For this Christmas Sanna and I returned to home (well old home for me) to England to have a more traditional Christmas with the family. Although Australia is the place I want to live for now, for a couple weeks of the year I miss good old England for all the traditional parts I miss from home. Cold â€˜Christmassyâ€™ weather, Christmas dinner with the family and having hot Christmas mulled wine down the pub catching up with friends.
We arrived in England on the 23rd of December to a cold 5 degreeâ€™s and bit of a shock to the body from the 30 degreeâ€™s we had when we left summertime in Australia just the day before.
Here is Sanna sitting in dadâ€™s new car his Morgan V6 Roadster in lovely British Racing Green, it turned out lovely although I’m not sure itâ€™s Sannaâ€™s style but she looks comfy.
Itâ€™s very cold in England in the winter so if your driving in an open topped sports car you need a good hat, I’m not sure this one suited me so much though.
Everyone helping to set the table for Christmas day dinner. Dad has a tablecloth for every occasion! he told us.
After Christmas day we visited London for 2 days to see the sights and visit Sannaâ€™s old Southampton University friend Cor and my old best mate Dom who’s now living in London.
This picture must of have been taken 1000â€™s of times, its the stereotypical view of the old London guard for the Queen. I told Cor it takes them years to grow their hair like that.
Sanna in front of the old London bridge during a walk along the river Thames.
We met up with my old best mate Dom to catch up on how heâ€™s been doing.
Trip to Wales
Time for some adventure and even colder temperatures. We visited the Snowdonia region in North Wales and visited the old town of Betws-yâ€“Coed which we have visited many times before. Here we are in Betws-yâ€“Coed on the old bridge braving the cold.
Sanna and I did a day trip climbing mount Snowdon which is just over 1000 metres tall. This was my third time climbing mount Snowdon but the first time for Sanna. I love climbing it and this time I chose a much harder steeper track for a bit more fun. Hereâ€™s the warning sign at the bottom saying there are no supplies or shelter from this point onwards.
Near the top there was snow laying in places cold enough to resist the little warmth the sun provides near the summit.
In the same day after getting back from our mount Snowdon climb we went to old Trafford to watch Manchester United play. Here is Dad in his element.
Stopover in Dubai
After 2 weeks in England we jumped on the plane to Dubai for a 6 day extended stopover. It was the middle of the winter there but it was a warm 25 degreeâ€™s in the day and around 17-18 degreeâ€™s at night. Here is Sanna greeting one of the locals.
The famous Dubai indoor ski slope containing real snow and was really large inside. The whole building is in the middle of the desert and is kept freezing cold all year round.
When in Dubai we met up with an old friend of Sannaâ€™s family Abdullah who is pretty much a Dubai local living there for many years and who showed us around the sights of his amazing city in the desert.
Inside one of the lavish Dubai 5 star hotels. This was the newly opened Atlantis hotel which is built on the tip of the palm which is built on sand reclaimed from the sea.
The inside of the Atlantis hotel was built around the â€˜Lost city of Atlantis under the seaâ€™ theme showing some 85,000 different species of fish in its windows.
Once again inside Atlantis, I was quite happy with how this photo came out, the lighting and reflections came out great with the menacing silhouette figure in the background.
A warm Arabic night in front of the Burj Al Arab in the distance, the worlds most expensive hotel and gaining a world first, 7 stars.
Inside the 7 star Burj Al Arab hotel, many walls and pillars were gold plated and the common areas featuring very clever water fountains that played music with the sound of the water colliding all computer controlled.
We had a buffet lunch at the Burj Al Arab as part of our tour, god knows how much it would of cost but the food was top quality the best weâ€™ve had. We bought a 1 litre bottle of still water and it cost $20 or around Â£10.
Lastly after 6 days in Dubai and a few days of horrible food poisoning for me, we flew back to Sydney. It was nice to be home and the weather on our return was a lovely 30 degreeâ€™s again.