So although I only recently posted about Hong Kong, I actually ended up swapping my KL flight last minute for another trip to HK! This time the weather was on my side, and I spent the day doing a bit of exploring in the sunshine.

I had decided last time to go to the Big Buddha, but obviously with the torrential downpour and clouds of fog there was no point. However this time I woke up early and made my way to Lantau Island, where it is located. The journey there was pretty straightforward, just one change on the MTR. Once you get there it’s around a 30 minute cable car ride up to the top. This is actually a highlight of the trip as the views are spectacular.

I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the view from the cable car!

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Once the cable car arrived at the top, it dropped us off at a little village type area which you have to walk through to get to the Buddha.

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To climb to the top there are 268 steps. This may not seem like too many but they are very steep, and it was over 30 degrees outside! By the time I reached the top I just had to treat myself to an ice cream to cool down ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Surrounding the Big Buddha are 6 smaller statues known asย “The Offering of the Six Devas”. They are posed offering flowers, incense, lamp, ointment, fruit, and music to the Buddha. These offerings symbolize charity, morality, patience, zeal, meditation, and wisdom, all of which are necessary to enter into nirvana. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

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You can climb up one level of the Buddha free of charge, and if you want to go any higher you have to buy a meal ticket to eat with the Monks in the Monastery.ย 

There are some lovely views out to sea as well.

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Going back down the steps don’t seem anywhere near as steep as they were when I walked up!

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I believe this was the entrance to the Monastery, I didn’t go in though.

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To come back down you have to go in the cable car again. There is actually a cheaper option of getting a local bus up the windy roads but you don’t get any of the views, and I suspect I probably would have felt a bit carsick!

The cable car passes right by the airport; I tried to spot the Big Mama (aka the A380) but to no avail!

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A lovely day trip in the sunshine, and another Buddha to tick off the bucket list!

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

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The morning after I landed from Hong Kong it was straight back to the airport….this time to pick up Mum! She’d flown out overnight to visit for a couple of days. As it was around 7am we went to my apartment for a cup of tea and a quick snooze. As it happened Dad’s flight got changed and he ended up having a layover in Dubai! So we popped over to his hotel to admire the views from his room on the 40th floor, and most importantly get some sun at the pool.

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We ended up staying most of the afternoon just lounging by the pool, relaxing and swimming.ย 

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After a while Mum and I walked back to my apartment to get ready for a trip to the Dubai mall. Dad stayed at his hotel to get some work done and arranged to meet us later for dinner. Mum was in search of a ball dress for my little brother’s high school graduation ball, and after browsing many shops and trying on quite a lot of dresses, we finally found one!

Dad came over and I cooked dinner and we had a very lovely evening!

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The next morning we decided to go and get some more sun, this time on the beach. My airline gives us free access to lots of hotel pools and beaches, however when we arrived at the Westin (our first choice) it was apparently a public holiday so no free entrance! Luckily there’s another hotel just down the road which we can use, so we headed on over there.

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After roasting in the sun and swimming alongside plenty of jellyfish in the sea we had a quick dip in the pool before heading back to mine to get ready for a surprise treat that I had planned!

Mum still had no idea where we were going and we soon pulled up to the beautiful Palace Downtown Hotel for….. Afternoon Tea!

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Lovely views from the huge windows inside the Al Bayt lounge, where afternoon tea is served.

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After choosing which type of tea we’d like, our waitress brought over two towering stands full of exquisite sandwiches, cakes and pastries, and most importantly, scones with jam and cream!

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We slowly made our way through it all, only leaving a couple of scones to take home with us.

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Once we’d finished, we had a stroll around the grounds of the hotel and admired the towering Burj Khalifa.

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Anyone for shisha?

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We then crossed over the bridge at Souk al Bahar for another walk around the mall. We may or may not have stopped at Laduree for some macarons to eat later…. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We decided to go to the cinema as almost all of the films are in English. (Mum and Dad live in Austria so almost all of the films they see at the cinema are in German).

Even though weย were still stuffed from the afternoon teaย we sat outside for some dinner overlooking the fountains and the Burj. We managed to watch 4 separate lots of the fountains, each with a different song!

On Mum’s last morning we woke up early and headed down to the marina.

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I had originally planned on a walk around the Marina Walk, however for some reason a lot of it was boarded up or had scaffolding covering it. So we found a cafe serving breakfast and sat down in the shade. Even at 10am it was over 35 degrees! Summer has most definitely arrived in Dubai!

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The cafe we chose was located right next to the Dhow boat station (along with lots and lots of expensive yachts!) and we decided spontaneously to go for a boat tour. We ended up being the only passengers on there!ย 

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The trip took us along the marina, one side of The Palm, down JBR and back to the marina.

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The girl working on the boat insisted on taking lots of pictures of us ๐Ÿ˜€

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At one point we sailed right past the SkyDive Dubai runway and we saw lots of parachuters floating down.

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Before we knew it it was time to get back to mine, have a quick dip in the pool and for Mum to pack her bags.

We made it to the airport just in time for her flight and she got the last seat!

Thanks for coming Mum! ๐Ÿ™‚

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

The minute I got sent a swap request to fly to Hong Kong instead of Paris I knew I was going to accept it. Hong Kong has to be one of my favourite cities, and it’ll always be that little bit more special as it was where I went on my very first A380 supy flight.

This time around, I had lots of plans. Even though it was a night flight leaving at 4 o’clock in the morning Dubai time, once we arrived there was no time for sleeping and it was straight out to explore the Ladies Market. I’ve been there before, but it’s always fun having a walk around and seeing all of the kitschy things on sale (as well as lots and lots of handbags, of course!).

