sleeping at Dubai airport….onwards towards Auckland
We lose most of today somewhere.
We left Istanbul yesterday evening and took a four hour flight (just long enough to watch a movie and enjoy dinner) to Dubai, arriving when it was pitch black. Ribbons of orange lights stretched out beneath the plane as we landed. Having just spent a couple of weeks taking in mosque-ish architecture, the airport itself struck us as very mosque-like; big glass domes with star patterns. Men in turbans, leather sandals and flowing white robes set this place apart as different to anywhere else we’d been so far. Security was very tight – shoes and belts had to be removed for x-raying in addition to the usual bag searches just to get into the transit area. Might be something to do with the plane that some dude tried to bomb the day before we flew!
We spent from 1am local time through to 10am perched on semi-reclining seats or spread out on uncomfortable seats or the floor and tried to sleep. The adults each managed an hour, the kids significantly more.
Then taking off in daylight, our eyes flitted between the massive highrises of the main strip and the fenced mansion compounds creeping into the desert. Interesting to see roads getting covered with sand – do they plough them like the snow in colder climes? We flew over the manmade islands forming a map of the world – reactions of various family members ranged from *twee* to amazing, from creative to *won’t it all be wiped out in a tidal wave one day?*
A thirteen hour flight followed. Most of the children sat glued to their personal television screens for the duration, taking breaks only for meals. Adults enjoyed the babysitting service and took in a few movies ourselves! (Two recommendations: Julie and Julia, and Food, Inc.)
Meeting the sunrise somewhere over Australia, we marvelled at the hours and hours we spent winging our way across that massive continent of red dirt throwing up dark green trees. After another transit hour in early morning drizzly Melbourne, we were on the last leg.
The screens continued to perform their magic..
Forty four hours after waking in Istanbul, we flew over Lion Rock and our-favourite-beach-we-always-go-to, Karekare, and finally touched down in Auckland. It would be another five hours before we would let anyone go to bed!
But now we’re getting ahead of ourselves – that all happens on the 28th.
As I said, we lose the 27th.
PS When we checked in at Istanbul we were carrying 130kg – considerably more than we had been with our last days’ shopping, and that also included 20kg of pot and wok that we had been lugging round since the motorhomes. So if we took all that off, we’d estimate we clocked in at about 10kg per person, which doesn’t sound like a lot! But you know what? If we went again we’d take even less. We’ve discussed what we could leave behind, what extras we would take (only one thing, actually – a tripod)….and I really hope we have the opportunity to try out our theories sometime!