This journey has been one of the best things in our lives, and we have learned so much during these past weeks. Our english has become so much better, and we never thought we could get any better ;) We have met so many interesting people and cultures and we have seen so many cool places. And don’t forget all the fantastic animals that we have seen! // Emma & AK
Hi all wonderful readers, who have followed our journey so far! Now we’re back home again... The first thing we both did when we got home was to kiss and hug our long awaited horses! 4 weeks without them has been too long and we both have missed them so much!!! After that we met our families of course, but after the horses ;) We told them everything about our trip even tho they had read our journey on the blog.
This journey has been one of the best things in our lives, and we have learned so much during these past weeks. Our english has become so much better, and we never thought we could get any better ;) We have met so many interesting people and cultures and we have seen so many cool places. And don’t forget all the fantastic animals that we have seen! // Emma & AK
Hi my friends! Today is the last day of our journey and right now we’re sitting at the airport in Amsterdam. So near home and so near the end of our fantastic journey… It feels a bit sad… But I miss my horses really much so it’ll be great to come home again too, haha.
But today we have had another day with problems. Should we be surprised? No … Today we had a major problem with my passport. Because the damn thing was gone!!! I was totally sure that I had it in my pocket but as we got to the pass control it wasn’t there! Can you understand our panic? And on top of that, we already were late… So we dug around in all our bags after the passport but it was gone. The man by the pass control looked really irritated at us and began to swear in japanese! At last we assumed that he was swearing at us because he didn’t looked like he were trying to be nice to us…
After some horrible moments when I really thought that my passport was gone Emma finally screamed in delight. And can you believe it; my passport was in Emma’s bag?! The man at the pass control was really angry now, because we had spread out all our things on the whole floor… And we stopped other passengers from passing. Anyway we packed together our things as fast as we could and ran through the security check just in time to hear the last announcement of our flight… But they saw that we were running and waited, oh shit so embarrassing! But we catched the flight and maybe it has to be like this, we’ll always be late for our flights…
The flight was fantastic, after we had calmed down from the shock, we looked out through the window; what a view! The plane flew low over the water surface for a while and we just looked at the blue water and the bright sunshine, thinking our own thoughts. Such a amazing, fantastic, unbelievable journey and now it was nearly to end… //AK
Hello all small sunshines!
Now there aren’t many days left on our wonderful adventure and I don’t understand how the time has gone so fast. Now it’s evening and we have just checked into a hotel here in Osaka, Japan after a few hours flight from Guam. I think it feels a little bit strange how our adventure soon will reach its end, but I have had such a wonderful month, with so many new impressions and I have seen so many wonderful things.
I'll soon tell you about a little less nice insight, but first I must just tell you about the delicious sushi we ate this evening. Since we are both vegetarians, something you probably understand by now, we ate pieces of sushi with avocado and rice. I have never eaten sushi before, but it was really something that I have to eat again, it was really yummy!
Now to the slightly less pleasant thing! The hotel we stay at isn’t really fresh, ugh! We are staying at Hotel Sun Plaza, and during this trip we have stayed at many places, but this must probably be one of the worst. When we entered the room, I thought we had went the wrong way so I asked the staff where our room was, but apparently we hadn’t been wrong. In our room, we were met by two mattresses on the floor in a very tiny room, and the toilet, shouldn’t we even talk about! It was dirty and didn't feel fresh at all. In the bathroom there wasn’t even a toilet, instead you had to go out to a toilet available for everyone at the hotel. I hope I can get some sleep otherwise it’ll not be a fun day tomorrow;) // Emma
We have done so many amazing things today, and experienced even more of Guam's wonderful nature. We started the day with a trip to a volcano nearby. It was like a huge mountain, because Guam has no active volcanoes, but they can still suffer from earthquakes from neighboring countries. After the visit to the volcano we went to one of Guam's beautiful waterfalls. There we could take some amazing pictures!
We also experienced the amazing caves. We explored Guam's majestic Limestone Caves. We swam in the crystal clear water, it was totally wonderful. After our wonderful time at the caves we finished the tour at a beautiful cliffside view.
When we came back to the hotel, we ate some food and then headed out, we actually had bought some tickets to a theater here in Hagåtña. It was definitely better than the Band of Horses in Sydney, but still not a top score. The theater was about a girl who escaped from the country for a life in the city and became a super famous lawyer who revealed major corporate fraud. It was not really our taste of theater, but it was great fun to visit a theater because it’s something I have never done before.
One thing that made the theater a little more fun was that AK managed to screw up with the popcorn. We had bought some popcorn for the show and sat in our seats. We sat quite high up and there were people who sat under us and in the middle of the room. Five minutes before the show started I decided that I wanted chocolate, now that I think about it, it was a very long time since any of us ate chocolate on this trip, so AK went to buy it because she sat next to the door out to the shop. When she came back with the chocolate she gave it to me. And can we only take a minute of silence of how good it was, the delicious taste of chocolate. All of these amazing adventures on this trip so far has totally made us forget the most important thing in life, chocolate! When I think about it we have been very healthy so far on this trip, so we definitely had deserved some chocolate.
Back to what happened with the popcorn. AK had bought the chocolate and given it to me and I gave the popcorn to her as she stood there. Do you know what she managed to do two minutes before the show would start? She dropped the popcorn over the railing so they went straight down and landed on the people under us, which was an old retired couple who couldn’t see the fun in the situation.
I couldn’t keep myself from laughing, and everyone in the room looked at us. We had to go out and calm down, because we laughed so much. Of course nor the sour wife or her sour old man laughed because they had popcorn all over them. The staff had to clean up a bit and said it had happened before! When we both could breathe again, we went in and returned to our seats, but first we met a staring bitch eye from Cruella’s grandmother ;) It was really a perfect ending to the evening and probably the reason why we thought the theater was okay to watch. //Emma
Hiii again! Today Emma and I had to deal with a really huge problem; there was no vegetarian food!!! Probably you all know by now that both Emma and I are vegetarians, so can you understand how upset we got?!
However we had a nice morning in the city and after a fast brunch we took a walk along the coast. It was really beautiful and we saw many birds. But I’ll come to the problem. It was pretty late as we finally reached a small restaurant there we ate lunch. We looked at the menu but it seemed like every dish included some kind of meat. So we asked a waitress if there was any chance that we could get a meal without meat and she said of course, that would be fine. But afterwards I have my doubts that she understood what we meant. Because as we got our food there were some big brown-grey things on our plates that remembered quite a lot of meat. Emma and I just looked at each other, should we complain? As the waitress came past our table again we asked her to come back with her chef. We talked kindly with the chef and explained why we didn’t want to eat meat, but he just looked at us like we were some crazy aliens, apparently he couldn’t understand why humans don’t eat meat!?
