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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 photos

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 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 ex-pat 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 in 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 ex-pats children here the schools can be a problem so opting to faraway 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 relaxed in a way less crowded 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 the photos below.

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.

The Leaning Tower – HYATT CAPITAL GATE  an awesome 18-degree (the world’s furthest) leaning design that is a luxury boutique hotel in the City.  It is a walking distance to the Exhibition Centre as below photos.

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Hyatt Capital Gate and ADNEC

AdnecshowAD, vinneve

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 (circle) and Emirates Palace 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!

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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 nightlife 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 in. 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 encountered an 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 ex-pats, 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 ex-pats on what’s happening and what you can do or meetups with other ex-pats 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 italic bold) for more information.