Fantastic Chaos Has Moved – Come Visit My New Home

My blog has moved!

I’ve been silent for about a month now, but I’ve been doing some great things during that time. I decided to make a proper go of my blog and I am now self-hosting it, so Fantastic Chaos has moved.

Please come visit me at my new home: http://www.fantasticchaos.net 

You’ll notice a new blog layout and I’ll be posting a lot more regularly.

If you still want to follow me, subscribe with  your email address on my new site, or create a Bloglovin account and follow me there (just type my new URL into the search bar and then click “follow” when you find me). Bloglovin is a website (and app) which allows you to follow your favourite blogs without even having to create a blog yourself!

Thank you for your support on this site and I hope you join me at the new place: http://www.fantasticchaos.net

Hassle Free Airport Transfers

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When trying to find the best way to get to and from an airport in a foreign country, I have gone for the easiest option. Since it was our first overseas trip, I was happy to spend a little extra on transfers, than try and work out public transport/ taxi’s at each new destination.

I really love google and I don’t know how anyone would have travelled 15 years ago without the internet being the powerhouse it is now and heavily relied on. Through the wonderful machine that is google I found a company called Sun Transfers. After a quick browse of their website and reading the FAQ’s, and reviews on the company website and some reviews on Trip Advisor I decided to get a quote.

Our first stop was Dubai. I put in all the information into the quote generator on the main webpage. All you need to know is airport, suburb of your hotel, if you want return transfer or just one way, the dates and the number of passengers.

Their website is available in 8 different languages and you can also convert the currency to see what it would cost in your own country’s currency. This proved a helpful tool for me. After inputting our details the quote came back as $65 AUD for 2 people to go in a private car from Dubai airport to our hotel and then back again when we were flying out. After catching a few taxi’s in Dubai we soon worked out that the cost of the transfer was about $10 AUD cheaper than a taxi to and from the airport.

The part I liked was the private car. There is nothing worse than getting somewhere and having to wait for people to get on the shuttle. The shuttle then goes to several hotels and resorts to drop those people off and my luck is that I’m generally near the end of the list to be dropped off. I’d experienced this several times between the ages of 7 – 20 when we used to go to the Gold Coast from New Zealand on a family holiday.

I went ahead and booked the private car for $65 AUD – BARGAIN! Once you decide to go ahead and book it, they ask for more detailed info such as flight numbers, arrival and departure times and how many pieces and what sort of luggage you will have (eg golf clubs, surfboards). After catching a few taxi’s in Dubai we soon worked out that the cost of the transfer was about $10 AUD cheaper than a taxi to and from the airport.

Once all paid up you are sent through a confirmation and then you receive a separate email with your voucher. All you have to do is give the voucher to the driver when you land. All the information about where to meet your driver was provided in that email as well. I something does happen and you need to call them, no worries, 14 different countries each have a local customer service line phone number available.

When we landed at the Dubai International Airport we walked out into the arrivals area and sure enough there was a sign with my name on it and the driver immediately took my bags from me and we headed to the car park. The vehicle was in immaculate condition, even the outside of the vehicle looked clean (which I wasn’t really expecting considering that Dubai has sand/ dust everywhere!).

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Image from Sun Transfers website

The driver spoke excellent English and was very friendly. We told him it was out first time in Dubai so he pointed out a few sights along the way to our hotel. We had the exact same experience on our way back to the airport as well. Our private car picked us up at the hotel about 5 minutes late, but 5 minutes before she was due to pick us up, she’d called ahead to the hotel and asked the concierge to let us know she was running late. AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE.

When I was trying to book our transfer for Turkey the customer service was exceptional. I couldn’t figure out which suburb our hotel was in, so I just emailed the hotel address details through via the “request a quote” link on the Contact Us page. Within 24 hours they had emailed me back advising the suburb for me to use, but they had also included a personalised link for me to complete the booking. I wasn’t ready to book at that stage so left it.

I ended up booking about a month before we left Australia. I put the details into the quote generator again and confirmed everything, but when I got to the payment page I realised I had to wait a couple of days for my pre-designated trip funds to come into my account, so I cancelled out of the booking.

The next day I received a call on my mobile phone…. it was Sun Transfers! They rung to see if everything was ok, could they do anything to assist and was I still needing to make the booking. I just said it was a matter of waiting till the money was in my designated trip account. The lady then said she would send me an email with a link and all I had to do was click the link and pay for it, all the information would still be there and it was!. Again, AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE!