Could you understand that or should I explain it for you too? Right now I’m in such a mod that I just have to write it all of me, so if you want or not, I’ll explain…
We can begin with some basic biologi; humans are animals!!! And because we are animals just like the pigs, cows and chickens I think we should be able to think us into their situation. Imagine a life in captivity, in a big hall, packed together with thousand of other individuals. You never see the sunlight, the green grass or the blue sky. And just to make it even better, after just a few months in this life you’ll get killed and some human are going to eat you! Honestly I thought we humans had more sympathy for other living creatures than this…
And if we ignore the fact that eating meat, produced at above described way, is horrible against the animals it’s also unhealthy to eat so much meat for humans. Today humans eat much more meat than the amount of protein we need, that can result in diseases such as cancer and heart diseases. The meat industry is also the biggest reason for today’s problems with antibiotic resistant bacteria. Because in the meat production you want to have healthy animals, even if that means that you have to cram antibiotics into them. And when the bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics even the easiest inflammations can’t be cured anymore, which means that you once again can die from a normal pneumonia…
Okay, right now Emma’s trying to stop me before I write a whole essay about the subject, which I already have done a few times in school, haha, so I’ll stop here. You got the point I hope… ;) Sooo that was the main event of this day. Oh, I nearly forgot… It all ended with that Emma and I ate the few vegetables we got to the meat and then left the restaurant and an irritated chef… //AK
Hey you all!
As you heard from yesterday, I was bitten by a snake!!! It certainly wasn’t a pleasant experience and I really thought I would die. Actually, I'm not afraid of snakes, but after this experience at the hospital, I think I'll have a little bit more respect for them. The snake bit me in the leg, luckily, because then we had a little more time to take us to the hospital, but OMG, it swelled up so quickly. When my leg was the largest it was twice the size of the other leg. It was fortunate that AK was there and she immediately got me to the hospital. It was probably the most frightening experience on this trip so far. The leg recovered during the night and today we have been and visited an underwater world here in Guam.
It was absolutely amazing! We walked in tunnels under the water and had all the fish over and around us. It was insanely beautiful and we saw so many different fish. Some of the species we saw was the Green Sea Turtles, Giant Grouper, Sea Jellies, Blacktip Reef Shark and the Zebra Shark. It was really beautiful and we actually ate lunch under the water as well, with the fantastic fish that swam over us. We also saw my favorite snake, or not ;), the Brown Tree Snake. But they are actually very beautiful and because it went well with my leg I still think they are beautiful snakes. It was not really the snake's fault that I walked right where it lay and sunbathed. The day at the underwater land went too fast and we had such an amazing time.//Emma
Hiii everybody! Today we have encountered one of Guam’s biggest problems, the snake invasion. About 60 years ago the first Brown Tree Snakes came to the island and they have disrupted the natural ecosystem since then. Because of the lack of natural enemies on the island the snakes could reproduce uncontrollably and by now they have exterminated many of the island’s bird- and lizard- species. The snakes also eat smaller mammals, eggs and frogs and they are known for eating cats and dogs as well! So terrible!
The Brown Tree Snake is slim and long, it can actually be over 3 meters long on Guam. That’s a great bit longer than it’s in its natural habitat and the scientists believe that’s because of the good access of food on Guam. The snakes normally live in the forests, surprising due to their name haha, but also in grasslands and savannahs but nearly as often they are found nearby caves or rocks. But in Guam the snakes have adapted to other habitats, for example human dwellings. The snake has fangs with venom, but for a adult human it’s mostly harmless. Children however should immediately come to a hospital when bitten by a Brown Tree Snake.
Yeah, as you understand the Brown Tree Snake is a really big problem in Guam and this’ a good example of what can happen with a ecosystem if an invasive specie remains uncontrolled. And today Emma and I have met those creatures, we believe it was such a snake anyway…
We had planned for another day in the city and an longer walk to the neighbor village, but our plans changed. We ate breakfast at a nearby restaurant, in a little greenpark in the city. I don’t saw exact what happened but as we went over a sunwarm rock I heard that Emma cried out behind me. I turned around and ran back to her, she had sat down and looked terrified at her leg. She said something like “it bit me!” and we could see two quite big holes in the skin on her leg. The whole lower half of her leg, up to her knee, had already began to swell and we looked anxiously at each other. What would you have done in such a situation? We had no idea how dangerous the snakebit was so I took my phone and called 911, the emergency number in Guam and described what had happened as good as I could.
It felt like a half eternity before we heard the sirens of an ambulance. Emma looked really pale, but maybe it was just the shock and not the poison from the snake. Then the ambulance was there and two men jumped out and looked at Emma’s leg, they talked with each other in some strange language and asked us some questions which we didn’t understood. Apparently they couldn’t speak english so they tried to communicate with gestures. They lifted Emma into the ambulance and gestured for me to follow. I did and then we drove through the city with an incredibly high speed.
As we got to the hospital a doctor was already waiting for us. He looked at Emma’s leg for a really long time and I began to get a bit nervous before he finally said “Brown Tree Snake” and something that sounded like “harmless”. But according to the size of Emma’s leg it wasn’t harmless and I tried to make the doctor understand that. He looked at Emma’s leg again, even longer this time and pushed here and there on her leg, which made Emma scream in pain, or in surprise haha… As he finally looked up he murmured something about really bad and very poisonous snake. I just looked stunned at him, just a minute ago he had said it was a bit from a harmless Brown Tree Snake and now he were talking about really bad? He’s a doctor he should now!
Anyway, after a looong discussion with two other doctors, he came to the conclusion that it wasn’t a dangerous bit after all and sent us home, without doing anything at all! Poor Emma could barely stand on her leg and I wasn’t sure that the doctor was right when he said it was okay. From one of the other doctors we got advice to wrap cold, wet towels around the leg and that it would help against the swelling and he also gave us some miracle salve to have on the leg. It was very interesting to see that so many doctors were involved in the same case, which apparently was harmless too, while a lot of other patients, looking really bad, were waiting for a doctor in the waiting room…
We spent the day at our hotel room, playing card games and eating a lot of unhealthy snacks and chocolate. And apparently the doctors were right, because after just a few hours Emma’s leg looked nearly normal again and she said that it didn’t hurt anymore. We were relieved but what a frightening experience! Right now we’re going to get some sleep and I really hope that Emma will be fine tomorrow. Hope you all had a better day than our’s, good night! //AK
Hi all wonderful people!
The Second day in Guam has been absolutely fantastic and we have learned so much about the country, so I have to tell you guys all the things that we have learned, of course! Guam is a country that I hadn’t heard that much of before so I think that some of you haven’t either.
Today we checked out the city and visited some famous places. We can start by clarifying a very interesting thing, the name Hagåtña? As you know by now, I and AK like historical and cultural things so we obviously had to look up the meaning of this name, and I must say that it’s at least interesting.
