Cappadocia – A hot air balloon ride through the valley

Day 2 – A Magical Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride

Our second morning in Cappadocia saw us up bright and early, ready for a once in a lifetime experience – a hot air balloon ride! If you’ve been reading my blog for a few years, you may remember my amazing trip to Myanmar, with my friend Kirsty. She was pregnant at the time, so we were not able to ride in the balloons (click here if you’d like to read!), however this time Emma and I decided it was worth splurging for the experience.

We booked our hot air balloon ride via our hotel tour desk, and there are many different operators offering the ride. From what I’ve read online, the price varies depending on whether it’s high or low season, and we paid €100 each, which I found quite reasonable.

We were picked up while it was still completely dark outside and taken to the office of the hot air balloon company, stopping along the way to pick up a few more people. Once there, you could get some coffee and hot fresh bread rolls (the coffee was truly awful but the bread was lovely, at least!) while the organisers got everyone into groups to be driven out to the launch site.

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March Roster

First of apologies for the silence over here on The Dubai Diaries… no excuses, I’ve just been busy enjoying life at the moment!

So, where am I off to next month?

  • DAC – Dhaka, Bangladesh (turnaround)
  • ARN – Stockholm, Sweden
  • CSV Review
  • LHR – London Heathrow, UK
  • Annual Leave
  • BOM – Mumbai, India
  • BHX – Birmingham, UK
  • CSV Graduation
  • JFK – New York, USA

First up is a turnaround to Dhaka, Bangladesh. This is a pretty long day (around 5 hours each way plus time on ground), and sometimes it’s a layover but due to the timing I’ll be doing the turnaround.

After that is another trip to Stockholm. Although I was only just there in January, I’m happy to go back as the hotel is in a great location, perfect for exploring. Perhaps I will even get some snow this time!

Then I have my final review for the Cabin Supervisor pool, that I’ve been working up towards these past 6 months. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Straight after that is a trip to London Heathrow. I haven’t done a flight to Heathrow in a while, as Stansted is close to home so I try and get that flight when I can. I’m looking forward to this one though, as my best friend Lucy lives in London and she’s hoping to be able to take the day off work so we can do something fun together!

Then I have some leave – my friend Emma and I are planning to visit Turkey. We’re thinking a few days in Cappadocia and then a couple in Istanbul. If you’ve visited, feel free to leave some tips in the comments below!

Straight after my leave is a back to back combination of a turnaround to Bombay and then another layover in Birmingham. I’ve just been there, and didn’t manage to do much as all of the trains were cancelled due to Storm Ciara!

Then if my final review goes well, I will have the graduation day for it. This is actually the same as when I joined and completed the 6 month probation, and will be with all of the new crew.

Last up a trip to my favourite US destination – New York! I was originally rostered a São Paolo, but managed to swap it quite soon after the roster came out. I’m excited to visit New York in Spring!

A Stroll Through Stockholm

I’ve just got back from a layover in Stockholm. It wasn’t my first time here, however I decided to have a wander around the old town to admire the pretty cobbled streets and painted buildings.

Since it gets dark pretty early in winter (around 4pm!) myself and three of the other crew decided to head out fairly soon after arriving at the hotel for a walk and some exploring.

It was the first time in Stockholm for all of them, so we decided to visit Gamla Stan, the old town, which is luckily just a short walk from our crew hotel.

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February Roster

Another month, another roster! January is already flying by, and it’s been a fairly uneventful month so far. I did say I would try to make the most of my layovers, but most of them have been spent alternating between sleeping, working out and drinking lots of coffee!

Let’s see where next month will take me:

  • STN – London Stansted, UK
  • VIE – Vienna, Austria
  • BHX – Birmingham, UK
  • KHI – Karachi, Pakistan (turnaround)
  • FRA – Frankfurt, Germany
  • MLE – Male, Maldives (turnaround)
  • RUH – Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (turnaround)
  • KUL – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • BP – Business Promotion
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First up is a trip home, which I’m very happy about! The only one of my bids that I got, and although I would have loved 2 Stansteds, I’m still grateful I get to go home and see my parents.

Following on from that is a flight to Vienna – I did bid for this in December to go and see the Christmas markets, but perhaps this time there will be some snow.

Straight after is Birmingham, which I’ve only visited once. I have been to Stratford-upon-Avon which is nearby; a beautiful quaint English town which happens to be the birthplace of Shakespeare! Highly recommended for a day trip.

Next up will be a turnaround to Karachi and back. I haven’t done this flight in a while as it is two-class, i.e. no first class, so I wasn’t rostered it while I was working in first class.

Then I have a flight to Frankfurt, which I have visited plenty of times in the past. I’m not sure what I’ll do there, as I expect it’ll be pretty chilly!

I’ve then been rostered two more turnarounds, to Male and Riyadh. Male is one of the longest turnarounds we have and it’s a pretty tiring one, as you fly through the night. The pilots also get to stay in the Maldives for 24 hours while we just go there and back! 

My last flight of February will be to Kuala Lumpur. I was actually rostered this flight in January as well, however swapped it for a quick trip to Milan. So I’m hoping for a nice flight to KL next month with some delicious street food! Someone has sent me a swap for Phnom Penh – which one would you take?

Lastly is a business promotion event – I haven’t done one of these since I started the cabin supervisor pool, so I’m very excited! I should find out soon which event I’ll be representing the company at.

So even though February is the shortest month of the year, somehow I have a very busy roster with 8 flights and a BP event! Let’s hope it’s a good one 🙂

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January Roster

Just like that, 2020 is upon us! The past year flew by so quickly, and I feel like sometimes I just live waiting for the roster each month.

Whilst I haven’t made any New Year’s resolutions as such, I will try my hardest to make the most of all of my layovers, and get out and explore as much as possible!

As for this month’s roster, here goes:

  • LIS – Lisbon, Portugal
  • PEK – Beijing, China
  • SYD – CHC – Sydney, Australia & Christchurch, New Zealand
  • KUL – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • JED – Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (turnaround)
  • ARN – Stockholm, Sweden

Sadly I didn’t get a single one of my bids, but I did have my top bid month in December, so wasn’t expecting too much. Not my favourite roster I’ve ever had, but it could be worse!

I started the month (and year!) off with a flight to Lisbon – although it was quiet it was very long at just over 8 hours there. Having been to Lisbon on holiday previously, I had a quiet layover with a bit of browsing round the shops, although it was super busy with post-Christmas shoppers.

Next up is Beijing – a destination I haven’t visited in a while. I tried to swap this flight but with no success, so I’ll see what the rest of the crew fancy doing when I’m there. 

Following on from that is a multi-sector trip to Sydney and Christchurch. I also tried to swap this one as I’ve only just been to Sydney, and I’d rather do shorter flights, but there are so many swap legalities that it was impossible. Hopefully the smoke from the awful bushfires doesn’t get any worse. 

After my multi-sector down under, it’s back to Asia, with a trip to Kuala Lumpur. It’s actually been a year since I last visited, but the timing of this flight is not ideal – we fly through the night from Dubai and get there early morning.

Then I have a quick turnaround to Jeddah and back, let’s hope it’s uneventful. Once again not great timing – leaving Dubai at midnight and getting back at 8am.

My last flight of the month is to Stockholm, the one I’m looking forward to the most! I’m really hoping for some snow, as I haven’t been anywhere with snow yet this winter.

And that’s it for January 2020… I wonder where else this year will take me!

P.s. Follow me on InstagramFacebook & Twitter for more day-to-day updates of where I am in the world! 🙂