July Roster

After an absolutely delightfully easy roster this month, it’s back to regular flying in July. I’m at the bottom of the seniority rotation, and should have been on reserve, but somehow managed to get a pretty normal roster.

On an exciting note, I’ve been put on the inaugural A380 flight to Vienna on the 1st of July! If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you may remember that I used to live in Austria before moving to Dubai (for 6 years, although not in Vienna) so I am excited to be heading back! I get rostered plenty of flights to Germany and Switzerland being a German Speaker, but very rarely to Vienna!

Other than that I’ll be heading off to:

  • VIE (Vienna, Austria, the inaugural A380 flight, I’m hoping for a water canon salute when we land!)
  • SIN (Singapore)
  • DEL (Dehli, India, a shortish turnaround)
  • ZRH (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • DOH (Doha, Qatar, one of the shortest turnaround flights we have – about 45 minutes each way!)
  • ZRH (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • BHX (Birmingham, UK)
  • JFK (New York, USA)

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Only 2 turnarounds this month, and relatively short ones which is not too bad. I even have one new destination, Birmingham, which I was rostered to fly to a while back but never ended up going (I can’t remember why, I think I swapped it or must have been off sick!). Any suggestions for what to do there are most welcome, as I’m fairly sure most of the crew just go shopping!

My JFK flight is one of the tougher ones, as it’s around a 13-14 hour flight each way, and only a 24 hour layover! I’ll still try and get out and do as much as I can, especially as it should hopefully be nice and warm there.

I’m looking forward to another month of flying, and of course I’ll keep you updated in case of any swaps!

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A Viennese Getaway

Recently I had a few days off in a row and decided a spontaneous trip was in order. I hadn’t seen my sister Lizzie & her boyfriend Jarett for a while and they’d just moved into a new flat in Vienna, Austria, so I booked my tickets and off I went!

After my flight from Hong Kong I had just a few hours to quickly get home, unpack, shower, re-pack and make my way to the airport, so I was hoping I remembered to take everything with me that I needed for the couple of days.

Lizzie had just arrived a few hours earlier on a flight from the UK where she’d been visiting our mum, so her and Jarett were already waiting at the airport when I arrived. Since it was evening and I’d been travelling all day, we headed straight to their apartment and did nothing more than catch up and chill out!

The next morning we were woken by the lovely sunshine streaming in through the curtains, and after breakfast at home we set out to do some exploring. Jarett (who is American) has a German course for a couple of hours every weekday so he made his way there and we arranged a meeting point for lunch a bit later on. Lizzie and I got on the bikes and cycled through the pretty streets of Vienna, making our way to the Prater.

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A day out exploring Vienna!

A couple of weeks ago I had some leave and decided to fly back to Austria to visit my family for a few days.

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I had a lovely time catching up with lots of friends and spending time with mum in the garden.

We drove up to the holiday house in the mountains and just look at the view! Luckily the weather was beautiful and we spent lots of time outside enjoying the sunshine. It’s too hot in Dubai to stay outside for long now!

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A snowy break in Austria

After my flight from Paris I decided to use the lovely string of 5 days off that had appeared on my roster and go home. I still had my annual leave ticket to use up, so even though the flights weren’t too full, I thought I may as well use my free ticket before it ran out!

After a quick flight to Vienna (where I somehow managed to sleep the whole way!) and a few hours hanging around in the airport, I was on my way to Klagenfurt.

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After a lovely relaxed evening at home, spent eating baked Camembert brought with me from Paris, and catching up on episodes of Downton Abbey, I had an early night.

The next day I met up with my friends Iris and Claudio, who were home for the Christmas holidays.

