Well, that was a soggy week, wasn’t it!
Whoever normally puts the weather order in clearly pressed the rain and thunderstorm button by mistake. It certainly brought some challenging conditions for flying. Lots of fantastic cloud pics, extra fuel for weather delays and re-routing in a ‘road closed’ kind of style, quite quickly became the norm.
Despite the challenging conditions, I’ve been lucky enough to make fleeting visits to Mallorca, Aberdeen, Hanover, and Glasgow with time off to explore in Venice, Frankfurt, Berlin and Belfast. So many fabulous destinations in such a short time that I thought I would let my photographs do the talking this week.
My addiction to travel has been more than satisfied this week with some brilliant crew and plenty of laughter along the way.
As always, please do tell me what you think…
Regular flyers are probably already well aware of the ‘double ding’. It’s something you may hear from time to time on our flights after take off when the weather could cause a bit of a bumpy ride. We do it from the flight deck to let the cabin crew know that it’s now safe to leave their seats in order to carry out duties.
Despite the sunshine of Mallorca it was still bucketing down in London and we were prepared for more thunderstorms too. Did you know, statistically, you have a 3,000 – 1 chance of being struck by lightning. Roy Sullivan however, the Unluckiest Man in the world, has been hit 7 times! ⚡️ 7 separate occasions. His job as a park ranger may have contributed to his terrible luck, and what’s more, one time he was actually inside his office. I would certainly want to know if he was on one of my flights in a thunderstorm!
Venice (VCE) is a place I know little about but with an overnight stop and another trip planed in a couple of weeks, I was keen to get my bearings and figure out the best way to navigate across the city. It is known as ‘The City of Bridges’ which may have something to do with the 400 that span across the 117 islands. Venice is slowly sinking at a rate of 1mm a year. I suppose another way of looking at it is the Northern Adriatic is rising at 0.04 inches a year. Either way its a challenge for the locals who often have to deal with challenging floods in the winter months. One of the reasons Venice is particularly busy in the summertime. I was keen to head off the beaten track and so armed with my camera and GoPro I began to quickly lose myself in the enchanted maze of alleyways, a great way to see everything from the Piazza San Marco to magnificent St Mark’s Basilica.
Time to leave came much too soon. I am certainly looking forward to returning for another sleepover this week. Ciao until then.
Did you know ciao (pronounced CHOW) originates from the Venetian dialect. The phrase s-ciào vostromeans “I am your slave” – and over time, the phrase was abbreviated to simply s-ciào.
The crew and I made for the airport and found an Airbus 320 with 160 people that wanted to come with us to Heathrow. We set up the aircraft, ran the checks and taxied out to runway 04R before being cleared for takeoff. The departure took us back over Venice and gave us the most fabulous view of the islands. We continued to climb up to 36,000ft, soared over the Alps and on towards London. Ciao.
The weather was still poor in London but had little impact on us. After another quick turnaround we were on our way to Frankfurt, the largest airport in Germany. The city was a contender for German capital after the Second World War. It has the largest inner city forest in the country and is home to two of Europes highest skyscrapers. Arriving late evening meant we only had time for a quick beer before bed. Of all places at a local Irish bar 🍀
It wasn’t my only visit to Germany this week we also travelled to the capital.
Anyone know what this confusing airside sign at Berlin Airport (TXL) means?
I lived in Berlin for a few months in 2013 when I flew for easyJet. One of the coolest capital cities in the world. Dubbed “Europe’s Silicon Valley,” because of the vast start-up community, Berlin has it all: history, art, shopping, food, and bier!!
Top tip: – Über-cool Berlin locals don’t Uber. Download the Mytaxi app to travel like a native. But if you’re happy being a tourist Uber works like a dream.
After arriving at our hotel in the evening I had been recommended a bar named ‘Klo’… which translates to Loo/toilet. After a quick freshen up we met in the hotel lobby and went to the loo!
Not sure what else to say about that…
The following morning I had some time before the flight so head to just south of the Brandenburg gate and the Holocaust memorial with its 2711 concrete slabs. Built in 1999 I would very much recommend a visit and an opportunity for quiet reflection.
My other trips this week included a quick jaunt to Belfast (BHD). I knew little about the Harland and Wolff cranes that still dominate the skyline here. A quick google enlightened me. Named Samson and Goliath they were constructed in the late 60s and early 70s. The shipyard was also home to the ill-fated Titanic (built more than half a century earlier) and the White Star line. Anyone remember the name of the Titantic’s sister ship?
Quite the week then traversing the skies over Europe. Returning home to London, I had an old easyJet captain friend staying with me and it was time to explore our own capital city!