Hope you’ve all had a fab week. Remember last week I mentioned I hadn’t done much flying – well goodness I’ve made up for it this week. After the heat and sun of Spain it was a bit of a shock to the system to head up to Scotland. I certainly needed my coat on.
Flying time to Edinburgh (EDI) is in the region of 1 hour so with the passengers, fuel and bags loaded, we were “cleared for takeoff, runway 27R. Wind 300/12”. We departed to the north. It was quite literally a flying visit to EDI with my brilliant colleague making sure the tight 50 minute turnaround went ahead without any hitches. What a lovely smile too. I didn’t have to wait long to see her again – we were down to London and back up to EDI later that evening for an overnight stay.
The following morning I was up early and left my colleagues resting at the Apex Waterloo Place hotel and headed out for a spot of sightseeing. Climbing up Calton Hill gave me a sensational view of the city right across to the castle. Did you know it’s built on an extinct volcano?
Another fun fact I learned is that the Royal Mile is actually one mile, 107 yards long. Edinburgh was also the first city in the world to have its own fire service. Who knew?
I left Edinburgh at lunchtime with a new friend Don who joined me on the flight deck for the journey back to London. He’s a duck and every guest at Apex hotels are encouraged to take one home with them. Don is now residing in my bathroom with Derek who I liberated from a previous stay in Glasgow.
We usually do three flights a day, so after a short stopover in LHR we were off again. This time to Zurich (ZRH). I always find it almost impossible to resist Swiss Chocolate. Despite a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips mantra, I still have to indulge…
Did you know Zurich, although the largest city, is not the capital of Switzerland. You can spell it six different ways so its useful just to use the three letter flight code to avoid any confusion. My captain was Damien. A really great guy. Its so important to have a strong working relationship with colleagues, especially when we’re on a three day trip strapped into a aluminium tube travelling at more than 500 miles an hour!
Arriving home with Swiss chocolate excess baggage there was no alternative but to do some exercise. Regular readers will know I took part in an Ironman challenge and still have my wetsuit. So, skateboard at the ready, I headed down to the Brockwell Lido for a few lengths. I was impressed with my efforts and rewarded myself with a fab chorizo salad and Acai, banana, apple, peanut butter, almond milk smoothie for lunch. It was healthy and tasted absolutely amazing.
As I mentioned, its been a busy week of flying and I was soon heading on the Heathrow Express back to the mothership. This time Amsterdam (AMS) was our chosen destination. Again though it was just a quick turnaround before collecting passengers at LHR and driving the bus south to the Pink City.
Toulouse (TLS) is a place I know very little about but with another overnight stop I was keen to explore. Known as ‘Rose Ville’ because of its rose-bricked architecture, Toulouse is the home of Airbus. Many of you will know its also the birthplace of Concorde. Or Concord if you’re French!
The weather was great and I had a lovely couple of hours strolling around the city and along the banks of the river.
My week still wasn’t finished yet. Next stop was Stockholm (ARN). Built on 14 islands connected by 57 bridges, Stockholm is the home of the Nobel Peace Prize. We arrived late into the city and I was keen to get some sleep. Unfortunately, the sun barely sets at this time of year. Note to self: Remember my BA eye mask next time.
There was still one more stop before the end of my flying week, a quick trip to Nantes (NTS). A place I remember fondly from my days flying for EasyJet. I was based in Lyon and we would often head across to Nantes. The city is right at the threshold of runway 21 and we don’t want to wake the locals with too much noise so we fly an offset approach. At 2 miles out we fly visually and align with the runway to land on one of the many humps. It’s quite fun…
Arriving back at LHR, it was late but I was exhilarated by so much flying and wasn’t ready for bed so instead donned my trainers for a run. I ran and ran and ran taking in some of the sights of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My favourite spot is Tower Bridge. What’s yours?
With so much flying and exercise under my belt this week I felt a little treat was in order and so the following day spoiled myself by visiting the Magnum pop-up store in Covent Garden. I went for double dip, first peanut butter the second milk chocolate. I could also choose 3 toppings, so I did! Honeycomb, chocolate fudge brownie and gold flakes. I was in heaven.
All in all it’s been quite the week and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. How was yours? It’s always great to hear what you’ve been up to and I know many of you take the time to have a chat on Twitter. Don’t forget you can reach me via Instagram and Facebook too. I also have a Youtube channel where you can see all my videos.
Next week I’m off to Venice, Frankfurt, Berlin and Glasgow.
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Want to come?