The private car in Turkey cost $70 AUD and after speaking with some other people on our tour that we did in Turkey it was only about $5 AUD more each way than taking a taxi, so I was pretty happy with our choice.

I would definitely use this service again if travelling. I’ would also happily recommend it to anyone who was looking for a transfer company who is reliable, has great prices and EXCELLENT customer service.

NOTE: this is not a sponsored post, I’m just saying what I think.

4WD Desert Safari and Dinner with Arabian Adventures

Once I knew we were going to Dubai for a few days on our overseas trip, I decided to try and find a tour of some sort that would include a trip into the desert. After googling for a bit I found Arabian Adventures did this type of tour. I already knew I was going to book our Ferrari World trip with them, so why not a trip into the desert?

The tour we booked onto is called the Sundowner. It runs everyday of the year and is one of their most popular tours. I was super excited to do it, once I’d read what was included. The best part about it was they pick you up and drop off at your hotel, so no trying to get to a meeting point before or finding your way back to the hotel afterwards.

We were picked up from our hotel at 4pm by our tour guide, in a Toyota Landcruiser, which was reinforced with a padded roll cage! Since each car holds 6 guests plus the driver and hubby and I were the last people to be picked up, we scored the fold down seats in the boot (they are proper seats, but fold away when not in use and they were actually really comfortable). I think we had the best seats, as we weren’t cramped like the 3 in the normal back seats in front of us.

We headed out towards a place called the Empty Quarter. It is the largest sand desert in the world and covers parts of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen. The particular place in the desert which we were going to was the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. The Reserve is there to preserve the flora and fauna that lives in the desert environment. It is also where a few approved tour operators conduct the desert tours.

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When we arrived we had to stop and our tour driver had to let the tyres down to drive on the sand. Once done, we headed into the reserve. It didn’t take long before we were pulling up at an area with several trees and a small grandstand type seating arrangement. Soft drinks and water were provided and we had photos taken with camels. We moved into the seating area where the falcon demonstration was going to take place.

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Both hubby and I had been very interested to see this, as we’ve seen the different types of birds of prey at demonstrations here in Australia and were keen to find out how these were different. First of all the falcon was a lot smaller than I was expecting. We also found out that the bird is not loyal at all.

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The Bedouin people who used to live in the desert would capture a falcon at the start of autumn. They would teach it to locate food for them and then they would feed the bird in return. However because the birds are not loyal, they had to know that you were going to feed them every time, otherwise they just wouldn’t come back to you. The birds don’t cope well in the high summer temperatures, so they would set the falcon’s free near the end of spring and the birds would migrate. Come the following autumn, the process would start again.

The falcon which was used in the demonstration had a GPS locator. The handler said that once he’d teased the bird once too often and not let him have the food he was using to exercise him with and the falcon just flew away and didn’t come back. It took the handler 2 hours to find the bird using the GPS locator. The handler also told us that they keep these birds year round, but once they finish the demonstration the bird is taken back to it’s AIR-CONDITIONED habitat! Since they still don’t cope with the heat.

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After the falcon presentation came the extremely fun part….4 wheel driving over the sand dunes! Now I had never been off-road 4 wheel driving, so wasn’t really sure what to expect, but hubby and I both loved it! We went up and down the steepest dunes I’ve ever seen, then sideways nearly at one point. We were speaking with our driver during the trip and he said that the drivers get put through a specific driving course before they can do it.

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After about 45 minutes of traversing the dunes we arrived at a place in the middle of nowhere, where there was a lot of cars already parked and people were climbing the dune. It was time for our sunset photos. But first I had to get up to the top of the dune, talk about an unexpected workout! Watching the sun set over the desert was an amazing experience. Being there with my hubby, doing something that we’d never even thought would be possible for us to do, was just such a great feeling. The professional photographers sucked us in, so we got several professional ones done, which look great.

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Once we were back in the cars we headed off on a flat stretch of sand to our dinner venue. We arrived at a permanent desert camp. There were about 150 people at the desert camp and it was a great set up. There were camels ride when we first arrived, which hubby and I didn’t do, as we’d previously done it at the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary on the Gold Coast in Australia. We did get to have the falcon sit on our arm, which was cool. You couldn’t see his eyes, as he had a little hood on to keep him calm.

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The camp had toilets, displays of little arabian knick nacks, the place to pick up and pay for photos (quite expensive, but worth getting one or two), and an outdoor fire pit where the arabic coffee and dates were waiting. The other areas were tables and seating with cushions on the floor and under tents, a lounge like area for smoking shisha, a vendor who did wonderful art in vases with sand and some local ladies who did henna tattoos.

