Day 1: Disneyland on acid

Hello from Dubai: a surreal world of bright, bright lights and strange, strange shapes.

A place where you will find the tallest building in the world (the Burj Al Khalifa)…

Burj Al Khalifa, Dubai

… where shopping centres contain fountains, aquariums & theme parks, plus ice rinks and ski slopes WITH REAL SNOW (yes, it snows inside the shopping centre). And ladies in burkas go snowboarding!

Indoor ski slope, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai

A place of crazy man-made islands with hotels that are a cross between the Ferrero Rocher ambassador’s gaff, and that of Karl Stromberg in ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’.
That hotel – the Atlantis on the Palm Jumeirah – has a house speciality cocktail called ‘Ambassador Lagoon’, which matched their piano bar’s aquamarine walls, and was pretty much bang on the thematic money.

Atlantis Hotel, Dubai

I’ll add more photos when I get a better wi-fi connection (Dubai International Airport’s, somewhat implausibly, is borderline useless). Until then, here’s a man dressed as a horse skulking around in a consumer electronics shop. No, I don’t know either!

I’m off to board a flight to Kuala Lumpur (singing the b3ta badger song over and over again!), so see you on the other side.

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The Big Trip is booked…watch this space!

I sneaked a longer lunch and went to pay off the balance of what, from here on in, will be known as The Big Trip. SO excited!
For those who don’t know, I’ve been in my job just over ten years, and so I get a month’s paid (!) sabbatical as a loyalty bonus. Given a few Bank Holidays and some annual leave, I’ve got that up to six weeks.
So, I leave for DubaiMalaysiaChinaTibetNepalBhutanIndia on 31st March straight from work. I expect the highlights to be Tibet (pretty much all of it), Everest Base Camp, the Formula 1 at Sepang (Kuala Lumpur) on Easter Sunday, all of Bhutan, the Taj Mahal….okay, I’ll shut up now!