Hagåtña is derived from the word "haga" meaning blood. The story behind this meaning is that it's believed that the village came about due to the bloodlines of the families that established the village. But the name has not always been the same and it wasn’t until the end of the 1900 Century that they officially changed the spelling to "Hagåtña" to reflect the original Chamorro pronunciation. Now you may wonder what is Chamorro. Today, Chamorro people make up about 37 % of Guam's population and they were the first inhabitants of Guam.
Now when we have sorted out that problem, I think I’ll describe the wonderful culture here. It has been influenced by the Spanish and Mexican culture and the Filipino. Of course, the country has been influenced by the American way of life because of the soldiers who were staying on the island for a long time and some are still there. One thing that surprised me with the city is that it’s not huge, there are around 1100 people in total. As opposed to the island's historical past, Hagåtña, currently is one of the least populated villages on the island. But the culture is big in Hagåtña and the cultural resources of the village are significant being home to a large number of Guam's historical sites.
Guam is home to more than a dozen World War II sites. Each offers a unique perspective of the war. Although Guam is now an island territory of the United States with a significant military presence, it has not always been an American territory. During World War II, its location about 900 miles north of the Equator in the Western Pacific, Guam was valuable to the Axis and Allied Powers. We visited the Lujan House also known as the Guam Institute. The Lujan House is one of the few remaining pre-World War II houses in Hagåtña.
We also visited the Latte Stone. The park has a considerable extension to the native population.
As well we went and saw Sant Marian Kamalen, known as Our Lady of Camarin, ice the cartridge saint of Guam. The 300-year-old Santa Marian Kamalen statue is a revered icon. She is one of the most important icons in Guam's history, religious or otherwise.
As we stood and looked at the statue, a woman came up to us and asked if we were tourists, like it wasn’t obvious? But we said yes to her question, and she explained the legend behind the statue. Apparently this is an important storytelling method of passing knowledge and she was a storyteller.
According To her there are two different kind of stories and I'm going to explain as good as I can. The first version of the legend: A fisherman from Merizo went fishing, and spotted a statue of the Virgin Mary on the ocean floor. He swam underwater to try to approach the statue, but to his surprise it moved away. No matter what he did, he couldn't close the distance between the statue and himself. He returned to shore and sought advice from the village priest. The priest told the fisherman to dress in his Sunday clothes and try again. He did so, and this time had no trouble in getting the statue.
Another version of the legend is: that the fisherman saw the statue floating in the water, escorted by two gold-spotted crabs, each bearing a lighted candle between its claws. The statute thus overpriced became known as the Lady of the Crabs.
It was really amazing to see some of the city's culture and hear the amazing stories from the lady. Now, at night we went to dinner at a cozy restaurant. Where we were served Kelaguen. This food is an signature local dish, marinade of lemon juice, fresh coconut, green onions and salt. On this restaurant they actually had an alternative vegetarian dish, with something called Quorn. They normally eat the dish which white chicken and the dish also contains rice.
It was actually very good and definitely something I can eat again. Now both I and AK have food coma so I think we should go to bed in order to cope with the adventures tomorrow.// Emma
Guam is an island, and the largest and southernmost island of the Mariana Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The capital is Hagåtña and the island has a tropical climate. Guam has around 160 000 inhabitants. The island was discovered by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. 1667 the island was controlled by the Spain. In the late nineteenth century the island was conquered by the United States. 1941 Guam was occupied by Japan, but the US retook the island in August 1944 and Guam became an external US territory. Guam is strategically important for the US that has air and naval bases on the island.
When it comes to the economy, Guam is primarily dependent on the income that the US military presence on the island produces, as well as tourism. Beside sunbathing, swimming and shopping you can experience different nature attractions such as coral reefs and waterfalls. The wildlife has been affected by a brown tree snake that quickly spread in the country. It is a poisonous snake that was taken there by mistake.
Agriculture and fisheries are important for the population, but many residents also grow for personal use. The industrial sector is also small and consist mainly of clothing and textile factories and boat builders. //Emma
Hi! After a, we may say chaotic, search for the airport yesterday we are really tired now. We landed in Guam about two pm and began with some lunch, because the food we got on the plane was horrible! Then we searched after our hotel, which took some time, and checked in. We had just planned for a few hours rest but both Emma and I fell asleep! Nice first day here in Guam, sleeping nearly the whole afternoon… But luckily we have nearly a week left on the island so I think we have enough time haha :)
Anyway, in the evening we went out into the city. We had no real plan, so we just walked around a bit and looked at the buildings and the people. After a while we decided to eat something and went to a nearby restaurant… yeah and then we went back to the hotel and there we are now…
So what should I write about? Luckily we also went past a tourist shop on our tour through the city and there we got a folder about the country. At one page were fun facts about Guam! So in lack of other things to write about I’ll share some of the facts from the folder with you.
Guam is actually called Territory of Guam in official and the people in Guam are called Guamanian. Guam’s national flower is Bougainvillea, the national tree is the Ifil tree and the national bird is Marianas rose crown fruit dove, long name haha. The country’s highest mountain is Mount Lamlam and it’s just 400 meters high, so Guam is a really flat country haha. The island is very small, think of the swedish island Öland, it’s small isn’t it? But Guam is actually three times smaller with just 549 square kilometers! Another interesting thing, according to the folder, is that there is no real sand on Guam. What is perceived as sand, for example on the beaches, is in reality ground coral!
Haha, I think that was enough for today, you’ll probably hear more about the Territory of Guam tomorrow when we ourselves explore the island! //AK
Hello you all!!
We arrived at Manila around lunchtime and have had a wonderful day here. In a few hours we'll be flying to Guam and reach the final goal of our trip.
In Manila, we have visited a large market where we actually bought some things. What we first noticed in Manila was that it was very crowded and polluted. The air didn't feel very fresh if I should be honest, and it were markets everywhere. One thing we noticed quite quickly with Manila, was that the city didn’t feel particularly affected by Asian. Since the alphabet is Roman, we could actually understand some signs and the residents spoke very good English.
In one place we bought sunglasses because mine had disappeared and I really needed a couple, but we had some difficulties understanding the vendor. We all stood and waved with our hands, trying to get the other person to understand, because the vendor couldn’t speak English very well. This is an evidence for how difficult it’s to understand each other when we don’t speak the same language and how important language can be for us. Eventually we managed to understand each other and could buy the glasses.
Manila was a really great city, with traffic everywhere and after an action-packed day in the market, we decided to head toward the airport again. The only problem was that we didn’t found our way back. The clock was already quite a lot, so we felt a bit rushed because we had to find our way back. After going in circles for a while and asking a number of people, we didn’t know what to do. Typically us to get lost, even when the market wasn’t particularly far from the airport, no Brain, no Pain ;)
We managed to find the airport after a while and we'll soon board the plane! // Emma
Hi all lovely readers!
Today we came back to Sydney after two absolutely fantastic days at the Great Barrier Reef. It was really insane how amazing it was, completely awesome!!!
