Kuwait to Paris (always Paris)

The next morning more sand was in the air – by the time the sun is up it looked beautiful and clear the other days, this one stayed a little more hazy.


The colors of the buildings were all pretty much sand colored, with some variation. But many were beautifully decorated and with differences in style. I just got a few photos while driving to the airport. 


In Kuwait and especially in Dubai, there were many many opportunities to do duty free shopping and many exclusive, expensive brands available!


Just got a kick out of this couple taking a selfie. People are the same everywhere…


And many beautiful women.

So Emirates had another trick up their sleeves, the stewardesses were taking pictures of people – polaroids so they could give the picture to you.

And we liked these stickers that are in the seat pocket.

on the seat back
Sand everywhere


Landing in Dubai by watching our monitor – especially put this in for my brothers…


Dubai airport is just amazing – its has the largest footprint of any airport. Look at this bank of elevators that took us up several tall stories.


Another 380 – this plane is SO big. The first flight we were in row 85 and still not the back of the plane (although close).  This time was row 57 but right on the wing so limited view outside.


Beautiful gate area


We didn’t get to this gate area without some work – there were three sets of security. And all but the last time I had to have a fairly thorough (much more thorough than US when there is no X-ray scanner) pat-down – since my knee replacement sets off the metal detector. They take women into a little room with a door or curtain before doing it at least…

The view leaving Dubai


Islands built off Dubai’s coast

Sunset from 39,000 feet

Snow capped mountains below also

And sunset from the airplane monitor. Can you tell I was impressed with these cameras on the plane? I’ve got a few more for landing…


Flying right into sunset.


One of the displays that come up periodically of cockpit instruments – I missed getting the one with the instrument cluster.


And landing – and we are back in Paris…


Missed putting this one in and I couldn’t resist one more.


Bye Emirates. Hello Paris.

Kuwait – Evening dinner/entertainment and the conference

So we had a dinner and entertainment provided for the speakers and I was getting too long on the last post so here’s the rest. First the tent that was made up for the event.



Joel trying out a costume holding one of the trained falcons.

It was amazing. A woman who studies Middle Eastern music gave a talk and slide show on the early history and music of Kuwait. She had a group that sings these songs and performs there also. What was fun was how much the locals enjoyed it also – something they seemed to not have seen before?



Some high ranking people in the oil companies – they got the best seats 🙂



Next all the speakers got presents. – Here’s Bill


All the speakers 



Ok, now the food!


Everything was delicious – lots of rice, beans, vegetarian options as well as beef, seafood and the one that surprised me was the big pan on the left above was a large part of a lamb, you just take off what you wanted – same with fish and chicken but I’ve never seen lamb served that way. I loved everything I tried.


Desserts – mostly not as rich and sweet as we might be used to – or at least not sweetened with just sugar. 



Then home again in our limo/bus.  It was a fun evening with lots of opportunity for cultural exchange – not only with the Kuwaitis but also the other speakers who were from various countries and backgrounds.  One of the organizers told me that I was invited to the conference and lunch also so the next day I attended in the morning and got to see Bill speaking. Actually most of the speakers were quite interesting to me, despite only having some limited exposure to this topic. (Cyber security)

Another hazy morning

Getting set up for the day




I missed getting any pictures from the lunch but had an enjoyable talk with several young Kuwaitis who work together in IT at one of the oil companies. And lastly a couple of shots from the hotel.

We learned that Kuwait has no water (except the sea) and in the early days all water was carried in. And while they now desalinate water but also a little designer water too. 

Kuwait

The experience in the Kuwait airport was amazing for us – first of all one of those many people holding a card with a name on it had our names! He took us to the visa desk where he took care of getting our visas (including paying for them). This had been arranged by the conference. Then he just walked us past the lines at customs, right to the Hilton shuttle which took us to the Hilton Resort. One of the men meeting us mentioned there was a sandstorm going and it could be seen in the next morning’s sunrise. To our delight, our room faced the Arabian Sea and had a beautiful view.


Really a sumptuous breakfast buffet came with the room and we ate looking out at the sea.


I just sat and enjoyed my coffee awhile and Bill went off to listen to talks at the conference.  Then after updating blog pages and taking care of a few business issues with customers, I went for a long walk down the Hilton property on the beach. 


One of my favorite photos from Kuwait


The sea any my feet

Just some views of the Hilton property



I saw this thing on the sand and wondered what kind of creature it could be.

D
Turned out to just be some weird man-made thing that I couldn’t quite figure out.

Just a building I liked. Most buildings were made of sand color and were a lot alike in color although designs varied. This was a little more ornate.


Two beautiful views.

One of the pools which was near the sea but unfortunately not open the day we were there due to repairs being done.


The night after the first day of the conference the speakers and those who arranged the conference (and me) were taken into Kuwait City for a dinner. We had what looked like a fairly large bus but turns out it was more of a limo-bus. Two tables with two bench seats each and a big lounge area in back.  This is the back.


Night scene including the liberation tower built after the liberation of Kuwait from Iraq by the coalition forces.


We had a tour of the “Dickson House”, formerly the house of a British couple who lived in Kuwait most of their adult lives. It is in the house they lived and it was amazing to see the Kuwaitis being so interested in the people and situation of the people in the photos. 

Next was a big dinner and show for us. It was next to the museum in a “tent” that was decorated and you could dress up and hold a trained falcon. But I’ll break here and put that in the next entry.

Emirates to Dubai and Kuwait

Something cool in Paris airport and we actually saw several of them that were available!

Emirates airline was pretty amazing even in economy class – now having a lounge upstairs had we been a little higher class might have been even more amazing. But the amenities were nice – even in row 89. The plane was a 380 which is HUGE, they boarded through three doors.

Seat back not only has a personal screen but a remote controller, special cup holder so you can have tray table up, every movie and TV show made it seemed 🙂
nice headphones, plenty of overhead space, reasonable leg room and a comfortable seat with adjustable headrest, nice meal selections.  AND the console had three camera views of the plane – not just a chart showing where we were but cameras that actually show the plane – one pointing down, one on the tail and one on the front of the plane.
Here we are at the terminal

More of the console

View while in flight

The Alps

No snow on these mountains

It was night when we arrive in Dubai – here is window shot and one from the plane showing the runway approach.
6

Not sure it counts but we did spend an hour in the Dubai airport – can I say I’ve been there?

Did find a little Irish Cafe in Dubai airport

And then a short flight to Kuwait – here is our approach.

The experience in the airport was amazing. Someone met us – always wanted one of those signs with our names on it…(actually it happened once before when an internet friend met us in Seoul). He got us through getting the visas and through customs without even having to talk to anyone or wait in any lines (helps to know people).  Then to a hotel representative who got us a car to go the hotel. This is all thanks to the conference people who arranged all this from airlines to hotel.

Nice Hilton resort – more tomorrow!

and a gift of some sweets and a book on Kuwait history