very enjoyable. We only had a short trip of 70 kms today to Lake Como, where we are staying in Brunate, some 500 metres above the lake with stunning views. It was a bit of a battle getting to our hotel however, travelling up narrow roads that even a billy goat would struggle to traverse. The cars travelling downhill did not seem to have brakes as they hurtled at us at a great rate of knots. Clean undies required all round. The Chauffeur was magnifico in his driving duties and we all arrived safe and sound to the marvellous views that you see in the attached photo. A lovely outdoor lunch and a relaxing day enjoying the view, the food and wine and the hospitality from our current host is in store. Tomorrow we have our biggest drive of the trip, heading south to our vineyard farmstay in Impruneta, 20kms out of Florence. Arrivederci

Friday, 11 May 2012

Lake Maggiore

Fri 11th. A more relaxing day today with no travel involved. Our first stop after a leisurely breakfast at our very nice B&B was off to the world famous Isola Bella gardens on an island just out from the town of Stresa. There was a large palace constructed in the 1600's with these amazing gardens as part of the whole place. Great views , perfect weather and an amazing place. We are not faced with too many tourists as this is early in the tourist season.  The girls have been well retrained in their shopping so far, although a man at one shop asked the Chauffeur if "Is this is all you do all day, sit and wait ?". Chauffeur has earned a number of green cards for his patience, baggage handling and intrpretation, although he is having more difficulty with Italiano than with French. Ciao

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Matterhorn to Lake Maggiore

Thurs 10th. A brilliant morning at the Matterhorn with the sun shining on the peaks of the big mountain. A drive thru the Italian countryside to one of the best kept secrets, Lake Orta, called the Cinderella Island. This place is an ancient village with an island of old buildings 400 metres off shore.  Pretty special place. Then onto Stresa, whre the famous Isola Bella gardens are located and where we will visit tomorrow. Our accommodation is 12km from Stresa and is a nice B&B located on the lake edge. Just finished the day with a tasty pasta meal in Arona.

Claudio the Shopkeeper

An extra posting from the Matterhorn. We went to buy a bottle of wine and some cheese from the local deli and came across Claudio, the owner. He was a gas and shouted the girls a bottle of grappa to celebrate their birthday. He then closed his shop mid afternoon to take us to a bar next door and shouted us a beer and introduced us to the restaurant owner to eat there that night. Talk about great hospitality and friendliness from the Italians.

Majestic Matterhorn

Wed 9th. We left Chamonix in rain and travelled the winding roads thru the valleys with a vista of towering snow clad mountains above. We crossed thru the St Bernards tunnel into Italy. We drove thru the Aosta Valley and up to Breuile Cervinia, a small ski resort half way up the mighty Matterhorn at 2000 metres.  We happily strolled the quiet township and watched and listened to the avalanches falling in the surrounding mountains. Another day to cherish.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Montreaux to Chamonix

Tues 8th. Another early start, leaving Montreaux at 7.30am. We travelled along the south side of Lake Geneva, with magnificent views of the mountains and lake. We stopped in at Evian, home of the famous Evian water and the Ladies Evian Masters Golf Tournament. Liz and Le Chauffeur bought a souvenir golf cap. The course looked amazing. Then we had to double back to Geneva to pick up our jackets, which the No1 Back Seat Driver had left in a cupboard when we stayed there. luckily it wasn,t far out of our way. Yellow card to Liz!  Then onto Chamonix, a ski resort in a valley surrounded by mountains. We headed straight up the Mont Blance csble car asmunfortunstely the weather was starting to close in. Despite visibility being impaired, it was still a very special trip up the side of a mountain to 3800 metres. It was snowing up top and pretty amazing.  Some of the Asians struggled with the altitude and they were dropping like flys up there. Green asians arent a pretty sight. Finished up the day with a stroll around Chamonix and a meal of veal and a blonde Mont Blanc beer at a restaurant 100 metres from our hotel. Tomorrow, back thru Switzerland and then thru the Alps to Breuil Cervinia at the base of the Matterhorn. Au revoir from Chamonix.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Geneva to Montreaux

Monday 7th May. A taxi ride to pick up our car, a Peugeot 308 wagon and then the trip began. Le Chauffeur did not get off to a great start in the car. Firstly driving down a lane on the wrong side of the road (easily done), missing a red light (distracted by both back seat drivers), then giving the wheel rims a bit of a dusting (narrow roads).  The drive thru the green pastures and trees was in complete contrast to Dubai. Some great little villages were followed by a stop at Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee. Lausanne is a beautiful city on the shores of Lake Geneva. A short trip from Lausanne found us in Montreaux, an even nicer place with great views over the lake and out to the mountains. Spectacular!  We strolled the promenade on a warm sunny day and understood why the place is referred to as the Swiss Riviera. Bon soir from Montreaux. Tomorrow Chamonix.

