travel blogger equipment

What's inside my blogger suitcase? All my equipment, gadgets and tips

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Dear Aviator,

you know already what is inside my pilot bag! As my blogger career developed you became curious to find out what equipment I use to create my engaging travel and aviation content. “How did you take this photo? "This is epic. What gadget to use here?” These have been your questions. For the first time, I will reveal my travel blogger equipment. 

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What's inside my blogger suitcase?

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Are you ready for an upgrade of your photos and videos? Maybe you are a blogger, you strive to be one or you just want to create epic content for yourself, you need more than just a camera. So whether you have an audience you want to engage and surprise or you just want to create epic memories for your personal use then there is no way around special equipment and gadgets. Watch my new video on my YouTube channel to have the chance to win a brand new luxury carry on luggage by Carl Friedirk. When you want to get it now use Code: PP15 for a great deal on the Carl Friedrik Carry On!

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Be a Smart Packer

When I go on my private travels I always take hand luggage to have my equipment accessible during the flight and as you might know power  banks and batteries are not in checked-in luggage. Additionally the equipment is expensive and I don’t want to risk getting lost or stolen.

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Carry on luggage by Carl Fridrik

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My travel Blogger Equipment

One of my most favorite articles is "What's inside my pilot suitcase?" Now it is time to reveal the content of my blogger suitcase as well.  I am blogging now for over four years and I have been constantly working on improving my photos and videos I have been sharing with you. It is a never ending process to get better and better. On one side creativity is key but you also need the technical gear that supports you to realize your ideas.

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Panasonic Lumix G9 with external microphone

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Which camera?

The best camera is the one you are carrying with you!  

In my early beginning (2016) I just used my phone to cremate my content but I was never really happy with the quality and I am still not really convinced that a smartphone camera can keep up with a DSLM or DSLR camera despite all the improvements. 

I invested in a Sony compact camera, Sony RX100 VII, which is extremely versatile. With a flip screen, 4K videos +, fast autofocus, it is the perfect beginner blogging and vlogging camera. I still use this model as a backup camera and for occasions when I do not want to carry my main camera. I primarily use the Panasonic LUMIX G9 (DSLM) which is great for videos and photos as well. 4K resolution, fantastic video stabilisation, external microphone and a flip screen. Photo wise it convinces with exchangeable lenses, 6k resolution, fast autofocus and you can connect your smartphone with an app to shoot yourself.

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Sony compact camera

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My Current Camera Gear

Instagram posts: Panasonic LUMIX G9*

Blog photos: Panasonic LUMIX G9

Vlog: Panasonic Lumix G9 / Sony RX100 VII*

Instagram Stories / TikTok: Smartphone

 

Action camera: GoPro Hero*  

360-degrees Camera: Insta360 ONE X*

A 360-degree camera is the next generation of action cameras. This camera with two lenses allows you to record content in 360 degrees. The photos and videos you can shoot are just epic and you can make everyone jealous.

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360 degrees camera

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Light 

The correct lightning makes the photo! You might have the perfect motive but the light is not optimal. I use a lamp for interior shooting like in hotel rooms, spas, aircraft and whenever it is too dark. For stories and selfies you want frontal light on your face. In case daylight is not sufficient I can recommend an inexpensive selfie light.

My light gear

 GVM LED cameralight* is portable, runs on batteries and it is dimmable

Criacr Selfie light* with 36 Leds to clip to your smartphone

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Light set up

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Tripods are a must

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Tripods And Selfie Sticks

I could not imagine a blogger life without them anymore. Think about how many times you wanted to record yourself or where not able to put your camera that way to capture the frame. Tripods are the answer.

My Tripod Gear

Adjustable legs tripod: Joby GP3-BHEN Gorillapod* for uneven surfaces 

Mini tripod: Manfrotto mini tripod* works for all devices and it can be used as a handheld as well. Most of the time it connected to my smartphone so I can quickly record a scene on my travels. It is also perfect to record steady time lapse videos and with its extendable legs you can use heavier dives as well. 

