Day 1. Dubai.

What a place! The heat hits you as you step out-side and every building in the city screams to grab your attention. Some are beautiful some ugly some just weird.  Not always tasteful but it certainly cannot be ignored.

The view from our room
Getting here however is something else. 6am flights  meant a 2.45am alarm. Out the door at 3.30, Airport at 4.20am, on the plane and sit for 14hours. 90minutes through immigration and you are finally here. Not wanting jetlag to get the best of us we opted for a look round then dinner with some old friends. They took is into the area near the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa (worlds tallest tower 828 metres). They have an amzing fountain/lake that shoots water into the air in time to music, it is a great show. We managed to get back to the Hotel a little bit before 1am or 28 hours after getting up in Sydney. A Big Day!

The New Souk
The Old Souk
Day 2. Dubai

The wonders of a good night sleep. A great breakfast at the hotel, before catching a taxi to Old Dubai and the Spice Souk. This is a fascinating place, little laneways crammed with tiny shops each with the man outside to entice you in. The aroma is head spinning and the shop owners will happily explain all the spices they have on offer, giving you a potted history as they go. The souk also has a fair proportion of all the fake designer gear in the middle east. Watches, handbags, sunglasses, this is the only place to buy a Rolex or Jimmy Choo. This being a Friday most of the Gold Souk was closed for prayers so we took an hour ride on an Abra along the Creek. Fascinating to see the hundreds of Dowhs that ply between Pakistan and Iran. Our driver told us that they take about 4 weeks to travel from Pakistan. Not a cruise that I would jump at.

Once back on dry land we did a quick tour of the souk before heading into town and the Dubai mall. Like everything in Dubai this is the biggest in the world, complete with a giant aquarium, ice rink and more luxury good shops than you would think possible. A great place for a stroll. We had a great lunch of prawns at a café before doing a bit more shopping and heading back to the Hotel.

Atlantis – Formation Flying
For Dinner we caught a taxi out to the Atlantis resort, big and glitzy but I am glad we didn’t stay there. We had a very nice if expensive meal at a French themed restaurant before heading back to base

Day 3. Dubai – Frankfurt

All sorts in the Hotel Pool
A bit of a sleep-in was very welcome then a walk along the beach front after breakfast before we had to pack for the airport. There was a bit more shopping in the airport duty free before being packed into the Boeing for another 7 hours.

We had a dream run out of the airport straight on the bus and off to the meeting point to pick up our. Big smiles all round as we turned into the driveway to see a brand new black RCZ waiting for us.

We grabbed an rather non-descript hotel in Deieich, near the airport  with a nice Bavarian restaurant just up the road.

Day 4. Frankfurt – Stavelot

Out of the Hotel early, keen to give the new car a run. First up was a 300 km run down the Autobahn to run the motor in.  The RCZ only had 23 Km on it when we took delivery. A pretty uneventful trip although you forget how easy it is to cover distances quickly in Europe. We checked out the hotel in Mulhouse then started to re-write the route for day 15 of the tour. From Mulhouse we headed into the Vosges Mountains, stunning roads and probably great scenery but the rain and the cloud were so heavy that you couldn’t see a thing. Mez started to feel sick from flying blind. I really hope it is fine on 25th June. Once out of the mountains the going was a lot easier with mainly Autobahn through France, Luxembourg and Belgium to Stavelot and the amazingly good hotel.  As we pulled into the car park a car pulled alongside and the driver says, “What are you doing here Dave?” Turns out Andrew one of the Track Day devotees is here to do a track day at Spa tomorrow in a Porsche. That would be fu.

No pictures of the day as the weather was just too miserable.