Gudrun and Dora started the year by going two weeks to Providence in the US. We spent valuable time with Gudrun´s sister and her family and experienced some real cold weather. From the US, we went to Europe, where Gudrun and Benedikt participated in a Kick Off meeting in Sweden, went for a board meeting in Brussels with our fellow OTG board members.
After a few stopps in Europe where we amongst other visited Kristjan, Gudrun´s brother, and his family in England. Dora had a chance to spend a week with her niece, Alexandra and we all enjoyed some very healthy raw food prepared by Gudrun´s sister in law, Elfa.
Early February we then took of from England to explore some new territory.
As we had planned to have only one day in Dubai, we wanted to make the most of it and ordered an eight hours private tour of the city. This really paid off as we could explore at our own speed and did not feel we had to be pressured from one place to another.
We saw the presidential palace where peacocks roam around and we understood that the whole garden around the palace had been designed for these birds as the emperor loves their beauty. We drove through an area with highly modern and sometimes shockingly beautifully designed sky rises where only a decade ago had only been dust.
We went into the biggest shopping mall in the world but it was so overwhelming that we did not do any shopping. We also saw the biggest inside aquarium. Very impressive in the middle of the shopping mall. There is something very different about buying jeans, having an ice-cream and walk around looking at sharks amongst thousands of different fishes.
The most bizarre thing for us was though probably the inside skiing area. Same thing as with the aquarium, but in a different shopping mall, there is this whole skiing area with a 400 meter long ski slope and several areas for children to experience skiing and playing in the snow. And this you can see through a window in the shopping mall. We also stopped to look at the only 7star hotel in the world but as we were not staying there, we could not get very close.
Last but not least, we drove out on one of the palm islands. You do not really realize it when you are driving there that this is part of the palm, but it is very well organized with apartment buildings on the “stem”, town houses and single houses on the leaves and then the big Atlantis hotel on the most outer ring. It was fun to see and experience that to the people living there this is just home and nothing different than what is a common practice in many countries where they build on landfills.
Dubai might not be our favorite place on earth, but we could very well consider coming for a holiday with family or friends as there is no shortage of activities to choose from.