Extendable selfie stick:AuyKoo Selfie Stick*  and telescope pole

✈ Tripod with Clamp: Smatree  Jaws Flex*

Smartphone clamp: Manfrotto clip* that connects a smartphone with a tripod

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Tripod with clamp and adjustable legs

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Manfrotto mini tripod

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Telescope selfie stick for e.g. an action camera

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All You Need Is Power

Back as a flight student my POF teacher (principle of flight) always said: “All you need is speed to make something fly!” Same applies to shooting content but here in this case you need power. Make sure you take a fully charged power bar and spare cables to have your cameras always ready to be used. 

My Power Set Up

Power outlet adapter to charge up to four USB devices: SPLAKS USB 4-Port*

Power Banks of different size: Anker PowerCores*

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Always make sure that your devices are charged

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Powerbanks

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Advanced Equipment

Underwater dome

This gadget is a must for shootings underwater. It is a simple plastic in which you can mount your GoPro (I am sure it exists for different cameras as well) You are able to capture above and below the water line in one image. The dome is not expansive and your audience will be curious how you did it. It requires a little bit practice to get everything in frame. In case you do not want to invest in a dome. Take two photos. One above the waterline and one below. The effect is the same but not as good as with the dome.

✈ My gear: Telesin Dome Port* 

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Underwarter dome

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Drone

Expansive but almost a must for any travel blogger and aviation geek. 

It definitely need a lot of practices. Besides flying the drone you need to know how to record footage correctly so a video is in one flow. 

Nowadays they have become so advanced that it is almost impossible to crash them but you need to know where  you are allowed to fly them and the regulations. Before a trip make sure which special drone laws apply and if you are even allowed to fly. Don’t do it like me: flying around the Hollywood sign and then crashing it in the bush. 

✈ Advanced level: DJI Mavic Pro 2*

✈ Beginner level: DJI Mavic Mini*

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Drone

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Positive mind. Positive life. Happy landings.

I hope you find my article helpful and you can use my tips to upgrade your photos and videos in the future. Please do not forget to like the post and leave me a comment below which travel blogger equipment you would like to try out. 

Your PilotPatrick

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top 10 instagrammable spots in New York City

TOP 10 instagrammable Spots in New York City

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Dear Aviator, 

it has been a while since my trip to the city that never sleeps. Instead of a straight forward travel blog post, I share with you my "TOP 10 Instagrammable spots in New York City". At a destinations I am constantly chasing for spots to create enganging content for you. This definitely looks a lot easier than it really is. Stick to my TOP 10 and you will get automatically a great overivew of the city and some nice shots for you feed. Pack your camera (not only your phone) and some good walking shoes, because I walked over 40 km in six days. 

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Times Square, a must-see in NYC at night, but very crowded

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Spectacular street canyons, but extremely busy and hard to take Insta shots

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1- The Vessel

New in town. The Vessel, an architectural artwork, which is unique and extravagant. Built to plans by the British designer Thomas Heatherwick, the elaborate honeycomb-like structure rises 16 stories (45 m) and consists of 154 flights of stairs and 2,500 steps. The Vessel is the main feature of the 5-acre (2.0 ha) Hudson Yards Public Square, which comprosmises a mall with lots of shoppping opportunities. It's worth a visit since the entrance is for free (check the website prior) and you can take some etravagent photos.

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The Vessel

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2- The Envue Hotel

Not quite in New York City, but only a 10 min ferry ride across the Hudson river. The Envue Hotel, which belongs to the Autography Collection of Marriott, offers unobstructed views of the New York City skyline. I stayed in one of their spacious and contemporary executive suites with a spectacular balcony (Instagram spot deluxe). You not necessarily have to stay at this 5-star hotel, to enjoy the view. As non hotel guest, you could have dinner at the at the NoHu restaurant or enjoy views from their rooftop terrace.

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Envue hotel lobby and bar

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Relaxing in the Envue Hotel

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Envue Hotel with ferry station in front

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3- Intrepid Air Museum

A must for every avgeek, is a visit at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. The museum showcases the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the cruise missile submarine USS Growler, a Concorde SST, a Lockheed A-12 and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. (just to mention some highlights of the exhibition). I visited the museum by night for the TPG awards hosted by The Points Guy. It is an award show which honors excellence in travel, loyalty programs and credit cards. Make sure to get a shot with the Concorde or on top of the aircraft carrier.

