Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Places I've Been..

I thought it might be a nice idea to share some photos etc from my travels over the last few months, because most of my pictures are only shared on my private Facebook page!

Apologies about the length of this post! After this one I will try to do one a month about my layovers from that month - if anyone is interested in it?! 

As I've mentioned, I have struck gold with my new job as Cabin Crew / Air Hostess based in the UAE & travelling all around the world! 

So, here's some of the places I've been and some of the amazing experiences I've had so far..

Chengdu, China :


I loved Chengdu!! I really wish we had more time there (it was a standard 24hour layover, if i remember correctly).. However, we made the most of the time we had by going straight to the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, which is amazing because first of all YAY Pandas!! And secondly you are safe in the knowledge that these Pandas are well looked after, and it isn't your standard zoo/circus type setup. Win win all 'round, really!
The Pandas were absolutely adorable, especially the two young ones playing on the tree house in the bottom right picture. At one stage one of them fell off and was just rolling around on the ground! Unfortunately though I was laughing too much to get a proper picture of that!
Also, being in China was a strange experience. Although we really just went to the Panda Park on the layover it was still clear how much of a culture difference there was. One of the crew who went with me was a beautiful, tall, blonde girl and the Chinese guys & girls could not take their eyes off her! One guy even asked to take a picture with her! 
To us, having blonde hair and pale skin is nothing to bat an eyelid at, but they were transfixed! 


 Melbourne, Australia :


My God, Australia is far away!! 
After a 14 hour flight (followed by a pretty long nap) I went out to explore Melbourne - thankfully I got quite a nice day for it, considering it was their winter!
First up was Eureka SkyDeck, which is apparently the Southern Hemispheres highest viewing platform (AFAIK the only higher is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai - which despite being only up the road from me I still haven't been to). 
The views from up there were amazing. Melbourne is such a beautiful city! Also, Australia, that is not a winter! If we had a day like that during an Irish summer we'd be laughing!
Next up we headed to Flinders lane to grab some lunch - it's filled with cafes on little winding graffiti covered streets and is just buzzing with life. It also turns out that the girl who served us our sandwiches was on our return flight to Abu Dhabi later that evening - small world, eh?!
I really enjoyed Melbourne, lovely chilled out city! Looking forward to going back again :)

Rome, Italy :

Oh, Rome <3 
I was extremely lucky a few months ago that I got to go on a trip to Italy with work and have 2 full days to explore Rome. 
It has got to be one of my favourite destinations so far! Just walking around and you find yourself immersed in culture and beauty! The colosseum, the Spanish steps, the Vatican, everything is just beautiful!
On my second day there I just took my camera and went exploring the city by myself (solo exploring is sometimes the best!). I love how compact the city is. I walked from the Vatican to the Spanish steps to the Colosseum in a matter of hours - it is a city I would definitely recommend getting around on foot!

Dublin, Ireland :

One of my homes, Dublin! I am extremely lucky and grateful to have a direct flight to and a layover in the city that I'm from. Most crew can't simply pop home on a layover whereas allot of my family live within 10-15 minutes from where we stay in Dublin. 
Usually when you live in a place you don't quite appreciate it, which was definitely the case for me & Dublin! However, on my last leave/holidays one of my friends from Abu Dhabi came to stay with me for a few days so I got to show them around Dublin and do all of the touristy things I never would have done otherwise. 
We went to the Guinness Storehouse, rented the Dublin Bikes (which are fantastic!), explored Temple Bar, and of course experiences a night out or two! No Coppers though, so it wasn't the full Dublin experience!
On my layovers in Dublin though I tend to just go home and spend time with my family, there's nothing I'd rather be doing :)

Geneva, Switzerland :

Again, this was a trip I took on a few days off to visit a friend! It was my first time in Switzerland and it definitely won me over! From the views, to the chocolates, to the crisp cold weather (a pleasant change when coming from 35˚ weather in Abu). And, I can't forget the fondue in the middle picture - it is 100% cheese in a bread bowl! Heaven! Safe to say I put on some 'winter pounds' on that little trip!

Milan, Italy :

I’ve actually been in Milan more then any other destination - around 4 or 5 times! It is such an easy flight to do (Italians are so easygoing), and the food, wine and city itself is perfect! This was actually my first layover and second flight ever, as a ‘supy’ (aka an observational flight). Naturally I went straight to the Duomo to explore the city a little and, of course, to enjoy some pizza and gelato :) 

Sydney, Australia :

Another destination I’ve been to a few times, however I haven’t been in a month or two which sucks because the weather will be amazing now as they’re coming into summer - most times I’ve been it was raining! In between showers though I went to see the Sydney Opera House & Harbour Bridge. 
On my next trip there I walked from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach (I think). I made a huge mistake though, I was wearing very cheap Penneys/Primark shoes, jeans (it was hot, even in winter!) and I forgot my camera!! So, while I have the memories of seeing all the surfers on Bondi beach and the gorgeous views I have no pictures to share.. Sorry!

