|En route to Dubai|
Of course, we had a magical time in Trnava and my son loved the rubbish trucks of Vienna and by the time we became a full family of three in Switzerland I was so happy to be travelling again that I told everyone who asked that the week had gone entirely smoothly.
Which it had, more or less. But when I looked through my travel diary again and saw some of the photos I'd taken, I started to vaguely remember that there were certainly less smooth moments. One of the trickiest was early on: we arrived in Dubai in the middle of the night (only evidenced by the darkness - the temperature felt like it should be midday!) and needed to find a shuttle bus to our hotel for a 10-hour stay.
We were being put up by Emirates as part of their Dubai Connect program for when flights don't connect soon enough (incidentally, a great service - hotel and meals for free), but they weren't able to tell me which hotel we'd be going to until I reached the airport, so I hadn't found out anything about it. All I knew is I'd need to pick up some vouchers at a desk in Dubai Airport.
Have you been to Dubai Airport? It's enormous! Have you been there with a three-year-old in the middle of the night? It's ... memorable! I asked several staff about the whereabouts of the connection desk I needed, and was sent to three different places before it was the right one. Coupons in hand, we ventured outside where the hotel shuttle buses departed and started asking about ours. All these people who worked at the airport had never heard the name of our hotel. Which of course meant they couldn't give us many tips on the shuttle bus. They all tried hard to help, and a particularly nice man even called the hotel for me to ask but the connection was bad and the airport so noisy and neither of us managed to get any sense out of the hotel receptionist who answered.
Someone was finally able to put us in the right place to get the right shuttle bus, and the rest of our stopover went just fine. In fact, I've decided that whenever possible in the future I'll include that kind of stopover on the way to Europe - it was so delightful to have a rest in a real bed and have a shower before getting back on the plane. But looking back, I now remember that for half an hour or so I was thinking the whole trip was starting out disastrously and my son and I were never going to make it to the hotel and ... you know, the world was going to end. It didn't, Dubai was great, the rest of our trip was great (but of course, not without its hiccups - I just struggle to remember them), and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
|Waiting in Dubai for our plane to Vienna|
What about you? When you look back on your trips, can you remember the bad parts, or have they all melded into funny stories and all you see is the great bits?