Scotland Captain, Abbi Aitken gives us her first diary installment of the Development XI tour in Dubai for the ARCH Trophy
Thu, Feb 21, 2013 4:19 PM
The team gathered at Edinburgh Airport and, regardless of some very early alarms being set that morning, there was noticeable excitement throughout the squad. After successfully managing to negotiate the self-check in there is always that slight panic when someone isn?t listed on the flight!
However, with the first mini drama over, the bags were checked in and the tour was underway as we boarded the first flight of the day to Schipol Airport in Amsterdam. The flight passed relatively quickly, although felt that little longer for me having drawn the short straw and being forced to sit next to the chatter box that is Lynne Dickson.
After arriving at Schipol we were all present, minus one passport ?well done Sammy! The next six hours were to prove rather long and uneventful, as those early alarms finally took their toll on most of the squad.
After what seemed to be a mammoth wait, we finally got the call to board our final flight of the day to Dubai airport, the six hour flight was soon not as daunting as first anticipated after the variety of movies seeming to keep the girls entertained. Once again luck was not on my side, this time having to tolerate insomniac Coach Carswell on the overnight flight.
However, this proved a positive thing for Tour Manager, Lea Tsui, who enjoyed a long sleep, knowing she had someone to wake her whenever the food would arrive. We finally arrived at Dubai Airport at 7.30am. With all passports, bags and players accounted for, the last leg of our journey was a 2 hour bus transfer from Dubai airport to our hotel in Abu Dhabi. Those managing to keep their eyes open for the bus journey were rewarded with some of the famous sights of the UAE.
A very tired squad finally arrived at the hotel at 10am, and the players headed to their rooms to catch a couple of hours of sleep before heading to the Zayed Stadium for an afternoon training session. The session gave us a good idea of the conditions that we are to face during the competition. A rather exhausted and sleep-deprived squad headed back to the hotel to grab some dinner and head to bed for an early night in preparation for our first match of the tournament in the morning against Wales.