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The Intrepid Air Museum

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At the TPG Awards 2019

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On the red carpet at thr TPG Awards

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4- Neigborhood SoHo

Strolling around the SoHo neighborhood feels like you are straight in a smovie set of one of your favorite blockbusters. You can go shopping in boutiques, have a coffe, healthy food and take lots of typical "Newyork-style" photos with escape latters on the brick fasades.

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SoHo neighborhood

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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5- The Oculus

Finally! Like the new Berlin airport (still not open) it took a bit longer and costed more money until the Oculus opened. The $4 billion Oculus station house, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, consists of white ribs that interlock high above the ground. Inside you find the transportation hub and a mall. The building has been praised for its design and its "instagramability". From the outside it los like that the construction has wings.

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The Oculus gave me wings

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The 9/11 memorial next to the Oculus

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6- Helicopter flight

Not an inexpensive experience, but worth if you want to see New York City from high above. Once in the air you can really spot the massive size of the city. I departed from the heliport in Lower Manhatten and went on a scenic flight for about 20 mins with Heli NY. In case this is not thrilling enough, you can go on a flight with the passengers open and you can lean out of the helicopter during the flight (only departing from New Jersey. That's definitely the Instagram photo of NYC.

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7- The Lexington

Stay where the stars have stayed! The Lexington Hotel was built in 1929 and is showcasing the design, architecture and style of that iconic period. Once home for many famous people like Marilyn Monroe, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and PilotPatrick ;).  I stayed in the Arthur Godfried Suite, he used to be a well-known TV and radio braodcaster. He was an Aviator as well. So this suite was a perfect match. You don't necessarily have to sleep at the Lexington, you book one of their theme suites for an event as well.

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The Lexington Hotel in Midtown

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8- Central Park

The world famous park. In the winter is it not that beautiful, but nevertheless it is worth to take a stroll through the park or go ice skating. It is a nice Instagram spot, since you can take photos away from the crowds. In the middel of  the souther end of the park is an elevation formed by rocks. This location makes a nice scenery since high tall buildings rise in the background.

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Southern End of Central Park

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9- cloudM rooftop

You don't need to spend a fortune to get access to a rooftop in Manhattan. Just by coincidence, I discovered the the cloudM rooftop in Soho. It is not a skyscraper, but you still have an unobstructed of lower Manhatten and Midtown Manhatten from an outside and inside area. Alternatively, you can now visit the Observatory at the One World Center, the Rockefeller Center or the Empire State Building. Either way, you spend a minimum of  35 $ per entrance.

 

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cloudM rooftop bar

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View from the cloudM rooftop bar

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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10- Brooklyn and Manhatten Birdge

Probably the most Instagrammed location in entire New York City. Take a walk via the bridge starting from Lower Manhatten all the way to the other side to Brooklyn. The photo motives are endless and you definitely will see other who do it for the "Gram". My destination after the Brooklyn Bridge was the Manhatten Bridge Point of View. I have seen this location so many times on Instagram, but I was quite disappointed since it was really crowded. People were really rude and did not want to move out of your frame. So I walked to the Main Street Park granting a view of the Brooklyn bridge and the skyline in the back. Please always respect others when they are taking shots like you would expect it from others.

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Manhatten Bridge View Point

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Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn

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What would have been your favorite location in NYC? Let me know in a comment below and don’t forget to like my blog about the "TOP 10 Instagrammable spots in New York City"

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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Unglaublicher Amsterdam Reiseführer - Meine 7 top Highlights

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Dear Aviator,

this year I have been in so many cities like never before. On my list of private travels are 13 different destinations. That's my personal record. Vienna, Miami, Rio, LA, Las Vegas, Zakynthos, Lisbon, Crete, Dresden, New York, Sharm El Scheikh and last but not least Amsterdam! In this blog post, I want to share with you my perasonal highlights of this trip. My Amazing Amsterdam city guide prepares you well for your next trip.

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The beautiful red light district

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Delft houses

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Amazing Amsterdam city guide

I have been to Amsterdam in the Netherlands numerous times, but it was always for work. Usually, I flew in one day and the next day already out, so I never stayed very long. Most of the time I only got to see the hotel. I wanted to change this so badly to have more time available to discover. Recently in November my flight duty ended in Amsterdam, so I decided to spend my off days there. Now enjoy reading my amazing Amsterdam city guide.

