140529 Melbourne to Oslo

Welcome to the first post of our Group Trip to Scandinavia stopping in Dubai for 3 days and 3 and a bit nights on the way.  I say ‘bit’ because we only arrived at the hotel rooms about 4:00am in the morning after the 13 hour flight from Melbourne. We left Melbourne about 15 minutes late but made up time which put us into Dubai 25 minutes ahead of schedule.  Our flight path took us over Perth before making a turn to the north-west, over the search site for MH370 (mmm, thought provoking indeed) then over Male in the Maldives and on in to Dubai.

The airport terminal was not too busy at all and we were quickly through immigration and customs procedures (it was 3:00am in the morning)  Our transfers had us at the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates by 4:00am and we were in bed very soon after. After a long flight, most people are happy to enjoy a sleep-in and so breakfast was late and then the plight of the lost iPad started – see “The story of the lost iPad” I have to acknowledge that it was Lyn’s idea to write the story in the first person. (Should I submit the article to Reader’s Digest to be published in their “Senior’s Moments” section?  Responses in the comments at the foot of this post.)

We managed to find the Indian Restaurant in the Mall of the Emirates that we had eaten at back in April last year. Lyn went through the menu and found what she believed she had chosen then and remembered taking a photo of the finished dish. The waiter said, “Yes, that’s it”, when he saw the photo. So we had the same dish again. Some shopping was enjoyed by most of our group at the Mall.  What an extensive location with even a 400 meter ski slope to enjoy.  Ah … but none of us tried it.

The first sightseeing tour commenced at 8:30am on Saturday for a tour of the old Dubai.  Lyn and I rested for the morning beside the pool on the top floor.  In the evening, most of us enjoyed the Cruise around the creeks of Dubai and were treated to some delicious Indian food – again. Sunday morning, the rest of our group tried the Tour of the old Dubai. That was highlighted by us meeting up with a couple from Newcastle we had met on a cruise in the Eastern Mediterranean back in 2012 – small world. We checked out the ‘posh’ hotels along the coast and the residences of some of the Dubai prominent sheikhs. The short tour through an old accommodation area was interesting as the houses are built with a quadrangle in the centre.  The windows faced into the quadrangle and there were no windows facing out, so as to keep what went on in the residence, private. The Dubai Museum was ‘underground’; cool and protected from the sandstorms that come on occasion. There was a quick ferry crossing to the market area nearby before ‘passing’ quickly through the gold market. We didn’t purchase any of the wares, would you believe?  On Sunday evening, we took a cab to the Dubai Mall to view the water fountain show.  We waited for 30 minutes, and were treated to a famous Italian couple singing “The Prayer” to the dancing fountains.  It was here that we accidentally met up with a couple who are joining us in Oslo for our tour – another coincidence.

Even though it has been over 40 degrees most our stay in Dubai, the humidity was not too hard to bare. An early start on Monday saw us take another 6 hour flight to Copenhagen, change planes and on to Oslo in Norway.  An interesting episode happened at the check-in.  Our trusty tour leader had had her tickets cancelled in Melbourne due to a ‘no show’, we were told. “But if I was a ‘no show’ in Melbourne, how come I am in Dubai now?” Tickets were reissued for the rest of the trip – we hope. I think someone is going to hear of the turmoil and commotion had at Dubai.

The transfer in Oslo was ready to take us towards the city just 30 minutes away.  After the barren landscape of the Dubai countryside, Norway is a complete contrast with green trees and lush green, green grass.  Our hotel is just 4km from the city and the Metro is close by.

Seniors Moment

I am glad that my turn of having to relate my moment has passed.  No-one will remember by the time we get back to Melbourne.  Ha! Ha!

 

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