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Back to home base in Auckland

Neststarlingeggs, vinnevefoto

After our July holiday in Abu Dhabi leaving hubby there to continue working, we went back to our daily routines including going places around Auckland to be reacquainted after long years of absence in Nz.  And yes this nest of eggs is just propped beside our house on top of an old garden mat, reminding me that this is where we started out as a family.

Western Springs – we love this Park. It brings old memories. This is just 20 minutes drive away from home with normal traffic. A big public park for everybody.  All the birds and other animals here mostly are tame and you can feed them with your leftover bread then they start to follow you that sometimes it can freak you out too haha! 

WesternSprings, vinnevefoto

Auckland Zoo – this is just beside Western Spring Park so it’s two in one either you go to the Zoo first or the Park then your whole day and night outing are full-on.  The Zoo is very big as well so wear a comfy shoes and your good spirit with or without a kid in tow.

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AKLZoo, vinneve

Auckland Art Gallery – my son and I love museums and art galleries.  For locals, it is free to enter here so I just have to show my ID. It is located in the City Center and just a walking distance from the famous Queen Street just beside Albert Park.

AKLArtGallery, vinneve

Auckland City – yes the harbor is very busy in summer months from both tourists and locals alike.  To go across another island like Waiheke or if wanting a ferry instead of driving to Devonport or Coromandel you can get to ferry easily except when you have to go on a long queue when there are some cruise ships docked at the port. Most tourists coming from cruise ships tend to go to the little islands.  Unfortunately, an incident of a sudden volcanic eruption in the White Island (NorthIsland) the cruise ship Ovation of the Seas (we were there when it was docked in AKLport) some passengers were having their tour of the volcano when it suddenly erupted. Click the link above and this  (update: 8 now dead etc.) Condolences to those families who have been affected. So sad.

AKLHarbour, vinneve

Albert Park – Just beside AKL Art Gallery.  You will be amazed that there is a park-like this in the middle of the City.  They used to celebrate CNY (Chinese New Year festival) here and we had very nice memories with the whole family before our fate changed.  

MtAlberPark, vinneve

Auckland Viaduct – Families with children love to go across this bridge. There are some free entertainment here (free movie night & playgrounds) plus the restaurants and bars lined up so you won’t get hungry!  A free library in nearby giant benches if you want some reading in your spare time while in the City or just a walk for some fresh sea air or watch some rich people sailing their expensive yachts and big boats, or perhaps if you can afford to rent it.

AKLviaduct, vinneve

There’s a lot more to visit and for sure will post it here.  Follow me as I will show more of each place in my next post.  Soon it’s another holiday and yes another travel adventure awaits!  Guess where we will be for Christmas and New Year?… wait for it or better FOLLOW ME.  A LIKE and a comment would be great.  Cheers!

 

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Abu Dhabi : My kind of City

AD, vinneve photo

AD, vinneve photo

A City’s environment is shaped not only by people who have an important influence, but by everyone who lives or works there.  By Robert Cowan”.

I have always been a City girl growing up but with a twist.

I like living in or near the City but I want my space too and the charm of being not so far away from everything.  A place where there is also a peace & quiet… where you can relax going home at the end of the day, a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the main “City Life” but not too far away from it all. Guess you might be wondering if there is a City like that exists.  Yes, there is and I always tell my friends and relatives that I prefer to go home in my “City” and this is my home away from home (my hometown -Auckland, NZ).

Now here living as an expat in Abu Dhabi, it is also a nice place to live in, away from the crowds and too much traffic.  Perhaps it is also where we live is the main factor as we are in the middle – not too far away from the main city and the airport on the other side though with so many expats children here the schools can be a problem so opting to a far away places as most schools have a long waiting list especially the very good ones. No problem for us, there is a school bus provided and it does matter where you live, really.

Abu Dhabi is similar to Dubai but more relax in a way less crowd and less traffic and yes more greeneries!  You will be amazed how many plants and trees are in here as if this is not a desert city, unlike Dubai where tall and shimmering buildings are the ones adorning everywhere and they’re fast paced of life making me uncomfortable if I stay longer than a few days.