It was love at first sight. Amsterdam is now one of my TOP 5 favorite cities in Europe

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Beautiful canals around Grachtengordel

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1. Delft houses Instagram location

You want to take great content for Instagram and co., then you will enjoy Amsterdam a lot. The photo locations seem endless. The most iconic and famous one is definitely the spot on "Damrak" opposite the typical duty delft houses. You can spot the reflection of the narrow crooked houses in the water. Make sure to pause for a moment an embrace the beautiful setting. For canals photos I can recommend the streets "Herenstraat" and "Herengracht".

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Amsterdam Central station

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Amstel

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2. The Conservatorium Hotel

Hotels are my second home as a pilot. Most of the time I am happy to check out from the hotels I have to stay at. Quite the contrary at the Conservatorium Hotel, where I did not want to check out at all. This luxury hotel in Amsterdam has repeatedly been crowned the number one luxury hotel in the Netherlands. It is located in the elegant Museum Square district, close to Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw, Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum.

The architecture of the Conservatorium is unique and absolutely stunning. It combines a landmark heritage building (it used to be a post bank as well) with contemporary luxury design.

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Exterior of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Bathtub goals

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Welcome at the Conservatorium hotel

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Amazing Junior Suite

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I stayed in one of the most amazing hotel suites, which was located on two levels with a living room on the ground floor and the bed room on top. The junior suite was located at the corner of the building. With its huge windows, it offered fantastic views of the city.

After your business day, shopping day or sight seeing tour, you can relax in an 1,000 sq m Akasha Holistic Wellbeing. It comprises of a well equipped gym, a huge pool, sauna, steam bath and treatment rooms.

Breakfast was served in the Atrium in the middle of the hotel. Besides a buffet you can enjoy a la carte menu with dishes that are prepared on point for you! I am truly in love with this hotel.

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Breakfast at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Atrium of the Conservatorium Hotel

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Gym at the Conservatorium Hotel

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Spa at the Conservatorium Hotel

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3. Boat trip on the canals

In my opinion, a boat trip is a must attraction in Amsterdam with all its beautiful canals and bridges.

By the way do you know which city has the highest number of bridges? (Answer at the end of the blog)

You will discover the city from a whole new perspective. I went on a 1-hour cruise with "Flagship" for 16€. Other than big tour operators, "Flagship" uses smaller boats to give a more genuine experience. It was interactive and very informative trip. I spontaneously bought a ticket at the departure point (Anne Frank house), but you can also get them online.

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Flagship boat trip

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Flagship departing at the Anne Frank house

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4. Midtown Grill Steak Restaurant

Do you need a dinner recommendation? Why not fancy eating a steak? I can recommend the Midtown Grill, which is centrally located in the Marriott Hotel. You know that I am really picky about food, but the quality and the taste was really excellent. I had the Porterhouse which serves two persons.  It is one of their prime cuts which grants you the opportunity to choosee from a slection of knives frorm around the world. Guten Apetit!

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Midtown grill at the Marriott hotel

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Midtown grill

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Proterhouse steak

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Foodporn!

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At the Midtown Grill

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5. Highest Swing in Europe

If you want to have a nice view of Amsterdam, you should visit the A´DAM building, which is located opposite the central station. A ferry (for free) takes you across the harbour. In case you are brave enough you can go on the highest swing of Europe. It is 100m meter over the ground and the felling to swing over the edgeof the building is a lot of fun. The building offers also other attractions like a cafe and a rotating restaurant. Unfortunately, the entrance is not free neither is the swing. I recommend buying tickets online because you get a discount.

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A'dam lookout

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Highest swing in Europe

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A'dam look out

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6. Juice by Nature - healthy cafe

Healthy food lovers will not be disappointed in Amsterdam. One of my favorite paces is "Juice by Nature". It is a quick stop cafeand the food is really tasted. Especially their raw cakes are a dream. I was in food heaven several times. Use the app "Happy Cow" to find healthy places around you. That's how I find them when I am new in town.

