Our journey home was a whirlwind. More than that, actually.
It was a hand-to-the-forehead, pant, and bend-over-breathless kind of journey, but it was also totally worth it.
The trip was not direct. Since we were flying out of Johannesburg, we started our journey southward with a 26-hour bus ride and a 5-hour border crossing. We took a train ride over the city of Johannesburg and then boarded our flight to the UAE. Finally, we flew over Iraq, the Black Sea, Ireland, and then Greenland. We landed in New York City.
The worst part of the journey, of course, was the travel in Africa. Honestly, that’s always hard. For the first time ever, I watched the sun set and then rise from the same seat on the bus. We crossed through the most miserable border crossing ever, shuffling through the station at three AM with more than a thousand other people. We ran through Park Station in Johannesburg, trying desperately to drag all of our luggage while finding the right car on the Gautrain.
Our international flights, on the other hand, were exceedingly luxurious. We were flying with Eti-had Airways, based in Abu-Dhabi, and were impressed with the technology and standard of service.
“You know,” said Dan, flipping through the dinner options on the menu card and fiddling with his individual touch-screen entertainment system. “This is even nicer than being in our home.”
Twenty hours later (8 hours to Abu-Dhabi, 12 hours to New York City), we were back in the States. For 16 days. Then we turned around and did it all again, backwards.
|Landing in the UAE|
|Beautiful Abu-Dhabi International Airport|
|Waiting between flights at the Abu-Dhabi International Airport|
|Playing onboard the flight|
|One of five meals served during our 20 hours in the air|
|Cous-cous and fish.|
|And taking off, flying again|