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30 November 2013

Trip to UK and leaving Ireland

Let's start with leaving Ireland because that is what is at the top of my mind right now. I am sitting at the gate waiting and I have a terrible headache, perhaps because of several late nights and perhaps because of smelling too many duty free perfumes. I was going to buy alcohol with the last of my euro but luckily the lady at the till informed me that you can't actually take duty-free alcohol through transit in Abu Dhabi because there is an extra security check just before the gate and all alcohol over 100 mL not purchased in their own airport will get confiscated. How rude is that?!?! Isn't that the point of duty free? I was so pissed off. But now I just have a headache which has turned anger into self-pity. At least I got the mascara I wanted.

My trip to the UK was really good. I was only in London for 24 hours, and this is the third time I've been, but this time I was there visiting a friend so it was a completely different sort of trip. There was food and drink, lots of talking, seeing the dinosaur display at the Natural History Museum and then going to the Winter Wonderland Christmas market and eating too much, and going on a ride that featured being strapped into chairs and swung up into the air and hurtling towards the ground upside down really fast. It was terrifying and I screamed a lot. After we had seen the Christmas markets we walked through the city, visited the really big toy store, and some other shops. But I am no longer used to be a tourist so by the end of they day my feet were killing me. I made it to my next train on time and it was time to go to Wales.

My trip to Wales was much quieter, less footing it through a crowded city and more scenic drives, small town shops and really old castles. I bought lots of little things (I did in London too) but I only had my phone camera with me and the weather was foul so the pictures to remember my first visit to Wales aren't great. On my second day there we went to a spa in a hotel and hung out in the steam and sauna rooms, then had facials. It was really good. There was of course also lots of catching up with friends, the type that involves too much food and drink and late nights talking about stuff. Hopefully I am now tired enough to sleep lots on both plane rides.

Pictures are coming, when I'm back home and have better internet. For now I have about 30 hours of travel to get through.

Quick update from Abu Dhabi - the airport here really sucks! It is so crowded, despite being so new it is not big enough for the number of people they try to put through transit. To get through the security check for the terminal there was a huge line, thousands of people. And at first it seemed like there was a huge line for no reason, there was no sign saying why we were queueing, and some people were skipping the queue so I did too, only to find that the traffic jam was due to people being herded into the security check area and there were guards at the barriers. But I didn't want to go back so I waited till they weren't looking and ducked under a barrier. Luckily I didn't get caught. Going through the security check was easy and fast, didn't even have to take out my laptop or the perfume I'd bought - but just because that got through, it was probably still wise to not chance it with a bottle of booze. That probably would have been stopped. And the only reason they don't let you have it? So you shop at their shops instead, they sell just as much booze as everywhere else. After security it was still crowded, until I made it through duty free and got to the gate. Which isn't open yet and there is nowhere to sit until it is open. Plus people are lining up already. It's all just so stupid, and I am so tired. I hope this next flight is not awful.

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