This last day in Sydney AK and I got the crazy idea to climb the Harbour Bridge. We were looking at it when we were here the first time, but thought that the building was so great that we decided to climb it, I mean why not? Of course we had a guide with us, so you can exhale now, we haven’t lost our mind ;)
Together with 13 others we climb to the top of the technical miracle along the outer arc. We had a view of the water from 134 meters, and it was something that we probably never will experience again. Now you might think that AK and I are risk-taking people who like heights, given to past experiences on our trip, but that's really not the case. If I'm going to be hot honest I'm pretty scared when it comes to hights, but it gives such a rush of adrenaline, so we can’t help it... We could both see the Sydney Opera House and the Blue Mountains from the top of the bridge. The whole trip took about 4 hours so you can of course understand how tired we were afterwards because we had stretched so much during the trip up.
It was actually a girl who couldn’t handle the altitude and panicked. I felt a bit sorry for her because she was really excited before the trip and she really wanted to see the view from the top of the bridge, but she couldn’t handle her nerves. She managed to climb down again, but they had to help her.
After a lovely lunch at a small cafe next to the hotel, we took a taxi to The Powerhouse Museum, located near Darling Harbour. It's a public museum and its unique and diverse collection spans history, science, technology, industry, music, transportation, design and space exploration. It's also home to the world heritage and stories of Australian culture and lifestyle.
At the Powerhouse Museum we saw many cool things and the museum Consist of a number of unique exhibits including the oldest operational rotative steam engine in the world, the Whitbread engine. Another important exhibit that we saw was the Locomotive No. We also walked around and looked at the transport exhibition where we could look at different transports through the ages, from horse-drawn carts through the steam engines, cars and planes. Of course we watched the space exhibition where they have a cockpit in natural size.
The day in Sydney ended with a fabulous meal at the restaurant near the hotel. They had a very good vegetarian stew with rice which we ate. We also ordered a really good chocolate dessert. It really has been an amazing time in Australia and Sydney, so it feels a little bit sad that we have to leave this amazing country tomorrow. Tomorrow morning we will fly to Manila, the capital of the Philippines, where we will stay from noon to later in the evening when we take the flight to the last country on this fantastic journey, Guam.// Emma
Hiii again! Today we had another great day at the Barrier Reef. We started really early, it was still dark and we dived until afternoon before we had to swim back to the ship to go back to Cairns. To dive in the dark was quite different from diving at daylight, even if it always is a bit dim so deep under the water. All the bright colours were gone and our surroundings were just black and white and a lot of different nuances of grey. The sunrise was more beautiful, as everything came to life and we began to see the colors again.
Okay, I’ll take it short because in just a few minutes we’ll have to board the airplane that will take us back to Sydney and I want to get this post posted before we leave…
Today we swam, or dived haha, to one of the coral islands. Under the island where several caves, through with we dived and wow that was amazing! The caves were really small and sometimes I felt a little trapped, knowing that we were deep under the water and under the island. But the warriosity of life was worth it! Later we swam up to the surface and crawled ashore on the island in our wet diving suits. After a short rest on the beach there, the island was uninhabited as you probably understand, we swam back to the ship for lunch.
After lunch Emma and I got permission to dive alone, without the guide. First we were a bit scared, what if we got lost? But if we did, we could always swim up to the surface to find the right direction back to the ship. But for once we managed not to get lost! Yey, haha ;). It was a new feeling that we could dive wherever we wanted, without having to follow the guide.
Anyway it was an amazing experience to dive in the Great Barrier Reef and I would really want to do it again if I get the chance. //AK
Good evening our dear readers! After a fantastic trip to Ayers Rock yesterday we took the helicopter again, but not back to Sydney. As I said some days ago, we changed our plans. Instead of going back to Sydney we flew to Cairns. Perhaps you wonder what we are going to do there? Diving in the Great Barrier Reef of course! So, in the evening yesterday we landed in Cairns after a, we may say a bit shaky, helicopter tour. We spent the night in a really luxury (and expensive!!!) hotel because it was very difficult to find a place so late in the evening (and no, we hadn’t booked a room in advance). But I shouldn’t complain because it was fantastic!
Early today (but not before an unbelievably fantastic breakfast) we left the hotel and boarded a modern steel ketch named Coral Sea Dreaming. Beautiful name for a ship, isn’t it? We were just eight passengers and it felt very peaceful after all the big tourist crowds in Sydney and at Uluru. We left the dock but if we had thought that we could just jump down in the water straight away, we got dissapointed. At first we had to sit on the ship and just wait until we reached the outer reef, sooo irritating to have to wait…
Finally we reached the outer reef and put on the diving suits, flippers, glasses and oxygen cylinders which were included in the cruise. We had a guide too, who told us not to swim away too far from her because the risk of getting lost. Some of the passengers on the ship, three of them to be more exact, had apparently dived much before and were good at it because they dived alone. That meant that there were just five of us plus our guide who dived in a groupe.
Then we dived! It was amazing! I have never been “like a fish in the water”, but as we swam among the number of colourful fish and beautiful corals I nearly felt like one. I think I have never felt more great under water before. It was like diving down into a new world, where everything was more colorful and with sharper contrast than up in our land living world. Both the corals and the fish were coloured in all possible colours, from bright blue, green and purple to even brighter neon colours such as red, yellow and orange.
We also saw water turtles, whales, dolphins, dugongs and sharks! Wow, that was an adrenalin kicking experience. We just swam through a deep, but narrow, canyon with reefs and fish everywhere around us, as we saw a slim grey animal swim toward us. At first the only thing I could see was the wide jaws with bright white fangs. I think we all panicked a bit because of all the stories we have heard about sharks eating humans. But our guide waved at us to keep calm and stay tight to the reef walls, and the shark just swam past us! We saw more sharks later, but always with some distance between us.
We stayed underwater for nearly the whole day, the only time we came up to the ship was to eat a delicious lunch. But as it began to get late in the afternoon, we all felt really tired and decided to end today's diving tour there. My whole body protested as I tried to walk over the ship and I think I’ll get such a sore, but nothing in comparison with Emma who complained that she wouldn’t be able to dive tomorrow, haha! Anyway it was a fantastic day which ended with a great meal and an interesting presentation about the Great Barrier Reef. As I already have mentioned this was an luxury and expensive cruise, so just for us eight passengers they had paid a scientist for marine biology to talk about the Great Barrier Reef and how today’s climate change is destroying it.
The Great Barrier Reef is about 18 millions years old and it’s the world’s largest coral reef. It consists of more than 2500 different reefs and about 900 coral islands and it’s about 2600 kilometers long! But because of the global warming, the environmental pollution and other disruptions caused by humans, scientist believe that the reef can be extinct in a few decades.
It was really interesting and I learned much. Right now we’re really tired and about to go to our cabin to get some rest. Good night everyone and I hope you have had a day as good as ours has been!//AK
Today we have done something really cool. This morning when we woke up, we took our things and took the bus to a helicopter. We left Sydney and the city life to spend one day in the outback. We and a few other tourists went to Uluru. From the helicopter we had a really nice view out over the landscape and the farther from the city, we got the more desert landscape we saw.
