Heading to Stockholm

So if you remember from one of my previous posts (Stockholm for a Whole Week!) I had a trip planned to visit my friend in Stockholm; well I’ve finally gotten around to typing up our adventures!

Firstly, the trip over went fairly well.  I made all my connections, got to check out a number of lounges and made it to Stockholm just under 24 hours later 🙂  My voyage started bright and early (well not really that bright) in Vancouver as I had booked a separate ticket down to SFO to start my international trip.  Luckily I was upgraded on my SEA-SFO flight (thanks Alaska!) and got a few other surprise things (free Starbucks card!) which made this a great start to my trip.

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Flashback Friday: It’s Istanbul, not Constantinople

Istanbul – November 2015

Continuing on from Rome, I was off on another airplane.  After an amazing, albeit short, flight on Turkish Airways, I arrived in Istanbul.

Istanbul has always seemed like such an impossible place to go. I’m not sure why it’s seemed so much further away than the rest of Europe, but it has. Turkey has always seemed more foreign and mysterious to me, but I was glad to finally have the chance to explore a new country. I had 3 days to run around the city and see the sights, including going to a new continent!
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Flashback Friday: A Roman Layover

Off to Rome – November 2015

After a lot of last minute switching, my trip to Europe ended up having a 23 hours in Rome.  So after a stressful day and night, I got up early to head to YVR to catch a quick shuttle flight to SeaTac in a little prop plane (Dash 8). The flight was short and fairly uneventful, although the cloud cover coming in to Seattle was impressive and I felt like we were stuck in a cloud… But we eventually broke free and landed. After a fairly long layover in Seattle, where I visited both the United Club Lounge in Concourse A and The Club at the south terminal, it was time to head off to Frankfurt.

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The long road home… via Japan.

My original plan was to fly home from Melbourne via LAX.  I was very excited because I’d manage to score a first class ticket on Qantas!  Unfortunately, with my change in plans, I ended up having to cancel the ticket 😦  So instead, my flight home ended up taking me back through Japan on Japan Airlines (known as JAL), luckily in Business Class.  the best part about it is that you get to skip the lines at the airport! Continue reading

Flashback Friday: Panama

So I’ve decided to start a series chronicling some of my trips prior to starting this blog.  They won’t be nearly as detailed as my newer posts, but hopefully will be just as enjoyable.  They will be in no particular order and will be posted on (you guessed it) Fridays!  I make no promises that they will be every Friday, but I will try to do them as often as I can, but for some of them I might actually have to take the time to scan in some old photos 😮

Panama – March 2015

This trip started (as many of my trip do) with a fare sale.  Round trip flights to Panama City were just over $300 each!  As an engineering nerd, I’ve always wanted to see the Panama Canal, and this time I managed to convince a friend to come with me!  So in short order we booked our flights to Panama… for 48 hours.

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Six weeks in Sydney

After arriving in Sydney, I started to get settled for my time there.  Most of the weekdays were spent at the office, so I won’t bore you with those details, but I did manage to get up to some adventures on the weekend.

Hiking in the Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains lie to the west of the city, about a 2 hour ride by train from the central station.  It actually a pretty easy train ride and I ended up going out and back twice in the same weekend.  There are many stations you can get off at and go for a hike; I stopped at Katoomba and Wentworth Falls.

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A Weekend in Europe

I’ll cover more details of my travels later, but since everyone thinks I was crazy for doing it, I though I would add a blog post about what I did the other weekend.  In Europe.

Yes, it’s been pointed out to me a few times that going all that way for a long weekend is a bit ridiculous; however, I knew it would be later in the year and I wouldn’t have that much vacation time left, so I took a 4 day weekend and ran with it.

Dinner in the UK

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Musings from 36,000 ft

Sometimes there are moments when you travel when stuff just hits you. Running back and forth to another continent for a weekend is fun, but it can also be stressful. I’m not sure why, but on my recent flight back from London, I had one of those experiences. And I wrote about it it the moment
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It’s been a roller-coaster weekend when it comes to my emotions, but I have to say the capper is happening right now. I’m currently speeding 36,000ft above the earth at over 900 km/h over the coast of Greenland. Most would say this is an odd place to have a “moment,” and generally I’d agree. I’ve flown over this spot likely tens if not a hundred times, but this is the first time it’s had an impact. Continue reading

New Zealand to Australia on a South American Airline.

I arrived back in Auckland mid-day and was once again greeted by my friends parents at the airport and went back out to the Beachlands.  After a quick visit, some puppy cuddles, and dropping my bags, I was back on the ferry to head into the city.  I did some more general site seeing, got my mugs from Starbucks and met up with my friends for a nice dinner at Hector’s.  Hector’s is great because they have a number of veggie and vegan options and promote healthy and sustainable dining practices.  It’s also quite a nice space, being inside the Heritage Hotel.  It wasn’t particularly busy on a Friday night, but it was a great chance to catch up and enjoy some time with my friends.  I caught a late ferry back to the Beachlands and went to bed fairly quickly as my flight was early early early the next morning.

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Delicious dinner at Hector’s

As my flight back from Auckland was supposed to be part of my awards ticket, I had to find an alternate flight for the trip back to Sydney.  One of the cheaper options was to fly on LATAM (formerly LAN), a South American airline.  Typically airlines are only allowed to fly to/from the countries they operate in; however, in some instances, they continue their flights on to a 3rd country.  These are called 5th freedom flights and can sometimes be a lot of fun to fly.  I remember getting to fly a big Qantas plane (perhaps even a 747) from San Francisco to Vancouver when they flew SYD-SFO-YVR-SYD.  The bonus of these flights is that while they are relatively short, they are usually on the latest and greatest of the airline’s long haul product.  It’s like taking the airline for a test drive before committing to a 9 hour flight.

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