Perth, Western Australia :

For my first set of holidays I went to Perth for 10 days to visit my sister. I was very lucky that we had started flights to Perth just a week before my leave started - especially because this was the first time any of our family was able to visit my sister because Perth is damn far away from Ireland! 
We went to Caversham Wildlife Park, Fremantle Market, to a Shooting Range and some shopping, exploring and a night out here or there! 
I’m going back over next week too to see how it is in summer (any excuse!) - can’t wait!

Johannesburg, South Africa :

I was very, very excited to go to South Africa and it did not disappoint! Again this was quite a long layover so got to fit a few things in. Went to Nelson Mandela Square for some lunch (South Africans know how to serve meat!!), out for dinner and to a Lion Park to play with some cubs! It was like being in the Lion King!! Apparently they sleep for up to 20 hours a day, so allot of them were being quite lazy (living the life), but mainly they were just roaming around minding their own business while we drove around their compound. Seeing a family of Lions stroll past your car is pretty surreal! As you can see, above, we got to pet and play with some of the cubs - they aren’t nearly as soft as you’d expect! There were also Antelope, Giraffes, Zebras, Hyenas, Ostriches, basically every animal you would expect and hope to see in S. Africa! 

Malé, Maldives :

This was one of the best flight swaps ever!! I originally had a 18hour layover in Manila (my second Manila that month), and I was able to swap it for a day in the Maldives!! Talk about paradise! 50% of the guests onboard were going for a honeymoon and it is easy to see why. Clear blue waters, white sandy beaches, the most luxurious beach cabins - a perfect beach getaway! 
We spent the day out on a local mans boat (he does tours for crew for much cheaper then is offered by the hotel or airport). We did tours of the resorts and islands to take in the beauty of the place, and stopped a few places to go snorkelling! 
The flight back was less then fun though as I had third degree burns all over my body! I naively thought I would be ok in the sun after living in Abu Dhabi for 8 months and never getting burned - but the sun in the Maldives is so much stronger! I won’t be making that mistake again!


Munich, Germany :

October was the month with the best layovers!! I was in Munich for Oktoberfest for God sake! Somehow when I googled Oktoberfest it told me that the ‘official’ festival was HOURS away from where we were staying - which naturally left me very very disappointed. How wrong I was! Two stops on the metro and we were in the thick of the celebrations! It was bigger and better then I could have imagined - amusement rides everywhere, hundreds of people dressed in traditional German clothing, massive beer tents, pretzels, schnitzel, it was just perfect! The only thing I would say to anyone going to Oktoberfest at any stage is to try and book a space at a table well in advance - the ‘Beer Maidens’ do not like to serve you any beer if you aren’t sitting at a table. Thankfully we were able to befriend some other festival goers who had a table so didn’t go thirsty for long! Unfortunately my celebrations had to be ended early as I had a flight to operate the next evening, but it was one of the most enjoyable layovers I’ve had yet - I was even able to sneak out a Stein as a souvenir!

New York, New York :

My first US destination!! New York, New York! Such a lively city - so much going on! We fit quite a bit into our afternoon in the city; Times Square, Central Park and some New York Cheesecake! 
Next time I go though I’ll definitely try and spend more time in each place, rather then do everything in one day! It seemed like allot of the day was spent going from place to place rather then really enjoying and taking in everything separately. 
I do happen to be on the flight to New York as I type this though (as a passenger this time - don’t worry!) so hopefully I will have some time to experience Central Park in winter - a dream come true for so many!

Paris, France :

J’adore Paris!! The picture to the left is pure, unfiltered beauty! I went straight into the centre of Paris after my flight to meet my friend, who was living there, for dinner and a twilight tour of the Tower! She brought me to a gorgeous little French restaurant just beside the Eiffel Tower for dinner - the perks of having a friend who knows the city!

The next day I just went to the supermarket and stocked up on cheese & wine (4 bottles of amazing wine, 5 types of cheese and some paté all for €35!!) - safe to say I had a lovely little picnic when I got home to Abu that night :)

Washington, DC :

Popped over to Washington last month to say Hiyya to Obama, as you do! Unfortunately though he didn’t seem to be awake at the ungodly hour that is 7am, which is when our sightseeing began, so we headed over to the Washington Monument, the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial before doing a spot of shopping (impossible to resist really). Washington is definitely allot quieter then New York, but also much cleaner. Don’t really know what I’d do there next time I go, but I suppose there is always more shops to visit ;) 

Donegal, Ireland :

Another of the places I call home - Donegal! After 6 months away I finally got back up to visit my Mum, Granny and the rest of my family & friends! It really does take being away for so long to make you appreciate how nice the place you’re from is! I’m not sure if I’ll ever live there again, but Donegal will always be a comfort for me, and I do love to be able to go back there and be able to call it home. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow you've been a lot of amazing places! That's so awesome that you are able to travel the world like this. I hope I can do the same someday, a lot of those places are ones I want to visit too!
    Ashley Sue Makeup

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    1. Thank you! I would recommend it to anyone! So many beautiful places in the world - I just wish I could spend more quality time in each one! X

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  2. Ohhh cool you've been to some beautiful places. Id love to go to D.C some day, looks like a really awesome place x :)

    Caitriona Tighe

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  3. Wow, I just love Italy and I was only thinking to plan a vacation there but now I can't wait to be there as you shared such a wonderful experience

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