|Overlooking Monte Carlo, Monaco from the ship as we leave the port.|
To say our vacation was very busy, would be the understatement of the year; 24 days, 10 countries and 17 cities. I'm exhausted, I think I need another vacation...
I arrived back in Taipei last night, after what has been the most amazing vacation I've ever had in my life. I still can't really process all the awesome places I've seen, the famous sites I visited and all the good times had with The Boyfriend and my family.
Our adventure started immediately after we set foot on the Ruby Princess in Venice for our 12-day Mediterranean cruise. We met up with my brother and his fiance, and they showed us around the ship and then we had lunch at the buffet. Don't even get me started about all the food on the ship! The fact that I only gained 2 kilograms on this vacation still baffles me...
|Formal night on the ship. The Boyfriend, me and my brother.|
We got an amazing stateroom on the ship, with a huge balcony. From there we could stare at the ocean, check out the port where we docked for the day, and also watch the spectacular sail aways when leaving the ports.
We woke up before 8am every single morning, ate breakfast, went on excursions to famous sights, where we took hundreds of photos of every place we visited, had lunch, took a nap, laid out by the pool, watched the theater productions on the ship, ate dinner, had drinks in the crew bar with my brother and his friends and then we'll pass out until our alarm goes off again early in the morning and we did it all again.
|Walking around Mykonos in Greece with The Boyfriend.|
This was my first cruise ever and I was very impressed! I'm definitely going on one again and The Boyfriend and I are already talking about the next places we'd like to go. It's way more affordable to travel this way, because you don't have to pay for transportation or food, and you also get to see many great places in a short amount of time. We literally woke up in a different country every morning!
After the cruise we spent three fantastic days in Barcelona. We bought 2-day passes for the Hop on/Hop off buses, which takes you all over the city to all the famous sites. We went everywhere in Barcelona, and it's also a great city for walking around and exploring. Although many people warned us about pickpocketing and things like that, we didn't see or experience anything like that and we never felt unsafe. The shopping there was awesome! Stores like Zara, Mango and Blanco are so affordable there, and we went a little overboard... Needless to say, I think I'm set with clothes for a while.
|In Barcelona, Spain visiting the famous Sagrada Familia|
For the last leg of our trip, we flew from Barcelona to Dubai to go and visit my sister and my other brother who lives there. When we arrived at the airport I was so happy to see my sister and her boyfriend. And then came the biggest surprise I've ever had in my life; I turned around and there was my mom! She flew from South Africa to come and surprise The Boyfriend and I in Dubai. It has been 18 months since the last time I saw her, and it was a dream come true to have her with us there in Dubai for a week.
Of course we went to all the fabulous malls while we were there, and went shopping way too much... again. Because it was Ramadan though, we couldn't eat in public before sunset, so that meant that all the restaurants were closed during the day. We weren't even allowed to have water! We did buy some and secretly drank it in the restrooms in the mall...
|Shopping at The Dubai Mall with my mom and sister.|
I really enjoyed my time in Dubai, just hanging out with my family, laying out by the pool, visiting the spa, and driving around the city. I was going to stay there until this weekend, but I changed my flights to get to Taiwan before the typhoons hit, which would mean that flights get canceled or delayed, and I just didn't want to get stuck somewhere.
I'm still sorting through all the photos, and it's taking a while because there are so many. As soon as I'm finished with that, I'll post some more here on Pretty.Random.Things.