Bonjour Switzerland

Sunday 7th May. An early start to catch the Emirates flight to Geneva. Bad luck continued to dog the trip with all three of us being upgraded to Business Class. Tough! A six hour flight saw us fly over Baghdad and land at 2pm. After checking into to our hotel we wandered the streets to get a feel for the place. We found Geneva to be a bit grungy but it was good to visit for a few hours. Dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and off to bed. Photo shows the famous Geneva fountain, the worlds tallest which reaches a height of 140 metres.

Dubai Finale

Sat  5th May. Our last day in Dubai before heading to Geneva early tomorrow.  Graham took us to his place of work, Emirates flight training centre, where we had a good look around their complex. This included a look in the flight simulators for both the Airbus A380 & the Boeing 777, both aircraft we get to fly in. In the afternoon we travelled out to the Atlantis hotel, a luxery hotel built on reclaimed land in the shape of a palm tree. Late in the afternoon we visited the gold & diamond market, where despite the urgings of The Chauffeur, the Girls were remarkably restrained. The day finished when Graham, Evelyn & Jenna hosted us for a tasty BBQ. Tomorrow, Switzerland!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

50 in Dubai

Fri 4th May. Well the big day has finally arrived. The Girl's hit the big 50. The spring chicken days are certainly behind them. What better way to celebrate than with some shopping!!!!! Graham & Evelyn took us to anothrr one of the huge malls where the girls shouted themselves a nice watch. One got a bling bling and the other got a bright pink one. Home for a bit of a rest before heading out to the big birthday bash at the six star Burj al Arab. G&E had secretly organised a stretched limosine pick up and we cruised to the hotel in style sipping on champagne. The hotel is very opulent and we headed up to the Skybar at the top for a fancy cocktail, then down to the Al Mahara restaurant for a magnificent meal. The restaurant is built around an aquarium and has a surreal feeling. The food was sublime, lobster, crab, and a variety of fish washed down by some Dog Point Sav Blanc from NZ. We won't mention the difference in price for buying the wine in NZ. At the end of the evening the hotel present both Liz & Rose with a fancy birthday cake each. Special. I am sure this is a birthday that the girls will never forget.

Day 2 Dubai

Thursd 3rd. Started with the trip up the mighty Burj Khalifa tower. What a magnificent building. It has only been open for a year or two and stands as a beacon over Dubai, dwarfing every other skyscraper in town. We went up to the 124th floor observatory wher you get to see the scale of Dubai. Amazing views and not a place to be if you are not keen on heights.
After the tower, a cruise around the lower two floors of the huge shopping mall was undertaken. Lots of window shopping but the only purchase was lunch and a new belt for The Chauffeur. Girl,s were a bit overwhelmed I think.
 At 4pm we caught the Desert Safari, which took us 4 wheel driving out in the sand dunes, including seeing some falconry and finishing with a great meal, returning home at 10pm. A great trip and certainly something to recommend to anyone travelling here.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Day 1 - Dubai

Wed 2nd.  Arrive in around 4-30am local time after close to 20 hours in the air.  Good flight over with no dramas.  Went to post this blog at 6pm and found blog can't be uploaded here in Dubai due to restrictions. Damn!!!!  Got a sneaky work around but can't post photo of girls outside mosque. Graham gave us a great tour of the city.  Big place.  Visited the 7's rugby ground and the ICC cricket complex where we caught up with Dayle Hadlee, who had coached Liz & Rose, and who I had played with in the Canterbury cricket team many years ago. Also short visit to the gold market, but we soon got sick of the badgering by the eager sellers.  Whew, that will save some money!!! A bit hot for the girls with temperatures hitting 41 degrees today.  Won't be long out of bed tonight.