Camel rides, henna tattoos, shisha, 3 course dinner, light beer, wine, soft drinks and a belly dance show were all included activities we could partake in at the desert camp. The food was excellent, although I can’t remember what all the different entree items were called, one was like a naan bread parcel with paneer cheese in it, well I had several of those. Yummy! Main course was a sample of kebab, curry, rice and lamb chop. There were salads as well, but they didn’t make it onto my plate.

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Unfortunately we didn’t have dessert, as still too full from the entree and main, but we did have some apple shisha. It was an interesting taste, as you couldn’t taste the tobacco at all, only apple flavour. I wasn’t very good at doing it, as I’m prone to asthma, (I know, I know I probably shouldn’t have done it, but the saying goes “when in rome”), so I’d end up coughing after a couple of tries. However it’s something I’ve now done once in my life (well actually twice, but that’s for another post).

Hubby and I spent a while watching the sand artist create a special vase for us (about $50 AUD). We had asked him to write our names in arabic along with 2015. It only took about 5 minutes for him to create it and it looked so colourful and bright. He then gave it to the other guy who did something to “set” it into the vase, this meant we didn’t need a lid on it, the sand just stayed where it was. The only sad part, was that by the time we got back home, it had obviously been knocked around a tiny bit too much in our luggage and some of the sand had shifted, it looks good, but not as good as it did when it was first made, as evident by the below photos.

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Above: When it was first made. Below: When we opened the box after we arrived home.

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I saw a few of the other ladies getting henna done and finally decided to get something small. It was cold going onto my skin, and I had to hold my hand and arm flat for along as possibly after it was done so that I didn’t smudge it. The only thing I didn’t like about it, was that it had a very strong herbal smell, but it went away after about an hour.

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For 5 minutes just before we left the desert camp ALL of the lights in the amp were turned off. At the time we were in the shisha lounge which was just magical. We were lounging in these arm chair shaped cushions, gazing up into sky at the millions of stars. It was a great way to finish the night.

We loaded back up into our car with our driver and 4 other guests then headed back to the entrance of the reserve. Our driver had to re-pump the tyres to drive on the road again, then we were back on the highway heading back towards the light of the Dubai city centre. We were dropped off back at our hotel at about 10.30pm and we couldn’t believe how much fun and how much we’d learnt about on our 6 hour trip.

Our driver had told us that there is a tour where you can stay at a desert camp overnight, which both hubby and I said that if we ever get the opportunity to go back to Dubai, we would definitely to do that.

So with everything that was included in our tour, I would have expected to pay about $200 AUD per person. Well it was 335 AED, which converted to AUD is only $118! It was the same cost as going to Draculas Cabaret on the Gold Coast, except so much better and so much more was included in the price.

If you do only one thing while in Dubai, DO THIS TOUR! I highly recommend it. Hubby and I would definitely do it again and we are still talking about this tour to any of our friends and family who will listen (pretty sure they have all heard about at least twice each now).

We have already agreed that if we go back to Dubai, we would defintiely be booking more tours with Arabian Adventures. They were very professional, their staff were polite and very helpful and answered all our questions we had for them. They were all very enthusiastic about their work and making sure we enjoyed our time, so that to me is a great thing to see.

For more information about the tour and to book, click here.

Have your ever been on a tour that you loved 110% and would do again? What was it? and where was it?

NOTE: this is not a sponsored post, I’m just saying what I think.

Ferrari World with Arabian Adventures

So you know how everyone says that “Disneyland is the happiest place on earth”? Well I totally disagree! Full disclosure: I’ve not yet been to Disneyland, but surely it can’t be as happy as what hubby and I were recently when we went to…. FERRARI WORLD!

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Ferrari World is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, which is an hour away from where we were staying in Dubai. We arranged to go to the Ferrari themed park through Arabian Adventures. Arabian Adventures is a tour company that operates within the UAE and is owned and is a division of The Emirates Group. We also did a desert safari tour with these guys, but more on that in an upcoming post.

So we went half way round the world to a country with such a rich cultural history and we’re going to a theme park. I know, I know, but you see I love theme parks. I am a certified adrenaline junkie. I’ve been sky diving, been bungy jumping and have yearly passes to the theme parks on Queensland’s Gold Coast. So yes, we went to a theme park. AND IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT!

It was one of the best day’s of our whole trip. My hubby is not as enthused about theme parks as I am, but he was coming to see all the cars and Ferrari related bits and pieces on display. However, he has since told me that it was one of the best bits of our whole trip for him as well!

