In News on Saturday 19th Jul, 2014

Backpacking over 60… Well, sort of!

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Travel can be an organised like most peoples or it can be organised like ours and be a bit of a Magical Mystery Tour!

We had only been to the Pacific region on our travels and of course a lot of Australia.

My husband is a football (soccer) fanatic and when the World cup was going to be held in 2006 in Germany there was NO getting out of our first trip to Europe!

The tickets were booked and our first two night of accommodation were locked in for London the rest of the 6 weeks we were just going to wing it… Our mode of travel! One day we might get caught out but up to date we have been lucky.

The house was tidy the house/pet sitter had been moved in our bags were packed and we were off to see the world… well England and some of Europe. After a seven hour drive to the city we arrived at our son’s place in time for him to drop us at the International airport for 7.30pm.

As I walked through the doors I could feel the first signs of excitement. You know the one that feeling inside that eventually breaks forth into a BIG grin on your face. I can remember saying to my husband “it’s really happening!” with excitement as I squeezed his arm.

Well unless you are fortunate enough to fly business class you will know the feeling of being crammed into “cattle class” at least we all know what a sardine feels like? We flew Emirates and the plane was immaculate but I had been pre warned that they say a pray as you are taxiing down the runway (didn’t make me feel confident) and they do not serve liquor on their planes (not too fussed about that) but when you are looking for sleep a small night cap often works. Well I’m sure the person that told me that had never flown Emirates?
The prayer was the Arabic version of the seat belt and safety messages and it was followed by the English version and when we had the seat belt sign switched off the biggest alcohol cart I have ever seen was pushed down the aisle, the only thing that wasn’t free was the Moet!

Hello Dubai, here we come.

To say it was a culture shock was a bit mild. People were everywhere on the runways they looked like ants there were so many. Reason? they were expanding the airport the runways, terminal and everything else we could see. We were so far away from the terminal that we were put onto a shuttle and driven there is a bus. Not sure why there were so many limos parked along the route from the plane to the terminal but there were literally 100s. If you have ever been to Dubai you will know everywhere you look in the airport there is gold! Immaculately dressed assistants are weighing gold watches, bangles, rings etc for customers and there are people two and three deep waiting to be served. We were only there for couple of hours but on the way home we have a couple of days to explore and explore we will!

We were all security checked into the closed lounge and not long after we were on the plane and on our way to Heathrow. I don’t sleep too well on planes but with over 200 movies and delicious food we didn’t have much to complain about.

We landed at Heathrow after circling the place for about 20 minutes. I felt a bit let down after watching “Airport” absolutely nothing happened other than a very rude lady was herding us into whatever queue she thought we should be in! Our passport was stamped and we were sent to the baggage and customs area and again uneventful. As we left customs we thought we had somehow ended up in Dubai again as there were so many flowing gowns and skull caps we didn’t realise how multicultural England had become? There in a sea of dark faces was my brother who we were meeting as he was joining us on our journey.

We were in London the place I had left with my parents in 1964 (although I am a born Australian – but that is another story) much different to what a nine year old remembers!

I was running out of tissues fast as my husband couldn’t stop drooling and kept saying things like “look a porsche, a BMW, Citroen, Jaguar, Range Rover” one after the other they just kept on coming and not a Holden in sight!

Well thats enough for today as our two and a half days in London will takes heaps of time to write about!

Just in case you are wondering no, I don’t have a good memory. I write journals on all our trips and it is amazing when you go back the things you forget!

So stay tuned to hear more about Libby’s incredible journey from 2006… She is our awesome over 60 backpacker!