The helicopter dropped us off a bit before Uluru and we took a bus the last bit. On the way there, it was much greener than I had imagined, and a guy explained that it was because of the recent rainy season. When it blooms, different species such as frogs can live there as well. But it dries quickly and it can take years between the rainy periods. After a little while in the bus, we saw the giant mountain. The very last part of the way we had to walk and I thought, when we went against the mountain that it was much bigger in real life than the pictures I had looked at before the visit. We actually walked around the whole stone, about ten kilometers, so it took a while. I think it took 3 hours because we had to take some pauses in order to cope with the hot weather. When we went around the mountain we had a guide that told us a lot of interesting facts about Uluru and I thought you would like if I share some facts with you guys, so of course I’m going to do that.
Uluru also known as Ayers Rock, is the characteristic mountain in the central part of Australia, it’s also one of the country's most famous landmarks. The mountain is known for its shape and the fact that it has been formed over millions of years very slowly. From the beginning it actually belonged to a larger mountain range, but today it’s the only thing left from it. It’s therefore isolated in the flat desert landscape. It’s believed that the rock is 500 million years old, and that major parts were under the water from the beginning. Today it’s almost 3,5 km long and 2 km wide, with a height of about 900 meters above sea level and it continues 2.5 km under the ground. You may not be able to say that there is a mountain, but it consists of sandstone. The interesting thing we noticed with sandstone was that it looked like it changed color during the day while we were there due to the sun.
It’s also a mountain with a long history and the word Uluru comes from the language of the Aborigines living in the area. Uluru is actually the name of the area where they live and not a specific name for the mountain. Aborigines have apparently lived in this area for over 10 000 years, and it’s them who have named many sacred sites and the sacred sites around the mountain were named by them. It’s said that the aboriginal people make contact with their ancestors in these holy places, which in their history created Uluru. Today the local people have ceremonies and rituals at Uluru. This area belonged to the Australian government for many years, but since 1985 the area Uluru became aboriginal ownership again. Today it’s also a part of a large National Park called Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru is the most famous thing to visit in the national park and it was much cooler than I had expected. Something that I really enjoyed was to take part of the aboriginal culture and see the many rock carvings and paintings on the mountain. // Emma
Hiii! We’re sitting in our room in the hostel in Sydney, planning for the next few days in Australia. Yesterday was an eventful day and I can just say help! OMG Emma drove so awfully horrible! I really thought we were going to crash and this was much more of a near death experience than the segway tour. Emma made the car do a gigantic jump up on the sidewalk and crashed right into the fence with a horrible speed! Luckily no police was nearby… When we come back to Sweden I think Emma has to redo her driver's license and I have to do medical education in case she has to be sewn together because of her terrible driving skills. But first I think I need a therapy course so I can cope with her after this terrifying experience, haha. And so much money wasted!!!
Today has been a wonderful day again, maybe a bit calmer than yesterday; we have skydived, met one of the world’s most famous rider and we ourselves have ridden too! Wow, I didn’t know how much I have missed the horses on this past three weeks before now… The horses were fantastic, of course, but to actually meet one of the most famous riders in the world was indescribable, not to talk about the skydiving- what an experience!
After a short breakfast in the hostel we took a bus out to the skydiving center early in the morning. There were only a few other people, which I think was really nice because I don’t like to be in large tourist groups. Anyway Emma and I decide to choose a jump on our own, I mean that we didn’t want to jump together with an instructor. For that we first had to go a course to train and learn how to handle the parachute and also master the techniques of body flight. At first it was really difficult, but after some hours both Emma and I had worked out how to handle the parachute and were ready to jump. We were really nervous and so excited!
This was the movie about how to skydive we got to see before we tried ourselves.
Equipped with helmets, glasses and special clothing we climbed the airplane, together with about four other people who had done the same course as we had. On the way up into the air Emma and I stared out of the window, following our own thoughts. As I looked at Emma I actually thought that she looked a bit frightened, but probably I looked the same. I was so nervous! One of the instructors told us that we were going to jump from about 4 500 meters, and I just thought that that’s really high up. The view from the airplane was fantastic we could see a great bit of the lowland country and the city behind us and in front of us the ocean. I remember that I thought of how blue the water was… Haha I don’t know why, I just did it. But now I’m boring you, the only thing you want to hear about is the actual jump, right? So I’ll get to the point then…
As we had reached the right height the instructors told us to take on the harnesses and check that everything was alright with our parachutes which we had on our backs. As we were ready, two of the instructors went around among us and controlled that everything really was alright and that we hadn’t forgotten some important detail. Then the first ones jumped, one at a time the instructors helped us out of the plane's door and made sure that we knew exactly what to do. Then it was my turn, Emma made a thumb up at me and then I was in the airplane door. Two instructors helped me out and jumped together with me in the first seconds of freefall and helped me then to keep a proper body position until I myself managed to unfold my parachute.
They let me go and unfolded their own parachutes. I slowly drifted down toward the earth. First I was fully concentrated on the parachute but after a moment, when I realized that everything was okay, I looked at the fabulous view beneath me and relaxed a bit. It was a great feeling to sail through the air like a bird. It was over much too fast, via the radio connection to the instructor on the ground I got to know that I should begin to prepare for the landing. I did as he told me and landed safely on the ground. I felt my legs tremble a bit, but it felt fantastic; I had skydived for the first time in my life! As I looked up I saw another parachute coming toward us and realized that it was Emma. As she landed beside me we just looked at each other, speechless from the amazing experience.
Still a bit shaky we took the bus back to Sydney to eat a late lunch. We talked both at the same time about exactly how fantastic it had been and I think that the feeling is indescribable if you haven't skydived yourself. We had planned for a peaceful afternoon with good food and just doing nothing, but then I saw a small woman with brown hair coming through the door to the coffee shop. I pushed discreetly at Emma and whispered something like “isn’t that Edwina Tops-Alexander?”. Emma nodded and we both looked curious at the woman, trying to identify her without staring. We decided that it must be Edwina Tops-Alexander. Wow so cool, we have met one of the greatest riders in the world!
Do you know who Edwina Tops-Alexander is? I hope you do, but in case you don’t I’ll tell you a bit about her… She is one of the best show jumpers in the world and she is ranked as number 18 in the world and number one in Australia. She has competed in the world championship and in the olympic games! So we can just say, she’s really a good rider!
After our lunch we decided that a afternoon at the hotel room was far too boring for us, haha. I managed to persuade Emma to a tour riding in the bush outside Sydney, or probably she just had missed the horses as much as I have.