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Juice by Nature

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Juice by Nature

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7. Blauwburg Bridge and Amstel

You should not only trust me, but also Claude Monet, who used this scenery for his art and I used it for my Instagram stories and photos :-) The area around the Blauwburg bridge, its sister bridge is loacted in Paris, is very pretty. The Amstel canal is wider than the other canals creating an amzing setting that invites to stroll around! In general, the size of the city is perfect to discover everything by foot or bike.

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Amstel

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Museums district

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The answer is Hamburg in Germany. Followed by Venice and Amsterdam. Hamburg has more than 2500 bridges, which is more than Venice, Amsterdam and London combined.

I hope you enjoyed my amazing Amsterdam city guidee and you will consider my highlights for your next city trip! Do you have a favorite city in Europe! Let me know in a comment below and don't forget to like my blog post!

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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dresden a german gem

Ein deutsches Schmuckstück - diese Stadt in Deutschland muss man besucht haben

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Dear Aviator,

I often get asked which city you should visit in Germany. My home country has many beautiful places to offer. All of them are so diverse and unique in their own way. That makes discovering places so exciting and  a great benefit they are all not far away from each other. One city you should visit in Germany is Dresden. In this blog post I give you a heads up why you should add Dresden a german gem to your bucket list. 

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Residenzschloss

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5  star hotel Gewandhaus Dresden

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Bathroom Gewandhaus

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Dresden a german gem is not a Instagram known city, but it defitnely has all the qualities to be one: a beautiful old town, museums, culutural events and instagrammable spots around ever courner. The city just became more popular since jewels were ropped frrom of the Grüne Gewölbe, the baroque treasure chamber. A big loss for our cultural hertiage.

One of my favorite cities  in Germany

The city has become one of my favorite places to visit in Germany. Why? I feel at home, proud and amazed at the same time. Dresden helps me to slow down things. It is a great escape from the hectic and crowded Berlin city life. Its reasonable size makes the city fun to discover by feet. You have all the amentites of a big city, but it feels like you are in a town. I am proud to see that the old town was rebuilt after it was completely destroyed during the Second World War and amazed about stunning baroque architecture.

 

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Frauenkirche

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Zwinger

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famous Semper Opera

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Dresden a german gem

It was my fourth time in Dresden and I did different activities each stay. A long stroll through the old town is always a must. This time I added a visit at the world famous Semper Opera. I am curious to try out things for the very first time, so I went to the see an opera for the very first time. "Le Grand Marcabre" was playing, a anti-anti-opera »Le Grand Macabre« by the Hungarian composer György Ligeti. "It premiered in 1978 and is regarded as one of the most effective works of musical theatre of the past decades. In this highly entertaining mix of medieval mystery play, absurd slapstick and black humour, Ligeti tells the story of the end of the world in a virtuoso composition filled with musical quotations and pastiche." (source: semperoper.de)

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Semper opera at night

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Old town of Dresden

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Zwinger

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My to do recommendations

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Fürstenzug

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Bathtub goals in Dresden

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City Center Neumarkt

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Home away from home

This time I stayed at the Gewandhaus hotel for the very first time. This 5 star boutique style hotel lays right in the center of the baroque metropolis.

After a huge renovation in 2015 the hotel opened again with upgraded luxurious hotel and room amenities. It belongs ever since to the Autograph Collection of Marriott which is a a group of unique boutique hotels world wide with a high level of hospitality.

The building itself looks like a mansion from a different era. I felt noble staying at this hotel. I like that the baroque character of the interior is preserved with a lot of love. The integration of modern design works really well and the highlight of the hotel, the courtyard is spectacular.

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Atrium of the Gewandhaus hotel

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Atrium of the Gewandhaus hotel

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Wellness area Dresden

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My Junior Suite

I stayed in a junior suite on the upper floor.  The suite was really spacious and cozy at the same time. The bathroom was definitely the highlight: I had my very own whirlpool with golden appliances.

After the opera or a sight seeing tour you can enjoy a wellness area with a nicely decorated pool area and sauna to relax.

Breakfast in the morning was super tasty and the staff were really attentive. They did a great job in making my special wishes possible.