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DXB – HKG – LAX – ABQ – ORD – VIE – KLU

Call me crazy, but those are all the airports I’ve visited in the past 10 days…a fair old bit of flying!
So I originally had 5 days of leave allocated at the beginning of April, but somehow I managed to get 4 days off before and 2 days after, leaving me with 11 days of leave! Joey and I had originally planned on going away for a few days but unfortunately he’s got a lot of work at the moment and couldn’t take any extra time off. So I decided to do what any sane person would do and fly halfway around the world to Albuquerque, New Mexico! Ok, there was a reason behind this…my sister has just moved there, so I thought I’d go and visit her and her boyfriend. 
However once I’d decided where to go, I just needed to work out how to actually get there. Flying on standby is always a bit of a gamble, and all the direct flights to America from Dubai are pretty much fully booked every single day. So with a little help from my dad (who is a pilot with a different airline, so can also get staff travel), I flew Dubai – Hong Kong, and then Hong Kong – Los Angeles. From LA it was just a short hop over to Albuquerque. 

Once I arrived at the airport Lizzie and Jarett came to pick me up and we headed on over to their apartment. Our first evening was spent catching up, eating and I soon fell asleep very quickly after around 30 hours of travelling!

ImageImageThe views over LAX and Albuquerque

ImageI brought Lizzie and Jarett some chocolates from my trip to Osaka!

During the week Jarett had to go to work and uni, so we could only meet up with him at lunchtimes when he had a little bit of time to spare. Lizzie and I spent the days exploring Albuquerque, doing lots of eating and generally having a lovely time! One evening we bumped into one of Jarett’s friends and decided to go to dinner at a Mexican place called (I think) Zacotecas.

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One morning Lizzie and I cycled down to the Rio Grand. It was such a windy day, we honesty thought we were going to get blown off our bikes!ImageImageImageThe (not so) beautiful Rio Grand.

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We stopped of at the Old Town and had a wander around.ImageImageImageImageThe most amazing chocolate and sweet shop ever! We couldn’t leave without getting some fudge.Image

The next evening we met up with Jarett’s sister and her partner and daughter and went to an Irish pub/restaurant for dinner. They did the most amazing fish and chips, almost as good as in England! Afterwards Lizzie, Jarett and I headed over to a rooftop bar (thankfully they had an indoor section as well, as it was pretty chilly outside!) for a drink.

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On my last day, Lizzie and I took the train to Santa Fe, which is about an hour and a half from Albuquerque. The landscape is beautiful, lots of desert, mountains and quite a few horses along the way! 

ImageImageImageImageImageStopping off for a salted caramel chocolate. So good!

ImageImageThe main square area of Santa Fe was pretty similar to the Old Town in Albuquerque, with lots of quirky shops and art galleries.

ImageImageWe spent the day wandering around, having some more Mexican food for lunch, and then hopped back on the train to Albuquerque. That evening the 3 of us cooked dinner (actually Lizzie and Jarett cooked, they refused to let me help) and had dinner with Jarett’s sister and her family. Before we knew it it was time to pack my suitcase again. A lovely 5am start the next morning and I was once again off to the airport.

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Thankfully the standby gods were on my side, and I made all of my flights; I actually got the last seats on two of them!

Mum, Dad and Harry were waiting at the airport in Austria when I arrived and we headed home for a nice catch up. I was only home for 2 days but I managed to squeeze in some time with my friends as well.

ImageDelicious coffee and cakes with my friends Iris and Claudio who were in Klagenfurt for the weekend.

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We also had a stroll around the Easter Market and cuddled some of the fluffiest bunnies EVER! They were so soft! 

The next day I met up with my lovely friend Simone who I hadn’t seen for a while and we sat outside in the sunshine catching up. Somehow I even managed to squeeze in a haircut! After my last experience I don’t trust the hairdressers in Dubai!

All too soon it was time to head back to reality and tomorrow I’ll be back to work again. It was a lovely break and it was so great that I managed to see all of my family even though we’re all in different parts of the world!

And now for some other exciting news….next week I’m moving apartments!!! FINALLY after nearly a year and a half of living out in the desert, practically in Sharjah, I’m moving in with my friend Kirsty onto Sheik Zayed Road! I’m super excited, as I finally feel like I’ll actually be living in Dubai now! I’d probably better start packing soon, as I have a feeling I’m going to have accumulated quite a bit of stuff….!

 

P.s. If you want more regular day to day updates of what is happening in my life, follow me on Twitter and Instagram @rachelwwilson!