It was awesome to be around horses again after so many weeks. The tour however was a tour for beginners… We had two guides, or what to call them, with us and about five other tour riders. Even if the horses just walked it was nice to sit on a horse again. But I couldn’t help thinking about how fantastic it would feel to ride in a fast counter over the open landscape…
Altogether it was an amazing day. Right now we’re sitting in our hostel room planning for the next days. As you probably know by now, we had planned for another few days in Sydney, but although it’s really fantastic here we have decided to change our plans. Tomorrow we’re going to take a helicopter to the famous Ayers Rock in the centre of Australia to learn even a bit more about the old culture and maybe some more history of the country. Then we’re going to travel to Cairns and there we’ll have two great days diving in the Great Barrier Reef. I’m so excited for our next adventures!!! :) //AK
This day has been really challenging, and both AK and I are now sitting in the hotel room completely exhausted after the day's events. It has been both an exciting day with amazing animals, but also a day of horror, I begin to wonder if there is any form of theme on our trip considering everything that has happened to us so far;) Okay, now I will tell you about our day, but first I need to say something about “Band of Horses”. The name of the band obviously gets ten points out of ten, but when it comes to the music I can’t say that it was my favourite music, to be honest the music was pretty awful! I don’t think it will be anymore “Band of Horses” for us...
After the delicious breakfast, which consisted of a delicious and nutritious smoothie with banana, spinach and raspberries, we took a bus to a firm where we would rent a car to go outside the city to a forest where we heard that it could be koalas. The car renting went smoothly and we got some tips about driving in Australia. Apparently, it’s left traffic something we didn’t knew before. But naive as we were, we thought it wouldn’t be a major problem, yeah right, lol ;)
To drive during the rush hour in Sydney on a weekday morning was not the best choice we could have done. Firstly, it was very difficult to drive on the left side of the road and although I have been driving for almost 2 years, I felt really insecure. Secondly, the major problem to understand the turn signal. When I was swinging on the turning signal the windscreen wiper went on and it took a while before we realized that they had changed their places if you compare with a car in Sweden. Thirdly, it was annoying cyclists everywhere on the way to work. Since there are quite long queues in the inner city many people take their bikes to work to be in time, but the problem came when instead of showing consideration the bikers were everywhere and didn’t bother to check where they were going, soooo irritating, according to me!! As it wasn’t enough to try to understand the left traffic without running into anyone, no, now we had to keep track of cyclists on both sides of the road too!
If we are to describe the ride through Sydney in one word, I would probably say that it was chaos. Even when we were driving out of the parking lot where we rented the car I drove over to the right side and realized it when the man who rented the car ran after us, screaming like a madman. Then I realized and after that I managed to mostly keep the car on the left side of the road, but it really wasn’t easy. After the drive we experienced today, AK will probably report me to Sweden's worst drivers! No doubts!!
In Sweden I would say that I’m a pretty good driver, but the left traffic here in Australia was just too much and I can imagine that both I and AK screamed and looked like two dizzy chickens when we tried to drive out from Sydney. It would take about two hours to the forest and the first 20 minutes went pretty well, until I came to a roundabout and AK lost the direction so we didn’t know in which direction we were going, so in some mysterious way, we managed to end up in the wrong file and also in the wrong direction, so I drove on the right side of the road. I realized that when an oncoming car came and thought it was strange that he didn’t move, he probably thought the same thing about me. I realized I had to change side of the road when AK screamed next to me that it was left hand traffic and instead of running over on the right side of the road I put the gas in the ground so that the car flew up on the sidewalk and straight into the fence and the mailbox on the other side of the road. Not the best parking I have done ;) Luckily the person who lived in the house didn’t come out and AK and I managed to slip away, mischievous! After that experience we were really scared and drove very slowly, so slow that it was some idiot who crashed into us from behind. Now we had to pay the damages, like it was not enough with the mailbox ;)
After much trouble we arrived at the forest with eucalyptus trees. We saw some wild koalas and it was really something special because it's not so common to see them outside of cities like this. Koalas live in the eastern parts of Australia and they spend most of their time at the top of the eucalyptus trees. You maybe have wondered why it looks like koalas hug the trees, and it’s apparently because it has a chilling effect on them. During the heat wave the trees temperatures are much lower than the air and Koalas presses their stomachs against the cool tree to stay cold. They are very special because they are the only animals in the world that live exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. These leaves contain some kind of poison so other animals can’t eat them.
Koalas are also very picky animals and do not even drink water. The fluid that they must have comes from the eucalyptus leaves. They are also picky when it comes to what kind of leaves they like. Of the hundreds of eucalyptus species in Australia koalas only eat three or four of these. In order to break down the leaves and the poison, it takes a lot of energy and they sleep up to 18 hours per day to conserve energy.
The koalas we saw were sleeping in a tree in a distance, but we could go pretty close and managed to get a clear picture of the animals, it was really something! It was probably even worth the horrible drive.
When we had been there a while, we realized that the time was more than we thought and we had to drive back in order to return the wrecked rental car. We were hoping that he wouldn’t require too much money. On the way back into town, we saw a group of red kangaroos that stood on a field eating some grass. The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial and an average medium red kangaroo is about 1.5 meters high. They can jump over a 3 meter high fence. We actually thought that we wouldn’t see any because they are primarily active at dawn and dusk, but since it was early evening, we probably had the luck on our side.
When the red kangaroos had crossed the road we continued the drive back to Sydney. This time it went a little bit better, but given that we have already wrecked the car, maybe we can’t say that the drive went well, or what do you think? ;) Once back at the rental guy, that wasn’t the most happy person anymore, we tried to explain what had happened with an innocent tone, but he didn’t believe our story about that it wasn’t our fault and we had to pay a few thousand to fix the car, perhaps not the best, but totally worth it because we saw both wild koalas and red kangaroos! // Emma
Hiii my friends! Today we have learned a lot about the indigenous people, the Aborigines. Wow that was so cool and interesting, but also sad because still the Aborigines are discriminated.
We had planned for a trip to one of the exhibitions with aboriginal art in the city. But on our way Emma managed to run straight into a middle aged man as she was looking up at the majestic opera house. I could barely hold back a laugh, it looked so funny. Anyway the guy didn’t take offence and asked us if we were tourists, who were here for the first time. Apparently we were, everyone around us could tell just from how we had looked at the opera house, so embarrassing… We told him the obvious and he asked what we were about to do today. As he heard about our plans to see some of the aboriginal art he told us that he himself is an Aborigine and that if we wanted he could show us his culture. Of course we wanted! We agreed to take a taxi out to his village later in the afternoon, because we didn’t want to take advantage of his hospitality by staying with him the whole day and besides we also wanted to see a little bit more of Sydney.
So we began to walk through the city and managed to get lost twice, haha ;). Sydney is a really big city for those of you who didn’t know that and it wasn’t very difficult to get lost… Our next goal after the opera house was the Harbour Bridge, which we looked at for a long time. Emma took so many pictures that even the other tourists around us looked. We also managed to see some parts of the Sydney Harbour National Park but by an accident, haha, and since we already have written so much about National Parks and fantastic nature I think you’re probably not so interested to read about another one… Anyway after that we were hungry and decided to eat something.