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Junior Suite of the Gewandhaus hotel

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View from my Junior Suite

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Junior Suite Gewandhaus

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Bathtub goals in Dresden

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Breakfast at the Gewandhaus

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Brekkie

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Restaurant recommendations

  • Burgeria: tasty burger place in the center, has vegan and vegetarian options
  • M(eatery): at the Gewandhaus hotel, delicious cuts of meat and a menu with hand picked meals
  • brennNessel: Vegetarian restaurant in one of the oldest houses in Dresden

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Burgeria

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Burgeria

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Dinner at the (m)eatery

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Starter at the (M)eatery

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brennNessel

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I hope you enjoyed this travel blog about Dresden and you will put this city on your bucket list!

Please give the blog a heart and leave me a comment with your favorite city of Germany in your comment below!

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Crete travel guide

Kreta Reiseführer - Wie Du eine unvergessliche Zeit haben wirst

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Collaboration / Anzeige

Dear Aviators,

are you already thinking about next vacation season in Europe? I am :) This year I was able to visit many beautiful places in Europe and I cannot wait to chase new destionations next year. My last private trip was to Chania on Crete. In this blog I will share this hot gem with you. Enjoy my Crete travel guide. 

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Crete - 88th biggest island in the world

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Picture perfect Chania

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Why Chania on Crete in Greece?

I finsihed my flight duty in Athens in Greece and I needed a time-out after some stressfull period. Like my Zakynthos trip, Crete is a only a 30 minutes flight away from Athens and the weather is still pleasant in autumn. In Berlin it was rainy and cold so I thought why do not spend my off days on the 88th largest island in the world and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.

Last time I was on Crete is over 10 years ago. A really good german friend I know since my childhood moved to Chania after we went to highschool togehter. It was always my biggest wish to visit her again.

 

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Chania Crete

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Narrow streets old town Chania

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Sunset by the port

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How to stay fit while traveling

I love to travel and to fly, but do not get me wrong I also hate it. Like everything in life is has its downsides. It is a lot harder to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In one of my latest videos on YouTube, I share with you my fitness routine. Please make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel as well.

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Outdoor workout area

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Domes Noruz - a unique hotel

When I first saw some photos of the Domes Noruz Chania I thought it must be a dream staying at this hotel. The award-winning hotel belongs to the Autograph collection hotels of the Marriot group. So my expectations before arrival were lets say extremely high.

The Domes Noruz Chania consits of only 83-rooms and suites giving it a boutique style character. For those seeking a relaxing and calm time-out this place in Chania is ideal, since it is adults only.

The entire hotel complex is well designed with a fresh and contemporary touch. It is unique and different which makes the stay so exciting and special. Just have a look at my suite then you know what I mean.

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Lobby Domes Noruz Chania

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Quiet zone area

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Salis Chania

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My suite 

I stayed in Sublime loft located on two levels. In my entrance area I had a small private plunge pool. Adjacent to it was my bedroom and bathroom. Upstairs was small living room and a sliding door which let to the my huge private terrace. Besides a sunbeds, a hammock, it featured a round bathtub with stunning views of the Aegean Sea.

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Warm welcome

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Sublime Suite Domes Noruz Chania

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Quiet zone pool area

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Private terrace Domes Noruz Chania

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The beautiful envirmonemt, the direct beach access and luxurious facitlies make it very hard to leave the hotel property, but you at least should plan one day to discover Chania. Especially the picture perfect old town is worth a visit. It offers a blend of Ottoman, Venetian and Greek architectures creating a stunning setting. Many Crete travel guide(s) rate Chania to be one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Private beach Domes Noruz

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Balos - the Instagram beach

Balos Beach and Lagoon is a must visit when you are on Crete. I have been to many beautiful beaches around the world, but the Balos lagoon is a personal highlight for me.

The famous lagoon of Balos is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and it is defintely no hidden gem anymore. Its wild natural beauty and the beautiful exotic scenery are stunning. By car it is about an hour drive from Chania, but you can also take the ferry running from Kissamos port. In the summer time it can get really crowded. Even in Mid October it was still quite busy.