Dubai is just around the corner (just 1 & 30mins drive by car depends on where in the City you live), so if we really want an action further away then we go there but not as often.  Why not? it is because we also have some kind of actions here for the whole family and friends!.  See photos below.

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SOUK QARYAT AL BERI  typical Arabian market that most locals and tourists frequent too.  It has an amazing view, restaurants, and good souvenirs to buy or even do some photo ops.

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Hyatt Capital Gate and ADNEC

Unique Architecture as seen above and below…  ADNEC World class venue where some events are being held and their calendar is full of events!  Aldar HQ (left) and Emirates Palace (right) and so many others…

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If you want fast and the furious we have Ferrari World here and you can enter from YAS mall (biggest mall in AD) my fave mall ever and buy tickets from there.  FYI, Formula 1 Grand Prix 2015 will be held here for the 7th year! (info & tickets as per link), Yas Marina has something for everyone both ashore and afloat day & night and of course, YAS Waterworld for fun water play you have in mind (more slides, rides and attractions in any other park in ME) and they even have the Ladies night. If you just want a Park for the whole family to enjoy then please visit Emirates Park Zoo they have a resort too!

Image result for yas mall images

source: constructionweekonline.com LINK 

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Emirates Palace, vinneve

There are so many things you can do here that some people think Dubai has it all. AD night life is also good, but more finesse and decent that as far as I know.  Lots of concerts being held here and sporting events that the whole family can participate. Lots of parks you can stroll around as AD is the “Garden City” of UAE.  Traveling around here by taxi is a breeze and very safe.  I haven’t encounter unrespectful and scary taxi driver here and yes I even traveled at night with my little boy!

I can say that I love being here in Abu Dhabi.  More relax and homey.  For new expats, there is the weekly magazine free for all to get from any malls, pharmacies etc. Even at the airport, they have so many free magazines to read and they even have educational ones (business too) for free!

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View at the back of Qaryat Al Beri Souq, AD, vinneve foto

AD Week magazine has a lot of information for expats on what’s happening and what you can do or meet ups with other expats or just join a club.

People are different from one another and I like the values (more conservative and traditional) and lifestyles here.  It is a matter of YOU finding out the charm beneath the humble CITY besides this is the Capital of UAE so there’s more to it than meets the eye!  Please discover it yourself and you will not be disappointed.

Sources: other photos as per LINK and some are my photos.  Feel free to click the link (words in red) for more information.

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Holiday Photos “City Style”

I see it approaching… the much awaited deeply desired… LONG WEEKEND!!  Yipeeee!!     (sourced: quoteshunger.com)

That is the good thing living in the Middle East particularly in UAE as we have so many different EID holidays and it adds up, can last up to a week!

Abu Dhabi is only less than 2 hours drive by car.  Lots of people think that Dubai is the Capital of UAE but sorry it is actually Abu Dhabi, a much quieter and so-called “Garden City” as you will forget this is a desert country!  Unlike in Dubai, it is more of shining towers and night-life and crowds.  Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have their own beautiful resorts too, as they boast both deserts and nice beaches mind you! Incredible isn’t it?  You may think it is all a desert but nope you are mistaken.

If you want to stroll around (preferably at night in summer but it is now Spring so all good not too hot) better have your sandals/jandals or comfy shoes with you as it can be a long walk.  It is easy to get lost in what you see and find something you like that you forget the time or even get lost.

Dubai City, vinneve photos

Dubai City (Burj Khalifa), vinneve

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Marina Bay Walk @night
Souk Al Bahar, vinneve photosSouk Al Bahar, (Market Middle Eastern style) vinneve photos

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Souk Middle Eastern Style, vinneve photos

Dubai Mall @the back overlooking the dancing fountain and Burj Khalifa on the other side, vinneve photos

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Souk inside

Mercato - Italian style shopping mall in Dubai

Mercato

Mercato mall – they have some shows to entertain the whole family as below pics

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Souk inside (above) Mercato (beside) this is an Italian style shopping mall in its unique Rennaisance architecture.

And finally after 2 days of action it is time for us to relax and go home.

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There are still a lot of road works everywhere.  Demands vs Supply.