January 21th. After five months of extraordinary awesome adventures, I sadly had to leave New Zealand. While life was beautiful there, my heart really belongs in The Netherlands.
Considering the differences in time zone (-12:00) and in temperature (from NZ summer to Dutch winter means a -15 degree difference at least), I decided to split acclimization up into two parts: first flying to Dubai and staying there three nights to get accustomed to the European time zone, and then the journey back home to handle the temperature difference. It was not a bad decision, also because Dubai on itself is an interesting city.
The metro system is cheap and cool, it mostly runs above the ground, and being fully automated, you can enjoy the views through the frontmost window. I travelled to the furthermost endpoint outside the city, and when going back I could see the city emerging out of the desert.
I also took a ferry trip, sailing along the artificial islands, beaches and very expensive hotels. Had a walk along the beach and streets, watched the Burj Khalifa fountain show twice. There are many luxe sports cars around there; I walked around at the parking place of the Hilton hotel for fun, and yes: Ferrari's, Porsches, top-range cars from most other brands.
There is an enormous mall in Dubai, by certain criteria it is the largest in the world with over 1,200 shops! Inside the mall is an aqua zoo, which is worth paying a visit. There is lots of wildlife to see, and you can walk through the tunnel in the giant aquarium for spectacular views of the sharks around there. Impressive!