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The commencement of a two week UK holiday

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My brother, nephew and I have been planning a trip to the UK to return to our birthplace in South Wales for just on a year and finally the day arrived for us to depart Sydney.  We took a fourteen hour Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi and decided to stay overnight before our second leg of five hours to London.

Our flight was very good; nice food, good service and a flat bed (most important) which allowed me to sleep for over nine hours [there are five different amenity packs and each one contains a small Luxe tourist book but mine was on Rome; strange really as there are books on Abu Dhabi which clearly would have been more suitable], but anyway there was some face cream and hand cream which I will use.


(source: Google images)

The seat configuration is 1-2-1 and when my flight was booked I went on-line to see where I was seated and found that Etihad also has seats that face to the back of the plane; for me that would be like travelling on a train facing backwards [which I cannot do] so I changed to a forward facing seat.  My brother and nephew sat together so they could chat before eating and also falling asleep.


We arrived in Abu Dhabi around midnight and were picked up by a courtesy car and taken to the Intercontinental Hotel.  But wow…that heat hit us when we walked from the terminal to the carpark – it was so incredibly hot and more so for me having come from minus temperatures in Canberra!!

After a quick shower I hopped into a very luxurious bed – but as I had already slept for many hours I was soon awake so thought I would take the opportunity and visit the gym and go for a run.  To access the gym you have to walk outside on the 3rd floor and past the pool; again that heat was incredible…but I did have the opportunity to see some lovely views of the skyline.


The view of the Marina from the gym was also lovely.  Some nice boats there!!

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And then the sun came up and I had a lovely view whilst walking back to the main building.

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I met my brother and nephew at the restaurant where I ate a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast with a side of mushrooms.  My nephew also had a big breakfast and then was offered pancakes or waffles [or both as the waiter said] but decided on waffles with chocolate sauce – he always eats very well which is great.  The dress standards at the hotel are interesting with some western tourists wearing tiny shorts/short skirts and singlet tops alongside middle eastern women wearing the abaya and the hijab and the men wearing the dishdash (the long white robe) and the keffiyeh (headscarf). Such different cultures.




(lighthearted humour from the net)

Then back out to the airport to board our flight; this time on the A380 which seemed to be more spacious but with the same seating configuration..another nice flight.  Fortunately for me (as I had eaten way too much) the airline didn’t have my vegetarian meal so I watched a bit of TV then fell asleep.

Arriving at Heathrow the temperature was very pleasant.  We were met by a driver I had organised on-line which made life so much easier in the chaos of the airport and within minutes we were on our way to London.  We arrived at our Airbnb across from Kensington Park. It is exactly like the photos; modern two bedroom, two bathroom and location is perfect.  Again I was up at 3am so decided to hit the streets a little while later.  Not much around this early so whilst jogging I was able to check out the lovely buildings.

Image 4Image 8Image 7Then a quick breakfast at a local restaurant which had great service before heading to visit some friends.  My nephew was ravenous and after one serve of bacon/sausage and poached eggs – he ordered another – in total four eggs, two sausages and four pieces of bacon – not too bad for a fourteen year old!!