Day 1 at thirty five thousand feet over Arabia

border|22x20px United Arab Emirates, Emirates'...

border|22x20px United Arab Emirates, Emirates’ A380-800 A6-EDC pulling down runway 12R (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pulteney Bridge, Bath, UK. Français : Pont Pul...

Pulteney Bridge, Bath, UK. Français : Pont Pulteney, Bath, Angleterre. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This blog is written at thirty-five thousand feet, over Arabia, on the Emirates flight to Dubai and is subsequently published in Dubai. The Emirates economy flight is excellent and puts British Airways Club to shame, in our view.

This morning, we finished a nineteen day, and extremely memorable visit to the UK, where we no longer live. The days went by very rapidly, seeing family and friends, plus a lovely wedding and a very memorable golden wedding (50th wedding anniversary).

Preparations for the big adventure continued whilst in the UK, including visas, many inoculations and related purchases of mosquito related medication, nets and deet-based deterrents.

Despite all the good intentions, this morning our two large suitcases weighed in at a combined fifty-four kilo – whilst that’s alright for the generous baggage allowance on Emirates to Dubai and subsequently to Shanghai, we shall need to shed fourteen kilo between us before we get on internal flights in China – that’s before thinking about buying things in China and Vietnam! Perhaps, the Chinese will be in for a treat and a special showing of Alf and Marilyn dressed up as  the Michelin Man and Woman :).

Regular readers of our earlier blog “Taking the Slow Road to Cyprus” will know that we left the UK in April for several  years of adventure travel. Our first leg was a seven week road and sea trip from Bath, UK to Cyprus. We are now based in Cyprus and plan to spend a significant part of the year travelling. This blog is focused on our first extended trip to the Orient, starting in Shanghai. We break our journey in Dubai, visiting family (it’s a pleasant and sunny thirty-eight degrees in Dubai this morning, unlike the rain that we left at Heathrow yesterday).

Returning to our visit to the UK, we had spent most of our UK visit in London but also three days in Bath. It was a bit strange visiting Bath which had been our home for over twenty years. It was lovely seeing the green fields and farm animals outside Bath, with bales of hay, ready for Winter – a bit nostalgic really.

We have found that friends, family and strangers are fascinated by our adventure. At first they think in terms of an extended holiday, then they realize that the adventure has become our life – for now anyway. Most people at our age seem to prefer cruises or organized travel, leaving adventure travel to their grandchildren on a gap year. We hope that this blog will encourage other mature, independent travelers to “do their own thing” as we feel that it is a delightful retirement plan.

We knew that the trip was getting pretty close, with Alf waking regularly from recurrent dreams set in Shanghai. We expect that Shanghai will be a really special start-point for the adventure proper.

Countries for detailed exploration and to be covered in this blog will include:

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