Top 10 unforgettable places (by Elsa)

Now that the dust starts to settle, I start to see more clearly the places that have marked me the most. When it comes to the order of them I ranked the list the first time on the plane back to Stavanger but since then whenever I rank them again they switch places sometimes. But I still include the same ones in my top 10 and they have one thing in common: given the chance I would definitely go back in an instant.

Cape Town – definitely a wonderful surprise. From the mountains, to the white sand and blue water beaches, to the wine farms and delicious tastings, this was an amazing place to be. Add the chance to be at the most southern point in Africa (part of the old glory days from Portugal), the view from the Table Mountain, the V&A waterfont and the beautiful African penguins and this is a difficult combination to beat!

San Francisco – I always thought I would like SF and it did not disappoint. The European feel of the city, the outgoing people, the great weather and the views around the bay are the things I miss the most, together with the cute sea lions 🙂 Continue reading

Abu Dhabi – oil city, mosques, camels and desert safaris

We had a fantastic place to stay while in the Emirates, thanks Gonçalo, a complex with a great view that you might have already seen in our Instagram. The temperature was just perfect to enjoy the pool and finally exercise my foot that I am struggling with since our Japan airport episode!

It was great to just lay there and do nothing (don’t curse us, travelling every three or four days also requires these resting days!) and take the time to plan the rest of our trip. At this point we had only one month left.

IMG_4916

DCIM114GOPRO DCIM114GOPRO

Comparing Abu Dhabi to Dubai we would say Abu Dhabi is more low-key than Dubai. Things are just as new and clean (same sand cleaning daily routines we mentioned in our Dubai post, even for the pool chairs) but don’t have that ‘in your face’ air to them. Fun fact, the Fast and Furious towers where the cars flew from one to another are in Abu Dhabi and they also have a 7 star hotel very Sex and the City looking, but don’t need to publicize it as much. There are also cool looking structures like this cookie building. Continue reading

Dubai – sky high tours and cultural differences

We were pretty tired when we arrived in Dubai; this was after flying from Hong Kong through Bangkok and racing through the airport to successfully make a short connection. The immigration officers in the USA are well known for their usually unfriendly faces, but that is probably because you have never visited Dubai. Let’s say welcoming faces were very unwelcoming. Still we were granted access with no issues. It was our first-hand experience of what we already expected: ‘my way or no way’. Considering it is their country, I would just add Europe could learn a thing or two from this…

IMG_4913

Speaking of cultural differences our impression is that there are at least 3 layers in the society: the local Muslims, the ‘Westerners’ and finally the rest where you find a very large percentage of Indians and Pakistanis. And then a special category for women… I have never felt like such a piece of meat in my entire life and I believe this applies to all women who wore normal western clothes. Oh well, travelling the world is knowing the good and bad aspects of cultures and you can easily guess where I will file this one. Continue reading