Samstag, 31. Juli 2010


Since I've been traveling around for quite a bit I was looking forward to go back to Auckland and get back to daily routine. Well, Emirates had something else in mind for me...

After being delayed from Dubai because of some technical problems (always exciting when you're flying for the long haul) we touched ground in Sydney for a two hours stopover...two hours became three...and four..and eventually we were told that our flight was cancelled. This is of course always great for standby-passengers like me (don't get me wrong - apart from that I absolutely enjoy the benefits of traveling on standby!), however, Emirates turned out to have a heart for helpless standby-passengers and compensate for accommodation and food. One night for free in Sydney, not bad.

I gathered up with a few other students I met while waiting, of whom Delphine, Kathleen and Birgit turned out to be new exchange students at AUT and just about to move into my hostel. Delphine, I, and some other acquaintances enjoyed some lunch at our hotel and then went off for some sightseeing. 

The others were quite shagged out after the long flight but since I had a good nights sleep on the plane (am I the only one who can sleep through an 15 hours flight? :) ) I called my beloved friend Rex, who just recently moved from Auckland to Sydney, and met up with him for drinks and dinner. Of course Rex knows all the places-to-be in Sydney and we went to some epic bars downtown - Auckland's a complete joke comparatively (well...not only compared to Sydney though)! After some Cocktail-infusion Rex made me lose my Sushi-virginity. Thanks for that, my friend ;)

Next day I got up very early to catch the flight to Auckland - but no seat left for me. As I said, from time to time it sucks to travel standby. So I met up with Rex again for a beautiful lunch at IKEA. How much I've missed Köttbullar. And Rex surprised me with his marvelous apple rhubarb crumble! You're a true friend, please come back to Auckland (and bring some of that delicious apple rhubarb crumble)!

Later that day I met up with Daria and Fritz from Auckland who just happened to be in Sydney the same weekend. Again, we went to the Opera House and had a little photo-session. Thanks for a nice evening, mates!

Eventually, after a two hours sleep, I could fly back to Auckland the next day.

Montag, 19. Juli 2010

"Good morning dear passengers and welcome to Dubai. The local time is 5:15 in the morning and the outside temperature is 30 degrees Celsius."

Still escaping New Zealand winter. And Dubai is a sure bet for enjoying summer weather. I carefully planned to go there in July so that I sure wouldn't miss any rays - oh, and because it was both my parents' birthdays :)

Almost in Dubai

Another great pleasure was that Denise came to visit and that Janine stopped over for a night on her way back from Auckland to Switzerland. The first day was all about sightseeing (if there's any like that in Dubai), shopping and eating. And we went up the tallest building on earth, Burj Khalifa - not as exciting as one would expect but still pretty cool.

Burj Khalifa from the outside and Denise is very excited about seeing 
her first Manolo Blahnik Store :)

Inside Dubai Mall

 Ice-skating rink and us girls (Janina, me, Denise) on the way to...

...the top of the world!

 I reckon the platform was only halfway up the building

Denise and the Strucks at Mdinat Jumeirah, in front 
of the Burj al Arab 

 Janine and her new friend (the elephant, not Denise hehe)

Janina left for Bahrain the next day and Denise and I concentrated more on shopping and continued our 'sightseeing' tour through Dubai's various malls :)

 Outside Wafi Mall

 I love Mama!!

Strucks + 1 at my Mum's birthday dinner
and some white chocolate tiramisu - best dessert ever 
(except for Rex' apple rhubarb crump of course)

We also did a desert safari and Denise couldn't be separated from the camels. I thought about trading her for some camels but there was no good offer.

Me and the sneaky camel

 That guy literally forced us to take a picture with him. After ten minutes he came back and wanted 10 Euros (!) for the picture.

 Our dune rides

Note to myself: Never go take a blonde with you if you go to an event organized by Arabs.
You'll sure have to take part in the show.

 Crazy guy spinning himself nonstop for 10 minutes

My personal highlight was swimming and playing with dolphin lady Central at Atlantis. If you ever get the chance to swim with dolphins, take it! One of the coolest things I've ever done.

 Dancing with Central at Dolphin Bay

 Denise was intimidated by so much dolphin love :)