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Balos beach

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Gravel road to Balos Beach

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on the way to Balos

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worth the drive and walk

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My hot Crete travel guide tip

Arrive early in the morning. I recommend around 10 am or even earlier by car to avoid huge crowds. The 10 km dirt road drive to the parking lot is already quite an adventure. From there it is about a 3 km hike down to the beach. The views of the vivid blue and turquoise waters are breathtaking. Bring enough water, sun protection and proper shoes.

When you are done "beaching" you can stop for some food at the Orange Blue cafe. This place is located at a nice setting with stunning views. Simple but good food. The sunset from there must be magnificent from this place.

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Orange Blue Cafe

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Balos beach: Caribbean feeling on Crete

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Orange Blue cafe

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Where to eat the best food

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Food has a very high significance for the greek poeple. That is why you will not have hard time to find tasty food. I can definitely recommend leaving the hotel to discover the Cretan diet, which is uncomplicated and made from fresh, healthy ingredients. I noticed that many places use ingredients, which are grown in Crete's natural environment.

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Salis Chania

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Recommendations in Chania

Salis Chania: located at the water front of the old town of Chania. The menu offers a lot of specialites and many fresh fish dishes with a contemporary touch.

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Salis Chania

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Salis Chania

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Abandoned houses - Old town, Chania

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Salavantes: Cretean cuisine with local ingredients and a modern interpretation of the dishes. Simple but extremely tasty. I went there two times in a row, because it was so good.

Carte Postale: As the name suggests: the view is like strraight from a post card. Besides a coffee you can also enjoy tasty food while enjoying a magnificent view of Chania.

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Carte Postale Chania

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Carte Postale Chania

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Carte Postale Chania

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I hope you enjoyed reading my Crete travel guide. Next holiday season I am looking forward to traveling to Greece again. On my bucket list I still have the more popular islands Mykonos and Santorini to tick off. Have you made your travel plans for next holiday season already? Where are you planning to go? Let me know in a comment below.

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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how to relax with your breathing

Wie man mit dieser Atemtechnik in Minuten entspannen kann

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It was one of you my Aviator, who sugested me this special technique to relax easily. You probably know the difficulty to take a little time out during the day. I like to go for a short nap to recharge my batteries, but most of time I find it hard to get some rest and to fall asleep quickly. The 4-7-8 breathing technique, also known as "relaxing breath," helps me to reduce anxiety and clears my mind to fall asleep quicker. 

 

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Jumbo Stay in Stockholm

 

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What is the 4-7-8 breathing technique?

The 4-7-8 breathing technique involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds. The scientific reasearch on this method is limited, but there is enough evidence (including me) that this type of deep, rhythmic breathing is relaxing and may help ease people into sleep. Sometimes I get to sleeep within in minutes. In this article I will show you how to relax with your breathing.

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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What are the benefits?

Apart from reducing anxiety and falling asleep, the 4-7-8 breathing technique has other benefits. Dr. Andrew Weil teaches this breathing technique, which he belives can help with the following:

  • reducing anxiety
  • helping a person get to sleep
  • managing cravings
  • controlling or reducing anger responses

 

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How to do it

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How to relax with your breathing

  1. Get into a comfortable sitting position or laying position
  2. Place the tip of the tongue on the tissue right behind the top front teeth
  3. Empty the lungs of air
  4. Breathe in quietly through the nose for 4 second
  5. Hold the breath for a count of 7 second
  6. Exhale forcefully through the mouth, pursing the lips and making a "whoosh" sound, for 8 seconds
  7. repeat the cycle up to 4 times

Dr. Weil recommends using the technique at least twice a day to start seeing the benefits sooner. In the beginning you should avoid doing more than four breath cycles in a row until you have more practice. The longer and more frequently you use the technique, the more effective it becomes.

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Is there an App?

Of course. There is an App for everythinh. For example, Breathe is a free app for Apple products, which helps you to practice the 4-7-8 breathing technique You can also set reminders to use it regularly during the day.

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I have been you using this breahting method regulary for a couple of months. Especially during and after stressfull days it helps me to fight anxiety and to relax. I hope you enjoyed my tip how to relax with you breathing.  Give it a try yourself and profit form the benefits.

What kind of technique do you use to relax. Let me knwo and comment below!

