What this post title says (if Google translate got it right!) is…. Welcome to Moscow!

One of my most recent layovers was to Russia, a country which I had never been to before. I was very glad to be going there for the first time in summer, not during -20 degrees in winter! It’s only a short flight from Dubai, around 4 and a half hours. However the bus journey from the airport to the hotel is a long one, so once we arrived it was late and we all went straight to bed. A few of us arranged to meet for breakfast in the hotel, and then decided to go out as a lot of us were here for the first time.

In the end 12 of us (that must be a record!) took the hotel’s free shuttle bus to the Red Square.

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It was incredibly beautiful and we were all very impressed. We took lots of touristy pictures and even managed to get a couple of group shots with everyone in!

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We walked all the way around stopping to admire all the different colours and shapes on the building. We stopped off in the souvenir shop to pick up a few postcards, and I also got a set of Russian dolls which are now on display in my room!

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One of the girls had just done the same trip a few days before, so she knew her way around a bit and suggested we go to a lovely park just nearby. A few of the others split off to do their own thing, and the rest of us hopped on the metro (hoping we were going the right way, as all the signs were in Russian only!) and rode a couple of stops to the park. 

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We had a lovely long walk through the park, feeling more like we were in a the south of France or Spain, it was so pretty! As it had been quite a while since breakfast, we decided to get some lunch and there was a gorgeous little cafe/restaurant hidden away between the trees. In fact the trees were still growing in between lots of the tables inside!

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After an absolutely delicious lunch we wandered back through the park, stopping by the fountain to enjoy a bit of sunshine! We would have liked to stay longer just relaxing in the park, especially as there were benches and bean bags everywhere, but we had to get back to the hotel for the flight home.

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Once back at the hotel I had a short nap and all too soon it was time to fly back home to Dubai. We thought it was going to be a nice easy flight, half full like the day before. However, the 777 flight which was meant to be departing that day got cancelled, so we got all of their passengers, which meant that we were completely full! Luckily it was over before we even knew it and I was back in sunny Dubai!

My next trip is to Singapore, which I am incredibly excited about as I absolutely love it there. I have also heard that it’s their national day and there will be a big parade and fireworks etc, so hopefully some of the crew will be up for going out to watch it!

After that I’m going to fly home to Austria to stay with my family for a couple of days (crew scheduling gave me 5 days off in a row – nice!) then I have one more flight to Perth, and then leave! August is going to be a great month, I can tell already! 

My most recent trip was a 5 day one which took me to Sydney and Auckland. I’ve been to Sydney before but never to New Zealand, so I was quite excited!

The flight to Sydney took 13 hours, which is the longest I’ve worked on the plane since joining. We do get a couple of hours of rest in the bunks, but it is long and tiring! We arrived in Sydney early morning and arranged to meet around lunchtime which would let us have a bit of sleep first. 

We decided to walk from the hotel and do a bit of sightseeing, so headed down towards the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. We got so lucky with the weather, even though it is supposedly winter in Australia, it was beautifully warm and sunny!

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By this time we were all feeling quite hungry, so decided to have some lunch sitting by the opera house. We probably could have picked somewhere slightly cheaper, but the allowance in Australia is pretty generous and we had a gorgeous view! After lunch we walked up to the opera house to have a look around, and soon discovered there was free wifi….which lead to us sitting in the sun for at least 45 minutes catching up with everything we had missed in the past 24 hours! (Wifi in the hotel would have cost 30$ – ridiculous!) 

We then walked along past the opera house to the botanical gardens, which are more like a huge park. They would have been perfect to sit and have a picnic or just relax. Whenever I go to a country where there are lots of parks/trees, I realise how much I miss that in Dubai. We strolled around enjoying the sunshine for a while and then headed up back towards the hotel.

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The other girls went back up to their rooms, and I decided to walk around Sydney a bit more on my own and try and find somewhere to have a coffee with wifi! I walked around for a while but as it was getting dark it was also getting colder so I went into the first place I could find with coffee and wifi which happened to be McDonalds. Not my first choice, but beggars can’t be choosers! I must have stayed in there for about an hour or so skyping and catching up with Joey, then I had a little bit more of a walk around Sydney and headed back to the hotel. 

