Vienna at Christmastime is truly special, and I feel very lucky that I was able to visit twice in December! 

Of course the main thing I wanted to do was visit the Christmas market, or “Christkindlmarkt” as it’s known in German. Having lived in Austria for 6 years, I know how festive and pretty they are.

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Unfortunately the market in Vienna has strict timings, and closes at 9pm on the dot, unlike what I remember from Klagenfurt (where I lived) where the Glühwein stands would stay open much later.

We made our way straight from the hotel after landing to catch the last hour os so before they closed and be able to enjoy a festive mulled wine.

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When I got my roster last month and saw that I had a flight to Vienna coming up, I knew I was in for a treat. My school friend Iris sent me a message asking if I had any plans, and we soon made one, for her to come up and stay for 24 hours.

We try to catch up whenever possible, but it’s usually only once or twice a year, depending on how often I’m able to get back to Austria. She had taken the bus from her hometown Klagenfurt (where I also lived for 6 years) to come and meet me in Vienna, and was waiting in our hotel when I arrived from Dubai.

We immediately changed and got ready to head out into the city.

It was around a 30 minute stroll to the city centre, and it was so good to catch up as we walked!

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It may already be well into the second week of January 2017 but I hope you don’t mind me putting up this post a little late! Since we got back from spending our Christmas holidays in Austria it’s been straight back into flying and although I’ve (almost!) got my new MacBook fully set up, I’ve hardly had a moment to use it.

Joe and I were both lucky enough to get Christmas off this year – last year I had to go back to work on the 25th! So since we spent last year in Mauritius it was off to Austria this year to spend time with my family.

Luckily the flight going from DXB – VIE had plenty of spare seats, and once we arrived in Vienna we had a few hours to kill before catching the next flight to Klagenfurt. It was looking a bit hit and miss as it seemed we weren’t the only ones on standby trying to get home before Christmas, but before we knew it we were landing in Klagenfurt (it is only a 30 minute flight after all!) where Mum, Dad and my brother Harry were waiting for us.

We spent the evening relaxing and catching up at home, and making plans for the next few days.

Most of which included some form of eating…

…and who can blame us with this cake selection! Joe and I met up with my soon-to-be-married friends Iris and Claudio for coffee and cake, in a lovely cafe that has a huge variety on offer.

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After Lizzie and Jarett had left me and made their way to Vietnam, I had a lovely string of days off, so I decided to go home for a few days to visit Mum. Since all of my siblings were elsewhere and Dad was flying, it was just Mum and me!

I landed into LHR and hopped onto the bus to Stansted airport, which is not too far from home. Mum had also just landed from Austria, where her and Dad had spent the past week, so I didn’t have to wait long for her.

Once we got home, we put the kettle on and sat down with some tea! Mum had told me to bring a big suitcase for my birthday present and I had absolutely no idea what it could be… so when I unwrapped this incredible knitted blanket I couldn’t believe it!

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Every patch is different and all of the colours go beautifully with my living room. It took mum around 2 years to knit it, and I never had any idea that she was making it!

We made some dinner and spent the evening watching The Apprentice and catching up.

The next morning I woke up with the sunlight peeking through the curtains, and was greeted by a lovely sunrise across the fields.

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I was recently selected to part of a special set of crew – taking the A380 on it’s inaugural flight to Vienna! Since I joined Emirates, I’ve been trained to fly on the A380 as well as the 777, and since being part of the business class team (coming up to 2 years now) I fly more on the A380 than the 777. She really is huge (519 passengers at maximum capacity, as well as 26 crew members) but most of us love it, and there’s something a bit special about having a real-life bar onboard!

I could feel the excited atmosphere as soon as I arrived in the briefing room, and it was quite a few of the crew’s first time to Vienna. Having lived in Austria for 6 years before moving to Dubai I’m quite familiar with the city, and unfortunately none of my friends or family were able to make it this time, so I planned to have a relaxing layover in the city.

We were just about ready to take off, when we were informed of a water leak in the first class galley, which resulted in us returning to the gate so an engineer could come onboard and fix it. After an hour and a half delay, we were finally off!

The flight went nice and smoothly (after the initial hiccup!), and upon arriving in VIE, we were greeted with a water canon salute, a tradition for inaugural flights.

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Since my jumpseat was located at the back of the aircraft, it was more of a trickle by the time it got to us, but nevertheless it was pretty cool to watch from the onboard cameras.

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