Saturday, April 18, 2015

Spring in Oxford and London

Over the Easter holidays I travelled to Oxford for an MYP training course. All the course delegates stayed in The Queen's College campus, enjoying a unique Oxford University experience. It was wonderful to be in Oxford in spring and the magnolias were out in full force.

The Queen's College, Oxford

Not a bad view from the conference room

After the course I went to London for a few days to meet up with my best friend from high school, Ani. It was a great reunion and we spoke non-stop from morning to midnight every day! The highlight of this trip was an outing to West End to see Les Miserables. This is my favourite show ever and is actually the world's longest running musical. The production was incredible and the set design, singing, acting, costumes and music were out of this world. We treated ourselves to a lovely dinner at The Criterion beforehand - what a great evening!

Just before curtains up

The weather was glorious during my trip and Ani and I took advantage of the sunshine to spend a day in Richmond Park. We set up a picnic spot and chilled with the deer for the afternoon. The walk back along the Thames was just perfect and we even had an ice cream to celebrate the good weather.

Deer in Richmond Park

Soft serve in Richmond!

It's great to be living in Europe and to find ourselves so central in the world after several years in Alaska and Chile. I caught up with a few old friends in London and enjoyed reconnecting and reminiscing. On my last evening in London, we walked along South Bank past the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament at sunset. What a great way to end my holiday!

Evening stroll along the Thames

Thursday, April 16, 2015


My brother Gavin and his wife Debby have lived in Dubai since 2012 and I finally got out there to visit them. It was an action-packed trip full of catching up, brunch, desert adventures and overwhelming cityscapes.

I started my Dubai experience with a bottomless champagne brunch at the Ritz Hotel. What a warm welcome!

Brunch at the Ritz

My first real tourist experience was a trip up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. The views from the viewing deck on the 146th floor were spectacular and I saw the Burg Al Arab, The World islands and kilometers of construction and high rise buildings.

A screenshot of an intersection 20 years ago.

The same intersections today.

Apart from catching up with Gavin and Debs, the highlight of my trip was the desert safari. We joined about 50 other Toyota Land Cruisers to thrash through some sand dunes in the desert. On the way there we saw an oryx and some camels, but I think the convoys scared away all the other animals when we arrived! The tour ended at a Bedouin Camp where guests could enjoy traditional food and dancing, get henna tattoos, go on a camel ride, hold a falcon, go sandboarding and more. It was brilliant!

Getting ready for our desert safari

Camel ride! I'm on the middle camel :)

The Bedouin camp in the desert

Me and my brother! I have the biggest smile in the photo!