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Ferrari World boasts the fastest roller coaster in the world, the Formula Rossa. It goes 240 kmph and when you’re in the front seat of it, it is FAST! Due to how fast it is, there are no loops in the track, just extremely banked corners. Every person on the ride must wear a set of goggles and trust me, you need it. Hubby felt like he was going to black out because of the G-Force you experience. Meanwhile I was having a great time. We went on this ride twice. Our first ride we were near the middle of the coaster, but we used one of our fast track passes (we had a total of 3) to get the front seats on our second go towards the end of the day.

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The other roller coaster that’s there is the Fiorano GT Challenge. There are two tracks, each with one coaster (all designed to look like a Fiorano GT car) and both coasters go at the same time and look like they are racing each other. It’s no where near as fast as the Formula Rossa, but it’s still fun. The other couple of rides we liked were the Speed of Magic and Driving with the Champion. The Speed of Magic is a 3D ride where you follow a character of a game through different levels of the game to try and beat him. It’s very well done and you certainly feel like you are in the game. Driving with the Champion is a motion simulator which makes you feel like you are in the passenger seat with a Ferrari racing driver while you lean into corners and get pushed back into your seat when accelerating. Definitely fun for a self-confessed speed demon!

My hubby was happiest when he was admiring the cars and pieces of the cars that were on display. He took a lot of photos! The Ferrari Gallery had several cars on display from racing track ones to a couple that were normal road driving ones.

The dining options weren’t too bad. Hubby and I had eaten a HUGE breakfast before we went so we just had a piece of cake and some pizza, which were both quite delicious and reasonably priced (considering it’s a theme park).

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One extraordinary thing that I’ve not yet told you about the park, is that it is all indoors. Yes, you read that right. Everything is inside. The only time you go outside is when you’re on either of the roller coasters. The structure is insane. You can see it from a far distance away when approaching it and the inside you can see all the steel work that is holding it up. I guess having it indoors make sense, as temperatures there can reach over 40 degrees celsius in the summer months.

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Coming from Australia I can vouch for the fact that waiting in line in even 30 degree celsius heat isn’t fun. October – April is peak tourist season in the UAE – which is their winter – as temperatures average out 18 – 30 degrees celsius. We were there mid-April and only had one ride which we had more than a two minute wait for. The Forumla Rossa we waited about 15 – 20 minutes the first time and then less than 10 minutes the second time when we used our fast track pass. It was definitely a great time of year to go to Ferrari World.

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Now for the information you really want… prices and how to get there. Since we went with Arabian Adventures it cost us 350 AED each for the entrance ticket into the park (which was a Silver Pass) and then it was 100 AED each for the transfer from Dubai to Ferrari World and then return in the afternoon. This worked out to be $124 AUD for the park entry and $36 for the return transfer. The silver pass allowed us 3 opportunities to jump the queue. We only needed to use this once, which we used for the front of the roller coaster. If you went in off-season or either edge of the off-season you could get away with paying for just the normal entry ticket.

Our transfer only made 3 pick up stops, so we had to taxi to the closest pick up point (only cost about $10 AUD). There was only one other couple in the transfer van with us. On the way back to Dubai the driver even offered to drop us off at our hotel but since the other couple were headed to the Dubai Mall, we hopped out there as well. It was a long day as we were picked up at 10am, got to the park at 11am (which is opening time) and then were picked up again at 5.30pm. As it’s an hour back to Dubai we ended up getting to the Dubai Mall just on 7pm, as rush hour traffic was around.

Click here to book the Silver Pass ticket.

Click here for other tours from Dubai.

Do you like theme parks? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Which is your favourite theme park?

Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel

I can use one word to describe this place. MAGNIFICENT!

From the moment you pull up to the Dusit Thani Dubai, you are treated like a VIP. A doorman opens the sliding door of our airport transfer van within 2 seconds of it coming to a complete stop. Then in a flash he’s at the boot getting our bags and rushing to hold the hotel door open for us, before hubby has even gotten out of the van!

The doorway opens up to what I can only describe as a palace sized lobby with several concierge staff welcoming us and beckoning us towards the check-in desk. It is advertised as a 5 star luxury hotel and it does not disappoint. Dusit Thani is a Thai brand, so most employees are in very colourful Thai inspired clothes and the Thai essence is obvious throughout the colours and furnishings of the hotel. Our check-in is fast and we are given our keys and told to head up to our room and a doorman followed us a few minutes later with our bags.

