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!

 

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. 

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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…. 🙂

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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 we were still stuffed from the afternoon tea 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! 

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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 😀

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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! 🙂

 

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!