Right after my trip to San Francisco, I had around 2 weeks of leave! Mum and Dad very kindly invited me to come on holiday with them. They were going to be cycling around 400km from Vienna to Budapest!

I decided I might as well join them and get a bit of exercise!

Right after I landed from San Fran I quickly packed my bags and headed back to the airport for an overnight flight to Vienna. I made my way to their hotel and our first day of cycling was from Vienna to Bratislava.

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Most of the route was right along the Danube river on cycling paths.

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We stopped along the way by a huge cherry tree and Dad insisted that I climb the tree to get cherries for us!

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Once we arrived at our hotel in Bratislava, we had a nice walk around the city before dinner. There was some kind of food festival going on, so we just couldn’t pass up a glass of wine for 50 cents each!

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The next day our route took us from Bratislava to Mosonmagyarovar, in Hungary. (Not the easiest name to pronounce!)

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A lot of the way we were cycling along gravel paths, which was very tough going!

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Passing by fields and fields full of beautiful white poppies.

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After Mosonmagyarovar, our next stop was Györ, also in Hungary.

The company that organises the cycling holidays arranges all the hotels for you, and every morning they come and pick up your suitcases and drop them off at the next hotel. Very handy for us, as it meant we didn’t have to carry anything with us except what we needed for the day.

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From Györ we cycled back into Slovakia, to a town called Komarno. It’s actually in both Slovakia and Hungary, split into two parts by the Danube river. We stayed on the Slovakian side, and whilst exploring we discovered some beautiful buildings in the town.

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Our second last day took us from Komarno to Visegrad, back into Hungary. I think this was one of the longest routes we did, at about 80km!

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Finally on our last day of cycling we went from Visegrad to Budapest.

We stopped off at a very picturesque little town on the way called Szentendre, which was absolutely full of tourists!

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Once we finally made it to Budapest we were pretty much all cycled out!

Luckily we had two days here to do some exploring and sightseeing…and all of those pictures will be in my next post! 🙂

P.s. If you’d like to see more day-to-day updates of what’s happening in my life, follow me on Instagram and Twitter @rachelwwilson!

So my July roster has just come out….and let’s just say it isn’t the most exciting one I’ve ever had! 

I’ll be heading to:

  • Hyderabad (t/a)
  • Newcastle (anybody fancy taking this one for me?!)
  • Amsterdam
  • New York (Yay! Killer flight I’ve heard, but I’m so ready to do some shopping!)
  • Medina (t/a)
  • Sydney 
  • Kuwait (t/a)
  • Riyadh (t/a)

As you can see I’ve been given a fair few turnarounds! Not so much fun…but at least you get to come back to your own bed at the end of the day!

First of all, my apologies for the long absence from my blog. I literally have not had a minute to sit at my computer and upload anything!
I mentioned a couple of posts ago that I was headed to San Francisco this month. I love exploring new destinations, and San Fran was definitely one on the bucket list! 
After a looooong 15 hour flight we finally arrived at our hotel, and I was greeted by a lovely view of the lake and hotel pool from my room. We made plans to meet up bright and early the next morning for a full day of sightseeing.

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After a huuuuge breakfast of eggs benedict and a frothy cappuccino (why do Americans insist on giving such huge portions?!) we were ready to do some exploring.

A quick ride on the BART and we arrived in Union Square. 

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Our plan for the day was to take the hop on – hop off bus and get out at any places we liked the look of. The night before I had also tried to arrange for the concierge to get us tickets to Alcatraz but unfortunately it was fully booked until the end of June. We popped into a tourist info centre and the lovely lady suggested going straight to the Alcatraz pier and checking if they had any cancellations, unfortunately this wasn’t the case and it’ll have to be on my to-do list for next time.

We walked on over to Pier 39, which is apparently the 3rd most visited tourist attraction in California!

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We had a lovely stroll down the pier, browsing the shops and taking plenty of pictures.

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At the end of the pier is a wonderful view out to see. Our first sighting of the Golden Gate Bridge!

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Before we knew it lunchtime had arrived, and we decided to go for a very typical American lunch…. In-n-out burger!

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Not healthy in the slightest, but very delicious!

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After lunch the 6 of us who were out decided to split up. The other 3 didn’t want to pay for the hop on-hop off bus so they did their own thing and us girls got on the bus ready to see the Golden Gate Bridge up close!

The bus stops at quite a few places along the way, however we realised that if we got off at each stop we just wouldn’t have enough time. 

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Here it is! We stayed on the bus until the other side of the bridge, and got off in the beautiful town of Sausalito.

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Once we were off the bus, we had a leisurely stroll around Sausalito. It’s a gorgeous little town with beautiful houses nestled into the hillside, and lots of palm trees dotted about!

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We decided to stop for a drink by the water and chose a delicious local white wine from Napa Valley to share. Next time I get a flight to SFO I’m definitely going to go there for a wine tasting trip! 

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Soon enough it was time to head back over the bridge into the city. The bus took us through the main areas (however any street names or significant areas seem to have slipped my mind now!) and we ended up back where we started, at Union Square.

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Just in time for a bit of shopping – we were in America, after all!

What a wonderful layover. I’d love to go back to San Francisco, as there’s so much more to explore, see and do. If only the flight wasn’t such a killer!

 

P.s. If you’d like more regular updates of where I’ve been and what’s going on, please follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!

 

I recently got back from a trip to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. Finally a new destination! Recently it feels like I keep on getting the same places all the time, so I was very happy to be rostered somewhere new.

Even more exciting was the fact that when I checked my roster the evening before the flight, I found out I was deadheading! This basically means you are flying as a non-operating crew, essentially as a passenger, but still getting paid half of the flying hours.

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Once we arrived, after a pretty short flight (around 5 hours) most of us arranged to go up to the pool for a swim. As we got up there the sun was just beginning to set!

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We had a few drinks by the pool and then met downstairs in the restaurant for dinner. 

The next morning was just as relaxing… free (!!) breakfast, and a couple of hours lounging by the pool enjoying the sunshine and reading my book.

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It’s way too hot in Dubai now to stay out in the sunshine, so I very much enjoyed sitting out in 28 degrees!

Next time I go I’d love to do a bit of exploring, although I haven’t heard much about what there is to do in Dar Es Salaam. Any tips?

In other news, I just received an email that I’ve been accepted for my business class training! 😀 Very exciting! Hopefully I’ll be rostered the training next month and then soon I’ll be working in the business class cabin instead of economy! 🙂

 

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!

 

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 😉

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Surrounding the Big Buddha are 6 smaller statues known as “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. 

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!

 

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!