Lobby area – photo from Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel website

Our room is on the 26th floor and is one of the biggest that I have stayed in, in my life (it was also the biggest one on our whole trip). There’s a king bed, a couch, TV only a little bit smaller than our own at home, a massive tub, separate shower, coffee machine and complimentary bottles of water. We had a deluxe room (which is the bottom of their room options) and it definitely fulfilled our needs as well as exceeded our expectations.

The view from our room. The Burj Khalifa on the right is the tallest building in the world.

The view from our room. The Burj Khalifa on the right is the tallest building in the world.

Before we headed to Ferrari World (future post content) the next day we decided to make it easy and have the buffet breakfast at The Californian restaurant. OH MY GOD! It was sooooo good. There was everything you could think of for breakfast; eggs cooked to your order by the chef, breakfast sausages, lots of different pastries, bread, cereal, fruit, cheeses, cold meats, and fake bacon. (Dubai is a predominantly Muslim country, so all bacon when you see it on a menu, is fake bacon). The 3 restaurants of the hotel are all located on the 24th floor, so the views were great as well.

After our day at Ferrari World (more about that in a future post), we were pretty exhausted, so opted to eat at the Thai Restaurant in the hotel. The restaurant is called Benjarong. As it is a Thai company I knew it would be delicious, but it was even better than I thought it would be.

We shared Chicken Satay Skewers as an entree and then also shared a Chicken Yellow Curry with streamed rice. The peanut sauce with the skewers had a little bit of a kick to it, but it was so yummy. I always find that restaurant’s never give you enough of the peanut sauce, but this time there was! The yellow curry was thicker and spicier than the yellow curry’s which I’ve had back home in Australia, which was great because hubby and I loved it. There was nothing left on our plates by the time we finished. It was just so delicious.

We made use of the pool area on the last day of our stay. We knew that our next destination (Turkey) would be full on, so figured some R & R was needed. The pool area was definitely the place to do this! Up on the 36th floor, the pool, spa and bar area has an open rooftop, but enclosed walls (D’UH! you’re 36 floors up!). The fitness centre is inside on the same floor and there is also a sauna in the bathrooms (one in the ladies, one in the mens – hubby checked the mens).

Pool are with the open roof. Inside fitness area to the right.

Pool area with the open roof. Inside fitness area to the right.

Drinks and snacks from the bar at the pool area.

Drinks and snacks from the bar at the pool area.

The view from the pool area on the 36th floor.

The view from the pool area on the 36th floor.

The staff throughout our stay were extremely helpful and provided excellent customer service. If the attendant at the pool bar saw you had an empty, they’d be asking you if you’d like another (and of course hubby and I said “yes please”). They kept filling up our snacks as well, which was great because they had these really tasty flavoured peanut things that went down a treat!

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone wanting something with a bit of opulence that Dubai is known for, but without breaking the bank! The customer service was amazing, the room was as big as my dining, kitchen and lounge areas of my house combined and the food was delicious. The other great feature was the free guest shuttle bus. The shuttle bus had several drop off and pick up points at different times on different days.

Now the money side of things. We got a “stay 3 night and save 17%” deal so all up our room was $210 Australian Dollars per night including local taxes. The buffet breakfast is a bit expensive at approx $45 AUD, but worth doing at least once. The meal at Benjarong was reasonably priced with any top Thai restaurant in Australia. The alcohol was where it became it expensive. If you can avoid drinking alcohol, then you’ll save money.  To book your luxury Dubai stay choose your room type then book it online.

If given the chance I would choose  to stay here again in a nanosecond! Loved every minute of our stay at the Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel. I can’t wait until they open one in Brisbane.

Have you ever stayed in a 5 star hotel? What did you think of it?

NOTE: this is not a sponsored post, I’m just saying what I think.

4 Things I Learnt From My Recent Flights

On my recent trip abroad I’ve discovered that my love for Emirates Airlines is still solid, but I also have another airline who I’d happily fly with again. So let’s start at the beginning.

When we first started to create a budget for our overseas travel I was using the multi-stop planner on Webjet to try and get rough costs for our trip. Each time I did it though, it kept telling me that our flights were going to be about $10k for the both of us. Now because I had never travelled long distance, I thought this was about right…. BUT IT WASN’T!

I’m so glad I decided to get a travel agent and get them to book the flights. Our flights ended up being half the price and they were the BEST airline experiences ever.