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Well hello to you too, Hong Kong!

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After a lot of browsing, haggling (and possibly a little bit of buying…) we decided it was time for dinner. Our original plan was to go to the Michelin-starred Dim Sum restaurant “Tim Ho Wan”, however the concierge had told us earlier that they stop serving at 9pm. By this time it was getting late so we popped into a little restaurant just off the side of the Ladies Market.

We chanced our luck and ordered some very interesting sounding things off the menu…such as “Born Fried Fried Dumpling”! Pointing at the pictures definitely helped, and they were all very delicious and freshly made!

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After dinner we had another quick browse around the market on our way back to the MTR, then headed back to the hotel.ย 

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By this time we were all practically falling asleep standing up, so decided just to head up to the rooftop bar to have one quick look at the amazing view before going straight to bed.ย 

However…once we arrived, the atmosphere was incredible, with a live band playing and such great views over the city that we decided to stay for a drink! We got a seat by the window and sat and chatted for a while until I really was about to fall asleep in my chair!

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The next morning we had arranged to meet early to get the MTR and then the cable car up to see the Big Buddha. I was almost ready to go and then upon opening the curtains discovered that not only was it absolutely pouring with rain, the was such a thick layer of fog that I couldn’t see anything at all outside!ย 

We had planned to go up to the Big Buddha to get some lovely views of the city and have a nice walk outside….so that got cancelled, which was a shame as I had been looking forward to it the whole flight. In the end I went downstairs and had a big feast of waffles and bacon for breakfast! Didn’t quite make up for it, but close enough! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The last few hours of the layover were spent checking out the new roster and having a quick snooze before the flight home!

In June I’ll be flying to:

  • Kuala Lumpur (yes, again! Why on earth they keep sending me there, I do not know)
  • Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (a new destination for me!)
  • San Francisco (woohoooo!! Was originally rostered Seattle, but since I have already been there I managed to swap it for San Fran, so so excited!)
  • LEAVE! No idea where I’ll be going yet, any suggestions? ๐Ÿ™‚
  • And to finish off the month, a Dhaka turnaround.

I’ve just had my mum come to stay for 3 days, and we managed to squeeze so much in … so of course there will be a blog post coming very soon, once I get tonight’s Bombay turnaround out of the way! ๐Ÿ™‚

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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!

My most recent trip took me to the lovely Zurich in Switzerland. I think this was my fourth or fifth time visiting, and as I’ve been to the city a couple of times I was keen to explore a new area. A group of about 8 of us decided to go and discover the forest which is located very close to the hotel we stay at. ImageImage Taking a well-earned break….or maybe just a photo-op, as this bench was actually just outside the forest! ImageImageImage Doing my best Sound of Music impression. ImageImageImage In the middle of the forest we came across a little duck pond, covered in algae but very peaceful. ImageImageImageImage All in all a lovely walk through the forest. It’s so easy to forget how wonderful nature is when you’re surrounded by it every day, but when you live in the desert you really learn to appreciate all of the greenery!

 

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 morning after I landed from Manchester, I headed straight back to the airport for my next flight – Munich, Germany. As my family live in Austria I thought it would be a great opportunity for them to come and visit, however Harry was the only one who could make it. After a quick plane ride from Vienna he arrived in Munich shortly after I got to our hotel.

Since the weather was so lovely we decided to head straight out into the city, which is only a short underground ride from the hotel. Before we even got to the underground we stumbled across a market selling lots of lovely fresh fruit and veg. Of course I couldn’t resist a few punnets of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and some fresh asparagus that is in season right now. After dropping those back off in the hotel we soon arrived in the town centre.

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The main square in Munich, the Marienplatz, has a huge cathedral and as we arrived we realised it was just coming up to the hour, so we stayed (along with hundreds of other tourists!) to watch the Glockenspiel – while the church bells ring the figurines go around and it’s almost like a little show. Impossible to take pictures of though, haha!

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We walked around quite a bit of the city centre, just enjoying the lovely sunny weather.

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After a while we decided it was time for an ice cream, so stopped and found a little cafe in the sun.

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We then headed over towards the English Gardens. This is a huge park that spans over 370 Hectares and is actually one of the world’s largest urban parks, even bigger than Central Park in New York! Of course we couldn’t explore all of it that evening, so just had a nice walk around.

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As some of the crew had arranged to meet for dinner, we headed back to the hotel for some delicious asparagus ravioli, crisp white wine, and finished off with some traditional “Kaiserschmarren”.

Having been awake since before 5am that morning, I realised I was actually quite tired, and headed up to bed leaving Harry to chat with the rest of the crew for a bit longer.

The next morning we forced ourselves to the gym, and then to cancel all of our hard work out went straight on to breakfast and tried a bit of everything! I find the breakfasts in Germany to be the best; there’s always so much choice and it’s all so fresh!

A quick trip to the supermarket to stock up on a few essentials and all too soon it was time to start getting ready for the flight home. Harry left to get a train to Austria to see the family for a couple of days, and it was back to the airport and sunny Dubai for me.

Thanks for coming all the way to Munich Harry! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also just realised I haven’t posted my roster for this month, so here goes:

  • Manchester (check my previous post for this layover!)
  • Munich
  • Zurich
  • Casablanca
  • Hong Kong (so looking forward to this flight, I haven’t been since my very first flight on the A380; I think there’s a post about it somewhere near the beginning of my blog!)
  • Bombay (t/a)
  • London Heathrow

I’m hoping to get back into blogging a little bit more this month after taking a little break, so if there’s anything you’d like me to write about feel free to leave a comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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!