Well that went fast… another month, another blog post. January was a little bit of a random one as I experienced a few roster changes and ended up in countries I wasn’t anticipating to visit. Nonetheless, it turned out to be an amazing month where I enjoyed some lovely layovers in America, South Africa, Sri Lanka, China and Germany.
My first layover for the month was Hangzhou, a new destination for me to travel to in China. I was lucky enough to be given this flight from 4 days of home standby and even better, the flight came with a day off so I had plenty of time to explore the city. Unfortunately, the weather is not so pleasant this time of year – winter in China is typically around 4-10 degrees celsius so it wasn’t ideal to spend a lot of time outside. I would have liked to have visit the tea fields because Hangzhou is quite famous for it’s tea but I was advised it’s best to give it a miss as it would be too cold in the mountains.
I spent my day off exploring the city and West Lake, probably the most famous attraction in Hangzhou. It’s a beautiful large lake in the middle of the city, surrounded by gardens and pagodas. Many people take boats out onto the water. I would have liked to have done this if the weather was a little warmer.
The hardest part about travelling in China is the language barrier. This was especially hard in Hangzhou as it is a lot less touristic than other cities. Despite this, it’s always a pleasure to travel to China and the flight is generally very smooth (the passengers love to sleep hehe). Hangzhou is my third Chinese city to visit and I hope it’s not my last!
In December I obtained my US Visa and this month I operated my first flight to America. I was lucky enough to be rostered a flight to Miami which came with a day off there. I travelled around the US in 2014 but this was my first time to visit Miami. Even though it’s winter at the moment, the weather in Miami is nice all year round!
After flying 16 hours from Doha to Miami, myself and the crew gathered up whatever energy we had left and went out for dinner at the overly touristic and overpriced Ocean Drive, South Beach.
The next day I woke up super early to make the most of my day off. I spent the majority of my day spending all my hard earned dollars at the shops because SALES! Other than this, I had to pay a visit to South Beach as any first timer would. The weather was pleasant but definitely not beach weather (well for me anyway, I have adjusted to the dessert heat) so I just spent the afternoon walking along the sidewalk and people watching.
This was the sunset…. so beautiful!
That night I caught up with a friend living in Miami for a locals guide to the city. She took me to a food hall for dinner called 1-800-Lucky, filled with many stalls selling various Asian cuisines and dishes. The hall is located in the Wynwood Arts District – this area has a very hipster feel to it (the Brunswick of Miami for my Melbourne readers).
I had a yummy salmon poke bowl!
After this we visited to the Wynwood Yard for a drink – this is an outdoor area for food, drink, music… a bit of everything really. This place had a nice vibe, especially with the live band which had everyone dancing salsa.
On my last morning in Miami before my flight back to Doha, I woke up early to explore the Wynwood Walls at the Wynwood Art District. Maybe it’s the Melbourne blood that runs through my veins, but I really love a bit of street art…
I managed to fit in a little more shopping after my visit to the walls. I have to say Miami is a dangerous place… the damage one can do to their bank account is scary! Lucky for my bank account, I am back again next month. Yep, rostering were kind enough to give me Miami flight with a day off once again. I am looking forward to being back in this wonderful city, there is still much to explore and of course there’s always more shopping to be done! 😛
I loveeeee Europe so I’m always happy to see any European destination on my roster, especially when it’s a new one. I have travelled to Berlin in the past, but this was my first time to visit Frankfurt in big old Germany. Despite the freezing cold, I really enjoyed my time in this city.
Firstly, I love these trees all over the city centre!
I visited a cute love lock bridge (Eiserner Steg) which spans across the Main River.
Of course as any first timer in Frankfurt, I had to visit the very instagrammable Römer (City Hall) area. Nothing quite says “I’m in Germany” than a photo out the front of these bad boys.
After withstanding the miserable cold for so long, it was mandatory that I stopped for some yummy food and a hot beverage to defrost and fill my stomach. Chinaski restaurant and bar was a really good choice if you are craving something healthy.
Cape Town, South Africa
So this one was unexpected… two hours into my airport standby (roughly 12am) and I get a call to inform me that in about 30 minutes I will be operating the flight to Cape Town, South Africa. As much as I love this destination, getting pulled out of standby and suddenly having to operate a 10 hour flight without any preparation is difficult. Thankfully, I packed a few items in my suitcase! Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to be called because I had a flight to Barcelona the next day. As you can probably gather, Barcelona did not happen.
After a long flight (not to mention I didn’t rest before my airport standby began), I somehow had enough energy to go out as soon as we landed in Cape Town. It was exactly one year ago that I visited this beautiful destination – in fact it was one of my very first flights that I operated as crew. The first time I visited the weather was super windy and I wasn’t able to visit Table Mountain because it was closed. Fortunately, this time around the weather was not so windy so I made it my mission to visit Table Mountain since I was so disappointed I missed it last time I was here.
This is the cable car I took up the mountain.
I don’t really have to say much do I? Just look at how beautiful it is! Table Mountain did not disappoint. I’m so grateful that I got to experience this beautiful destination once again ❤
P.S. sorry not sorry for the gazillion photos #obligatoryphotoshoot
Now on to February roster… next month, I am travelling to:
- Kathmandu, Nepal (new country)
- Kiev, Ukraine (new country)
- Miami, USA (Round two!!)
- Budapest, Hungary (one of my FAVE cities in the world)
- Seychelles (YAYYYYYY!! #Paradise)
I also have a few turnarounds this month, service refresher training and 5 days of leave. One of the turnarounds I am operating is Isfahan, Iran – a new destination for Qatar Airways and I will be operating the very first flight there! I’m very excited and fortunate to be selected to be apart of this new milestone in the company’s history. Today I attended a special briefing at the office in preparation for the flight.
After going back and forth trying to decide where to travel on my 5 days of leave, I have settled on Cambodia! This will be a new country to add to my list. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, particularly to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, one of the largest temples in the world. I’m super dooper excited and I’ll be sure to tell you all about it in my next blogpost.
Until then have a wonderful February people 🙂 xxxx