Our first part of our trip we flew from Brisbane to Dubai (with a stopover in Singapore) we flew Emirates in a Boeing 777. I’ve raved about Emirates before and I’m still raving about them! Hubby and I had the window seat and the next one and then another passenger was in the aisle seat. The only problem with having someone else next to us, is every time we needed to use the bathroom he had to move. Because of this, I tried not to drink much water because I knew it would be my luck that I would need to go when the guy was fast asleep!

The food on emirates is great. There is always a lot of it and the options are good. Unfortunately I ended up eating by holding my plate of hot food up under my chin with one hand and then using a spoon or fork with the other, as hubby on one side and the other guy on the aisle both had their elbows sticking out into my tiny seat area. Ah well, the joys of economy class.

From Dubai to Istanbul, Turkey and then Istanbul to Paris, France we were on Turkish Airlines. When my travel agent had come back with these guys as our airline, I was a bit skeptical, as I’d never heard of them before. After some quick googling I was happy with her choice and they did not disappoint!

They were definitely up there with Emirates in terms of customer service! The food was great and the in-flight entertainment was as good as Emirates. It was a Boeing 777 again, but this time we had a spare seat beside us on the aisle, which gave my hubby room to stretch out.

If you can’t tell by now, Emirates is my base comparison to all airlines I’ve flown with.

The icing on the cake was our flight from Paris back to Brisbane. We flew with Emirates on an A380 from Paris to Dubai, then Dubai to Brisbane. We were delayed in Paris which meant we were rescheduled by a full 24 hours to the next flight from Dubai to Brisbane. However, it was all good. Emirates arranged for a hotel stay (3 star near the airport, not bad at all) which included buffet lunch, dinner and breakfast before heading back to the airport.

The A380 is the best airplane. It has more room than the 777, even in economy and the screens for the in-flight entertainment are just that little bit bigger too. Even though they had run out of one of the breakfast options, I’d still Emirates as my preferred airline. It will also take a lot to change my mind of that as well.

4 Things I Learnt From My Recent Flights:

  1. Use a travel agent to book flights if you’re going to more than one country
  2. Fly Emirates whenever possible!
  3. If it’s not Emirates, trust your travel agent’s suggestion
  4. When in doubt, jut google it!

Have you got a favourite airline you always fly with? Have you ever had a terrible experience with an airline you loved?

NOTE: this is not a sponsored post, I’m just saying what I think.

Travel Itinerary Part 3 – France and Belgium

Ok, so I’ve had a 2 months hiatus from my blog. 3 of those weeks hubby and I were galavanting around the world the rest of the time was taken up preparing for the trip or recovering from the trip!

So here is the post I was supposed to put up before our trip giving you a glimpse of our last leg of the itinerary.

After Turkey we are booked to fly to Paris, however we’re not doing Paris straight away. We will be renting a car and driving to the Normandy area for our first night in France. We are planning to do all 5 D-Day beaches the next day and then head to Albert in the Somme area for the night.

Visiting more war museums and memorials while in Albert and in Arras before crossing into Belgium to stay in Ieper for a couple of nights. Ieper is most known as the Flanders Fields area. It is also where the sound The Last Post every night of the year at 8pm at the Menin Gate Memorial.

From Ieper we are travelling to Bastogne for a couple of nights and this stop is the last on our “War Tour” and the area is most known for the “Battle of Bulge” during the Second World War.

From Bastogne in Belgium we’ll be heading back into France to drop the rental car back off in Paris and spend 4 and half days in Paris itself. We are taking the advice of everyone we’ve spoken to, that we should not drive ourselves in Paris. From the airport we found a transfer company which does regular pick ups and drops offs from the airport to several main bus terminals in the city. Le Cars Air France is the company, so hopefully it works out.

Obviously we’ve planned to do all the big tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Lourve Museum, the Arc de Triomphe and others. I found a website called Visit a City and so we are using that to create our Paris itinerary and not miss all the great attractions. I found it when i googled “4 day paris itinerary”. You really can find anything using Google.

We will be leaving Paris at 10pm on Wednesday night and will arrive back in Brisbane on Friday at 6am in the morning. One flight is Paris to Dubai (only 7 hours) then a long-haul 14 hours from Dubai to Brisbane (our longest flight ever).

Now that you know what we were planning on doing, over the next couple of months I’ll be giving you a run down of how everything actually turned out. What went right, what went wrong and how our perceptions of some places were completely changed.

I’ll be breaking up our travel posts with some other general life posts, so hopefully you’ll all stick around for the ride. Here’s a photo tease….

Eiffel Tower

Have you ever been on the trip of a lifetime? Where did you and how long were you away from home for?