Jet lag finally hit me for the first time since I’ve started flying and even though I went to bed around 9pm I woke up every 20 minutes…eventually I gave up around midnight and watched re-runs of The City on MTV until the wake-up call at 4:30am! Luckily the flight to Auckland is only a quick one – just under 3 hours 🙂

I forgot to mention I was duty free operator for the trip, which meant I had to count all the duty free items, try and sell them (not really time for that on the quick Auckland flights though) and then fill out any paperwork and seal it all back up. Once we got to Auckland we arranged to go out to dinner and as a couple of the crew were fasting for Ramadan we decided to go quite early so they could break their fast as soon as the sun set. Image

We went to a Belgian Beer Cafe, where a lot of the crew had their infamous mussels. I’m not a huge fan of seafood (apart from fish and prawns – I think it’s all a bit too slimy!) so I had good old sausages and mash! I did however try my first mussel, and wasn’t too impressed!

We stopped at Starbucks (the only place that was still open at 8pm; not used to that in Dubai!) for a hot chocolate on the way home and then headed straight to bed. The next morning 4 of us girls met up for breakfast ….and what can I say, it was easily the best breakfast buffet I’ve ever had! I would put up with the crazy long flights and jet lag just for the breakfast in Auckland any time!

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There was a pink chocolate fountain! (I didn’t actually try it in the end because I was too full :D) As  well as all the normal things, there was a waffle and pancake station, any type of egg imaginable (I had eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon – so good!), even ice cream if you wanted it!

After breakfast I went back up to the room to let it all digest a bit, then decided to go for a walk around the city to pick up the obligatory fridge magnet. I walked down towards the harbour and to be completely honest I was fairly disappointed – the city was nothing special in my opinion. The weather probably played a part in that – it was grey and drizzly and reminded me too much of any ordinary day in England! The harbour was also mostly just a load of ferries, so not particularly exciting. 

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Soon enough it was time to get the uniform and make up back on and fly back to Sydney. A whole group of us went out to dinner once we got there in the evening and then I went straight to bed to try and catch up on lost sleep!

The next morning I had arranged to meet up with a family friend, Philippa, who I haven’t seen in years – she’s currently travelling around the world and has now stopped in Sydney for a while. I walked down to Darling Harbour to meet her where a bit of rain came out, but luckily it cleared up again within a few minutes and the sun came back out! We had lunch overlooking the water and catching up!

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All too soon Philippa had to head back to work and I had to go and get ready for the evening flight back to Dubai. It was a long night flight (14 hours instead of 13!) but I did manage to sell some duty free which is great, as I’ll be getting some commission along with my pay check next month! 😀

After finally landing around 6am, I handed in my duty free pouch and got straight on the bus home. A long and tiring but fun trip!

In the evening Joey came to meet me at home and we went to the Madinat hotel where he had been invited to an Iftar, which is the meal Muslims eat at Sunset to break their fast during Ramadan. I felt very cultural! Now I’m packing for my flight to Moscow tomorrow afternoon, which I’m pretty excited about as it will be my first time to Russia. I’m also (extremely) impatiently waiting for my August roster to come out, so I can finally book my flights to England! 🙂

P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!

 

 

The day before yesterday I got back from a layover in London! Well, technically we stayed in Heathrow, but you know. As soon as I saw LHR on my roster, I arranged to meet up with my best friend Lucy. The last time we saw each other was when she came over to Austria before I moved to Dubai, so over 7 months ago! 

The flight was one of those horrible night ones, leaving at 2:30am, which means being at the airport at half past midnight. It’s always tough trying to get sleep before a flight like that but I managed a couple of hours and then got ready and made my way to the airport. The flight itself wasn’t too bad, most of the passengers were asleep which is always good! 😀 We landed around 7am and by the time I’d got to my room I had about an hour to get some sleep before I needed to leave to meet Lucy. I got the Heathrow Express (50% off for airline crew – nice!) and then the tube to Liverpool Street. Just as I got off the train we spotted each other! 🙂

We decided to get the underground to Oxford Street to do some shopping. First stop however, was a much needed coffee!

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Our main aim was to get to Primark, so we walked down Oxford Street and spent a good while and way too much money in there. Any time I get a London flight I try to stock up on skin coloured tights for work in Primark as they are at least twice the price in Dubai!