After lunch we took a taxi and drove out to the aboriginal village. There we met our host who showed us around in the village. It remembered me a little bit of the village we had visited in Uganda, the one nearby Entebbe, although it all was quite different. The village wasn’t as primitive as the one in Uganda and the buildings and the people were all different too. As we had seen the whole village, looked at the people and houses, we followed our host to a fireplace where we sat down. We asked a bit about the aboriginal culture but most of the time he talked continuously, anxious to make us understand his culture and life. And he really managed! It was very interesting and we learned much. But now you probably want to know what he told us, right? Haha, or not? Anyway I’m going to tell you as much as I remember…
The aboriginal culture is the world’s oldest now-living culture. The culture is older than the bible, older than the pyramids, and also older than our nordic Viking stories. For example the oldest aboriginal cave paintings are more than two times older than the European ones. The culture varies from clan to clan but their sight on life is common. They consider that all life is a part of the same system and that the earth gives the human her identity. Most parts in the aboriginal culture have a religious meaning and their music is often linked to dance and drama. In the last years their art has increased in popularity and has now international attention.
But as I mentioned earlier the Aborigines still don’t have the same rights as the other inhabitants in Australia. Many of them are unemployed and according to our host nearly 30 % of the Aborigines but only about 10 % of the whole country’s inhabitants are unemployed. Many Aborigines are living from contributions from the state, which some politicians want to reduce. In the politic the aborigines are very few and not until 2010 the first aboriginal politician became a member of the parliament!
It was really interesting to listen but I think that the highlight of our trip to the aboriginal village was the evening around the fire. They had painted their whole bodies with colors and danced and sang while some others were holding the rhythm with clapsticks.
In the evening, as we were back in Sydney, we managed to get tickets to the opera house! There was a concert from a band named "Band of Horses", so of course we had to see it- nerd warning! Oh, I think that we haven’t told you about our greatest interest yet: both Emma and I love horses (other animals too but the horses have a special part in our hearts) very much and are crazy horse-girls, haha… :) So the choice of concert was easy. Right now we’re sitting in the great opera house waiting for the "Band of Horses" to begin to play… //AK
Today we have had a fantastic day at Bondi Beach with plenty of sunshine and beautiful weather. We came to Sydney this morning at 7:30 and went straight to the hostel, Coogee Beach House, where we'll stay these couples of days in Sydney. Maybe it wasn’t the finest hotel so far, but because we only had to pay 1500 crowns for all the nights I think it's worth it. Today after our brekkie we went to Bondi Beach with a bus to check at the well-known beach and surf life. I really don’t like to swim, but when we got into the water it was the perfect temperature. The negative part was that the beach was really crowded, even so early in the morning, but since we had gone directly from the hostel at 8:30, we managed to get some good places.
Bondi Beach is a very popular beach located in the eastern part of Sydney. The beach is shaped like a horseshoe, which was something that both I and AK found very fitting;) The beach is up to 800 meters long! Probably the longest beach I've ever seen in my entire life.
First we participated in a morning course to learn how to surf, something that either I or AK had done before, so it was a story in itself. The lifeguard began to go through the basics how to paddle and get up on the board, then we got to test it for ourselves. I would have liked to practice a little bit more on the beach before jumping into the water, but we did our best. At first we were terribly bad and fell off the damn board a number of times. I really didn’t think it would go, but in a strange way, we managed to catch a few waves and it felt good. We were certainly not the worst in the group, which felt extremely comfortable after the segway experience!
When we had surfed for a while, we decided to sunbathe a little and tried to get some more color. We also swam in the water and it was absolutely wonderful, the water was light blue and we managed to see some fish too! It was a pity we didn’t see the signs of the current as good as the fish because suddenly we became protracted out to the open sea of an underwater current that came from nowhere. We both got very scared and got further and further away from the beach, without being able to swim back. I tried to yell, while AK panicky waved with her arms and it began getting hard to stay at the water surface. We looked panicked at each other and knew that this maybe was the end! I had a hard time breathing because I screamed so much and I started to sink under the water. It was fortunate that AK grabbed my arm otherwise I might have swallowed even more water. Desperately, I tried to cough up the water from my lungs so I could breathe again. After what seemed like an eternity, a lifeguard came with a jet and helped us back to the beach. He explained that it was very important that we read the signs, and after that experience, I can promise that we will read the signs ;)
We completed the amazing day at Bondi, if we disregard our little adventure farther out in the ocean, with food from a cafe before we took the bus back to the hostel. We sat and ate a fantastic meal while the sun went down. // Emma
Hiii everyone!!! As you probably read yesterday we had a fantastic tour through the Kings Park with segways! The tour was fantastic and it was funny to drive with the segway, but also frightening! It was sooo fast! Hahaha, maybe it was my own fault but anyway, it was toooo fast! At one point I really thought that I would drive right into the lake, but luckily I managed to jump of the horrible thing in time! It bolted with me!!! :(
Today we have seen kangaroos for the first time, yay! This morning we took a taxi and drove out to Preston Beach, a small town about an hour from Perth. The town is in the Yalgorup National Park and is known for the great number of Western Grey Kangaroos living there. We spent the morning in the town and after lunch we walked out to the beach. The weather was really good so we decided to spend the afternoon swimming. Haha, more correctly; I was swimming while Emma was lying on the beach, fully dressed, complaining about how cold it was!
In the late afternoon we saw the first Kangaroos, they were at the other end of the beach so we had to walk. There was a great number of them and there were both fully grown individuals as well as smaller ones. We also managed to see two mothers carrying their babies in their punches on the belly. The small ones put up their nose and looked over the edges of the punches. They were soooo sweet!
The Grey Kangaroo is the fastest of all kangaroos and can reach a speed of 70 km/h. They can jump really high and are also good swimmers. In Australia there is a really big number of Grey Kangaroos, both Western and Eastern.
Because our flight to Sydney would go first after midnight we had the whole evening in Perth as well after returning from the kangaroos. So we went on a three hours dinner cruise on the Swan River. Wow, I think I have never eaten anything that delicious (and expensive!) before! And it was so fantastic to see how the whole city lit up the night and how the light reflected in the water beneath us. What an experience! //AK
Hello mates! ;) Today we have spent the second day in the wonderful city Perth. I really think it’s a really nice town and the people are really friendly. Today, we have again risked our lives! We have experienced a Perth Segway Tour. As I assumed, my legs were hurting from yesterday's bicycletrip, so it was nice to be able to drive a segway today! We drove around with a guide and checked out parts of Kings Park. It was very interesting, not least to get that damn segway to go in the right direction. It certainly was not easy! But I will not say anything because AK had much bigger problems than me, of course! Hahah! She succeeded in some strange way to get full speed straight forward and was about to run over several people before she had to jump of in order to not run straight into a little lake. Luckily the segway stopped and AK was alive, but it looked very funny. I saw that there were several in our guided group who could not hold back the laugh and I totally understand them ;) But in the end I think we managed to drive the segway forward, and in a normal speed this time ;)
The tour went through Kings Park. Kings Park is apparently one of the largest inner city parks. We saw many unique flowers because it's part of the botanical garden. The entire botanical garden consists of more than 3000 different species of flowers, and we saw many different varieties. It was really beautiful!
