We LOVE receiving your pictures and your stories about your holidays. Mostly it’s always good, you had a great time, weather was great etc etc….but when this landed in our IN BOX, we read with amusement and laughter – hope you will appreciate it too…..

Hi Jo,
I’m very happy to tell you about my trip, rather than Facebook or Tweet, I have no interest in social media. It probably has some merits, but from what I have seen of it I regard it as a modern curse.  

So, pretty much everything went like clockwork. The connection in Dubai was a bit of a panic, it was last call before I got to the gate.  

I have always loved Sydney since I first went there thirty years ago. However, much has changed in that time. It was then fairly unusual to meet people who had visited Australia and other far flung places, now everybody has been everywhere. This has started to impact on Sydney in my opinion. There are now far more people visiting. Every day, a floating block of flats known as a cruise liner comes into the harbour. Apart from blocking the view it disgorges several thousand tourists to add to the tens of thousands that are already there. So, for me, the area around circular quay is just starting to lose it’s charm a little. The harbour, the botanical gardens, the opera house, bridge, sunshine and the people are still great (even if they did win back the ashes). 

Auckland is a nice place, but for me, it can never quite match Sydney. Apart from the flights, this is the part I did myself. Overall it was successful. 

I am assuming this will be my last trip down under, which is why I went back to Sydney before going on to Dubai. 

The part of the trip that I disliked most was the flying. Absolutely hideous! It is that more than anything else that puts me off long haul. It’s very unlikely that I will ever be able to afford business class, so I think this will curtail my travelling from now on. Emirates in my view have a good reputation that is not justified. (apart from the fact that they fly from Gatwick) I failed to see what was so special about them. Their seats are uncomfortable, the cabin service poor and the food ghastly! 

When I first went to oz in 1988 and then through the 1990’s I usually went with BA who were then excellent. Things don’t seem to me to have improved over time. 

I decided to break the journey in Dubai as I decided I could not face the journey all in one (it always seems worse coming back) This is one place I would have done things differently had I known. I had not been to Dubai before, so the location of the hotel was a mystery to me. It’s in the old and not especially nice part of Dubai, which means that to get to the places that you want to see you have to take a taxi or some other means of transport. 

I only spent a few nights in Dubai which was sufficient for me. It has some amazing buildings and is very glitzy, but I would have to have a good reason to ever return. 

Fortunately, in every location I met up with friends that I hadn’t seen for some time. This is helpful when travelling on your own. 

My wonky knee slowed me down quite a bit, it was painful walking around and I probably missed out on one or two things as a result. However, it was an enjoyable trip overall and most things worked well.  

So well done Jo, you have delivered again!
Kind regards,
Dave 

Note from Hallmark Travel: Thank you Dave – we loved your honest and refreshing point of view. Everything you say is absolutely true!