As soon as the thermometer hit the bearable 30°C I knew it was time to go back home. Not that I am demanding or anything, I just knew that after spending so much time in Southeast Asia, I wasn’t going to be able to survive the chill winds of the European spring.
As always I was a little bit too lazy to book my tickets in advance, resulting in me spending many hours browsing through various booking websites. Finally I and Dilyan agreed on a little extraordinary itinerary that was wallet friendly, but time consuming.
We found this local Bulgarian agency called eSky that offered the Holy Grail of airline tickets. A return ticket from Asia to Europe for the mere $590, travelling with Emirates. There was only one catch. We were going to travel for almost 50 hours to Europe, making stopovers in Malaysia and Dubai, before landing in Istanbul from where we had to catch a ride to Bulgaria.
Our journey started at KLIA airport in Malaysia, where after a short flight from Singapore we found ourselves testing the comfort of the different seats in the waiting areas. If you are travelling to KLIA and have few hours to spare, take the free train between the terminals (not the KLIA Express) and enjoy a quite nap near the children’s playground (not in use). We found this area much warmer than the otherwise chiller airport building. It was also lacking of any food outlets and shops, making it the perfect quite spot to refresh.
Like most Emirates flights we had to make a stopover in Dubai. After spending the night at KLIA we decided to treat ourselves to a comfortable hotel room, situated at the sandy shores of Marina Bay. After a short ride on the Dubai Metro (which operated up to midnight) we checked-in and had a short stroll along the beach, taking in the sights and smell of shisha.
The morning began early as we set to explore the beach, before the sun was over the horizon. We knew from experience that the best time to visit Dubai Marina was early in the morning, before the dessert heat reached its nuclear levels. This was the best opportunity to try out the newest addition to our photographic gear, the NIKON AW110.
After the morning beach we had to rush back to the hotel to take a shower and to explore a little bit of the city before our flight to Istanbul. It was the middle of Ramadan and all food outlets were closed. It was as hot as always and the renovation works hadn’t stopped. We were surprised to find out that instead of walking under the sun, in the humidity carrying our heavy backpacks, we now could use the newly built bridge connecting the Dubai Metro with the Dubai Mall and neighbouring Burj Khalifa.
It was rather quick tour of the city as we had to catch the Emirates flight to Istanbul. As we approached Europe it began to feel a lot like home, with all the chaos and colourful crowds forming a vibrant and murmuring flow of people going in their own direction.