We also went past the State War Memorial that is a celebration of all Western Australian servicemen and women who served in all wars and conflicts that Australia has been involved in. From there we had views of the Swan River.
After the tour with the segway we decided to walk around a bit on the assets that existed and also saw many different birds. Because of the parks size we had to go a lot and in the end my feet were complaining, almost as much as Cruella on the Safari. Of course, we could not see everything in the park, but I think we managed to see a lot. // Emma
Hi again! Today was our first day in Australia and it was fantastic! This morning we arrived at the airport here in Perth, after a whole night in the air. And what a horrible night it was! Our plane managed to get right into a storm, so it wasn’t very comfortable. The plane bounced up and down and in every other direction as well. I managed to ignore it and get some sleep but Emma looked as if she hadn’t slept at all. But although we were tired already in the morning, we filled the day with many fun activities!
After a shorter tour around the city, which is really beautiful, we took a trip to Rottnest Island. We drove first along the Swan River with a quite big ferry and looked at all the fantastic buildings around us. The Swan River flows right through the city and at some places the houses around are really close! As we reached Fremantle the ferry suddenly was on the open sea. It took about half a hour to Rottnest Island and then we had time to do whatever we wanted. Emma and I hired bicycles, against Emma’s wish haha, and pedaled along the coast on a nice sandy road. After maybe an hour, we reached a smaller group of houses and a beautiful beach. We decided to take a break and bought some delicious ice cream. We continued, but stopped now and then to look at the amazing nature and the beautiful sea.
At one point Emma stopped her bike so suddenly that I nearly drove right into her. She pointed and then I saw it too, beside the road sat a small brown animal and looked sleepily at us! We had read a lot about Australian wildlife before the trip, just to be prepared, and could tell that it was a Quokka. They are small macropods and Rottnest Island has gottten its name from them, because long ago the Quokkas were mistaken to be rats - therefore the “nest of the rats”. Quokkas are normally active during the night and I don’t understand what this one were doing up in the middle of the day. Anyway the little Quokka was very sweet and I think it was a really young one.
As we continued we soon came to a larger town where we ate a delicious lunch buffe with many exotic dishes and I have no idea of what to call them. After lunch we came to a bay with dolphins! At first those water living mammals swam far away from the coast and we just saw them jump up from the water now and then. But as we sat down and just looked the dolphins came nearer. They jumped up from the water and it looked like they played with each other. I counted to seven individuals but Emma said that she just saw six, but we both know who’s the better one in math ;) Anyway they were fantastic to look at. And it was the first time I ever have seen wild dolphins!
After the dolphins we took another road and began to pedal back to the ferry. Emma complained a bit about that she would have such a sore tomorrow and I think that I will have it too, haha. But it was definitely worth it!
Right now we’re in our hotel room and planning for the day tomorrow. Good night everybody! :) //AK
Australia is a quite big country and the area is seventeen times bigger than Sweden’s, although there are only three times as many inhabitants as in Sweden. And just about three percent of those are indigenous peoples, called Aborigines. When the european colonizers first arrived, some time in the seventeenth century, the country had been inhabited for thousand of years by people who had moved there from Southeast Asia. The British settlers exposed the Aborigines for brutal and degrading treatment and that continued nearly until the present day. Today, Australia is a modern industrial and service society with the world’s highest level of immigration, mainly from Asia and the Pacific. But still the Aborigines are living in difficult conditions and the attempts to integrate them to the modern society has failed. Politically, the country has a prime minister and a parliament but it’s an federal state where the states have quite much self-employment. And did you know it’s an monarki? The monarch is Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, which is left since Australia was a british colony. The country has also been a close ally of the United States since the Second World War.
Because of it’s size the climate and nature is very different over the country. There are both rainforest and deserts but also temperate climate with quite good agricultural possibilities. Australia is also known for the great number of exotic wildlife, for example I think all of you have heard about koalas and kangaroos, right? And that’s one of my and Emma’s goals; to see wild koalas and kangaroos! Haha, as you probably have figured out by now both Emma and I love animals and are crazy in seeing them in the wild. //AK
The plane landed late last night and we slept at Holiday Inn Express Dubai Airport. Now we are sitting at the airport waiting for the plane to Australia. The clock is around midnight so we have had a full day in Dubai, and OMG what a great city it is!! This morning after a needed sleep without Cruella ;) we ordered a taxi that drove us to the Burj Khalifa. It’s an impressive grand building, something that I think everyone should see if they are in Dubai. It’s the world's highest skyscraper, whole 828 m high.
We went early in the morning because we had heard that it probably would be less people then. We hadn’t booked any tickets, but hoped that the luck would be on our side. When we arrived at the building I almost got a little dizzy when I looked up at it, and really wondered if I would dare to go up. We also noticed, to our surprise, that the line-up was not particularly long, and out of curiosity, we asked a man if there was anything wrong or if it was closed for the day. Luckily he was nice and explained to us that between June 5 to July 6 Ramadan takes place in Dubai. During this holy month, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset. It was good that he said it because out of respect for the fasting visitors don’t eat or drink in public places. Beacause of Ramadan it was quiet and fewer people at the Burj Khalifa. We went up to the 124th floor and found ourselves 452 meters up. It has been a cloud free day today, so we could see out over the whole Dubai, the desert and the Arabian Gulf.
We also could witness the amazing Dubai Fountain from above. It's very difficult to explain the feeling I felt when I stood up there and looked out over everything. It was such a great view and both I and AK was speechless afterwards.
After a bit of shopping in the shopping centers nearby, against AK's wish, of course, we took a taxi back to the hotel to eat a little. We spent a few hours at the hotel and then checked out to eat at a restaurant before we had to go to the airport. Since the time was late we got to experience the interesting situation when the fast is broken around midnight every night. We got to be there when the locals organized a grand buffet with food, and it felt like everyone ate together in the whole city. It was very cozy, but unfortunately we had to go to the airport otherwise we would miss the flight and it feels like we have stressed enough to airports so far on this trip ;). Now we will soon go on the airplane after an action-packed day in Dubai!.// Emma
Now we are sitting at the airport in Nairobi waiting for the flight to Dubai. In Dubai we will spend a day before departure to the next adventure, Australia and the city Perth. It has always been a dream of mine to go to Australia, and finally it happens, yay !!!!! One thing that I have been thinking of is that it actually feels a bit strange to be among so many people now after we have spent the past three days with animals, I think that I prefer animals ;) Next time you will hear from us we will be in Dubai!!// Emma