After a good couple of hours shopping we hopped back on the underground to have a little walk around Covent Garden and some lunch. After lunch we decided to walk down past Somerset House and cross the river Thames. We were being very touristy and taking lots of pictures all day! 😀

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We wandered down towards the London Eye and sat on the grass relaxing in the sunshine and people watching. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and hot. All too soon it was time to go, so we walked past the London Eye along the Thames to the underground, making sure we got a few last pictures in. We said our goodbyes and headed separate ways. However if all goes well I will be flying back to England on leave in August, when we will get to see each other again! 🙂

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Thanks so much for coming down to see me Luce, even if we only had a day together it was awesome! 🙂

One of my recent trips was to Nice, in the south of France. I was very excited for this trip, as I had bid for it and they gave me 2! Unfortunately, crew rostering took me off the first one and put me on Munich instead, which I wasn’t so excited about. When it finally got round to time to go, I was ready to explore! The flight over was super easy, just under 6 hours. We did have a fair bit of turbulence, but nothing I can’t handle now! :D

We landed in Nice around 2pm and got taken to our hotel, which was only a few minutes from the airport, and right opposite the beach. As in literally, cross the road and you’re there! We decided to go out straight away and not waste any time. Two of the guys and one other girl and I decided to walk into the centre. We were told it was about a 40 minute walk but as it was all along the promenade next to the sea we didn’t mind at all. However the boys soon changed their minds and decided they didn’t fancy walking so just the other girl, Hannah, and I made our way into town.

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The weather was absolutely gorgeous, hot and sunny and we were both ready for an ice cream! As soon as we got into the centre we found somewhere to cool off a bit and decided on a smoothie instead. We didn’t have anywhere in particular that we wanted to go, so just walked all around. The cobbled streets were so pretty and we even bumped into some of the other crew who had taken the bus into town!

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We strolled past a little market selling lots of trinkets and things that nobody really needs, and I got a cheesy fridge magnet to add to my (growing) collection! After a good few hours of walking we decided to head back to the hotel to meet up with some of the others for dinner. We had arranged to meet in the lobby and we got there with 5 minutes to spare! The walk back was lovely as well, along the promenade which was busy with joggers, cyclists and people just enjoying a nice stroll.

We got a taxi to the old town and went to a steak restaurant …where of course I ended up having a burger :D My excuse was that the menu was in French and that was the only thing I understood ;)

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As the sun started to set we headed back to the hotel, and the town looked so pretty all lit up. Once we got back we popped up to the pool/rooftop bar to have a look at the view – it was so gorgeous!

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The next morning Hannah and I met up for breakfast in the hotel – fresh croissants in the sun, what more could you want!

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I decided to walk to the supermarket which wasn’t far from the hotel and get a few bottles of wine, and some nice ham and bacon! Ended up spending a bit more than I had intended, but never mind!

All too soon my mini holiday was over and it was time to go back to work and back to Dubai. I can’t really remember the flight home so I guess that must mean it was pretty uneventful!
Nice was such a beautiful place, I can’t wait to get the flight again!

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Last week I had the flight which I had been looking forward to most all month…Vienna! All of my family live in Austria (spread out in different cities, but still in the same country!) so they had all arranged to come and meet me on my layover.

The flight was really quick and easy, only just over 5 hours and we landed early afternoon which was great. Once all the family arrived at my hotel, we decided to go out and have a walk around the city. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, lovely and sunny and warm, not boiling like Dubai!

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We walked all through the city centre, past the cathedral and lots of beautiful, typical European buildings, and found an outside cafe/ice-cream parlour to sit at. We all ordered a big ice cream sundae and sat outside enjoying the sunshine.

All feeling rather full, we wandered down to the “Museumsquartier”, a beautiful part of Vienna where a lot of the museums and parks are located. 

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Being back in Austria made me realise that however much I love Dubai and all the perks of my job, I still miss Europe. Being able to go for long walks through the city and parks and sitting outside in a cafe people-watching just isn’t really do-able in Dubai (except maybe for a few months in winter).

Pretty soon it was time to have dinner, and we decided upon Vapiano on Mariahilfer-Straße, one of the main shopping streets in Vienna. It’s really quick and cheap, but such yummy food. After dinner we walked back to the hotel, even passing a group of people who had set up a little area to dance in on the street!

In the evening my friend Maria came to meet me at the hotel and we had a drink there, and then headed out for a couple of hours of dancing! I hadn’t seen her since she came to visit in April so it was great catching up 🙂

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The next morning, after not quite enough sleep, the rest of the family came back to the hotel to meet for breakfast. (Harry and Lizzie both live in Vienna so they stayed at their apartments).

We decided just to walk around the city and see what we could find, and ended up at a cute little cafe just opposite the cathedral on the main square. 

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It was lovely seeing the whole family again, since the last time we were all together was a year ago! To finish off – one final picture of all the children together! 🙂

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