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.
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.
Since we arrived early afternoon, a couple of us arranged to meet and go for a stroll through the city, and find somewhere to have some dinner.
Our hotel was located around a 20 minute walk from Karlsplatz, and it was an absolutely beautiful day. We grabbed an iced coffee to-go, and wandered through the streets admiring all of the gorgeous buildings.
Last time I was in Bologna I did a bit of shopping, and picked up this super cute retro flowery skirt. When I was home on leave mum did a bit of tailoring and shortened it for me, and I know it’s going to be my go-to summer skirt!
Perfect for twirling around cathedrals, and it even has pockets 😉
We made our way towards the city centre, and since it was so hot decided on a drink in a gorgeous rooftop bar called Sky Bar, which is located inside the department store Steffl. From the outdoor terrace you can admire the rooftops of the city, including the St Stephen’s Cathedral nearby.
This drink is called a “hugo” – it’s hugely popular in Austria but I’ve hardly seen it on menus anywhere else in the world. Made from prosecco, soda water, elderflower syrup and mint, it’s so refreshing and perfect for a hot summer day!
The lift up to the terrace boasts a wonderful view out to either side of the Kärnter Straße, one of the main shopping streets in the city centre.
After a hitting up a few of the shops, we were starting to get a bit peckish. Since it was just 3 of us, we soon settled on a pretty Italian restaurant down a side street. When you go out in a big group with lots of the crew, it’s practically impossible to decide on a restaurant, and you end up wandering around forever until everyone is happy!
We soon called it a night and made our way back to the hotel. A delightful afternoon and evening strolling one of my favourite cities in Europe!
The flight home was super easy with an almost empty cabin and another beautiful sunset from above – what more could you ask for to end a very special trip?
On another exciting note, I was recently featured in L’Oréal’s online magazine, FAB, with a few of my tips for how to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh on long flights – check it out here!