Countries Visited (not including Turnarounds): Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, North Korea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United States, Vatican City
London | Perth | Sydney | Melbourne
Seatguru - Most Comfy Seats On Any Airline
pprune.org - Pilot's rumour network
Kangaroo with a Sweet Tooth
Kronicles of Kris
The Adventures of Alle Malice
Joel's trek across Asia/Europe in a Hilux
Phil's Wine Site
I Can Has Cheezburger
The Flying Pinto
Girl on Raw
Things Bogans Like
Bobby at Up, Up and a Gay
Straight Guy in the Queer Skies
Skin by Falter
Monday, April 21, 2008So I had a Beijing in April, and felt as though on my last trip, whilst I did do a fair bit, I still hadn't seen much of the city. Not only that, I don't actually remember eating decent and authentic Chinese food on any of my Beijing or Shanghai layovers. Thank goodness we had Marlene, our Mandarin speaker, to show us how the Chinese do dinners...
Group shot! So-yong, me, Linhala, Marlene, and Khalil enjoying the group hot pot. And boy was it hot!
The fabulous hot pot, filled with 20 different spices, and plates of every meat imaginable thinly sliced. It was very tasty for the first 5 minutes, then the chilli hits you in a big way, and after that the ONLY thing you can taste is chilli. I loved it though, it was a lot of fun, and kinda funny seeing Khalil ask every 2 min for a bowl of hot water to dilute his share of the broth.
A very packed Forbidden City
Cute tortise with a dragon-esqe face
People queing up to see the throne of the empress
A bit of rhythmic gymnastics in the Temple of Heaven grounds
Me posing with some flowers.
The Temple of Heaven, where the Emperor would visit once a year (around the time of the winter solstice) to pray for a decent harvest. The weather was quite foggy, so the brilliance of the colours isn't as apparent. It looks amazing after the facelift though...
Some gate I actually can't remember the name of. Custom has it that the Emperor and Empress would walk through the middle gate only and his entorage would walk through the left and right gates. I'm kinda guessing that because of this the middle gate is shut...
The Imperial Vault of Heaven, which is the mini-me of the Temple of Heaven.
Entrace to the Circular Mound Altar.
The view from the Circular Mound Altar
Distant shot. So foggy...
The actual stone slab where the emperor would pray for a good harvest. As you can see someone is hoping for some good fortune.
The grounds were all decked out for the Olympics. I'm trying to get into the spirit of things 4 months in advance.
So, just to update you guys on what's been happening
Take care guys, hope to be posting real soon.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008I was top bid in February and once again I bid for the 4 day Milan. I also bid for the 3 day Toronto, but every single crew seems to want to do that flight at the moment, so I missed out again. I wasn't too bothered though, it was still winter in Italy, and tourists didn't frequent the hotspots as much as they did on my last visit. There were 5 of us that were keen to get out of Milan and see the rest of Italy, and it was decided that we'd go to Florence, even though I'd been there before. I didn't mind too much, it was so beautiful and seeing it again would be a pleasure.
View of a cathedral (sorry I couldn't find out which one) from the other side of the Arno.
The Battistero di San Giovanni, too big to get into my camera...
Entrance to the Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.
The very empty Galleria. The boys were trying to find Michelangelo's David, and by the time we got to the Galleria Acadamia it was shut.
The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at overnight just outside San Giminiano, about an hour's drive from Florence.
The stunning view from room
The B&B even had it's own vantage point, where you can see pretty much all of San Giminiano.
The Baptistery dedicated to St John the Baptist in Pisa - the largest baptistery in Italy
The Santa Maria Assunta Duomo, with the top of the leaning tower in the background
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Obligatory tourist shot
My opinions of Pisa were kind of mixed - the Piazza dei Miracoli, the square which has the Baptistery, the Duomo, the Leaning Tower (campanile) and the Campsanto monumentale (memorial cemetary) was simply gorgeous, absolutely stunning to look at. However once you leave the square and venture into the back streets the beauty of the city dissipated. It's a place I would visit for a few hours, but I wouldn't want to stay there. It was a definate anit-climax after the beautiful and tourist free village of San Giminiano.
The Duomo in Milan. Hasn't changed too much in six months
Shots from the Piazza della Scala
So I'm just finishing reserve now, and to be honest, work have only given me turnarounds and lame promotional days since that Sao Paolo flight. I'm going crazy spending all this time in Dubai. Fittingly my first flight after reserve is Perth, so I get to go home briefly and see my Dad and brother, and put some much needed cash into my credit card account. Actually the only decent flight I have next month is Nagoya... any ideas anyone has just send me a comment and we'll see if it can be done in, oh.... a 30 hr layover :-(
Labels: Layovers42 comments