Safe travels and happy landings

Your PilotPatrick

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Wie man einen unvergesslichen Aufenthalt in Las Vegas verbringt

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Advertisement / Anzeige

"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!"  You probably heard of this saying. No worries - this does not apply to me. I share with you what I experienced in three days and I tell you how you can have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas.

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New York New York in Las Vegas

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Bellagio fountain

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Las Vegas strip

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Drive to Las Vegas

From Los Angeles (read my article about my last time in LA) it is about 4,5 hours by car. By plane would have been an option as well, but it wouldn’t have saved a lot of time and a road trip reveals more of the landscape. The secenry on the way changed a lot and it got hotter and more arid as I approached Las Vegas. It felt like the highway would end in the middle of nowhere. Left and right you could only spot dry land, dust, sand and rocks. All of the sudden huge golden buildings and even a pyramid appeared on the horizon. That must be it "Viva Las Vegas".

Tip: Make a stop at the art installation "Seven Magic Mountain" just prior the boundardy of Las Vegas. The coloured stones give a high contrast to the surrroundings and are a great spot to take a photo and to feel free.

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Seven magic moutain

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Stay at the Bellagio

The first thing I think of Las Vegas is the Bellagio hotel with the huge fountain. I remember the first time in Las Vegas 14 years ago. I was standing with my parents infront of the Bellagio, enjoying the fountain show of the hotel and I said to myself one day I want stay in this 5 star hotel. Here we go 14 years later I slept for three nights in a Salon Suite with the view of the fountain. The location of the Bellagio on the Las Vegas strip is ideal. All major attractions are walking distance and you can also take a tram to get to other hotels, restaurants and shows. This hotel guarantees you a an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas.

 

Tip: Stay in a room with a view! The extra costs are definitely worth it. It is super convenient to stay in hotel of the MGM group, because you can charge all costs at outlets etc. to your room and can use your room credit. Close to the Lobby of the Bellagio is a helathy cafe and a good alternative to the breakfast buffet.

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Bellagio hotel

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Bellagio lobby

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My Salon Suite in the Bellagio

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https://www.instagram.com/p/B056Rs5jUKm/

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Visit the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is not far from Las Vegas. By car you need about the full day for the experience. There is a faster, more thrilling and adventurous way to get to and back from the Grand Canyon in less than four hours. MAVERICK Helicopters makes it possible. Even for me as a pilot flying airplanes for a living, the vertical takeoff and departure over Las Vegas gave me goosebumps.

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Fuel stop in the desert

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on the way to the Grand Canyon

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overflying the Hoover Dam

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My departure time was an early bird at 7 am, but it was worth getting up so early. On a 40 minute flight on board of an Airbus ACH130 helicopter with 7 passengers seats, we observed how the sun slowly rose over a breathtaking landscape. Our Captain not only flew us safely, but was also a great tour guide on the flight. Besides a spectacular flight, we landed in the Canyon for a stop of approx. 30 minutes to have a small breakast and a glass of champagne. An unforgetable flight experience and worth every cent.

Tip: Fly early as it gets really hot in the Grand Canyon or depart late for a sunset flight.

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Landing spot in the Grand Canyon

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Maverick Helicopters

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Eucerin Oil Control for the face up in the air

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Protect yourself from the sun

As a child, my mother always took good care to protect my brother and I from the harmfull effects of the sun. I also remember that I found it rather annoying to apply sunscreen, but I am really glad that our mother was so caring, because the skin does not forget.

Unfortunately, I wasn't that rigorous when I got older so I got sunburnt, not knowing the tremendous effects it could cause to my skin. Becoming an Eucerin Sun Protection brand ambassador was a real eyeopener for me. The insights I received  during my visit at Beiersdorf and the photos of my face taken with a UV camera, made me use suncare strictly. Even in sunny LA, hot Las Vegas or in the valley of the Grand Canyon I stayed sunburn free. It became a habit to protect myself in sunny moments and I do not see it as a hassle anymore, because the Eucerin Sun Protection products are fun to use.

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View of my Salon Suite

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Day by the pool

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Which products do I use?

Eucerin offers a wide range of sunscreen products for any age, skin type and occasion.

Here are my three favorite products:

For the face:

OIL CONTROL FACE SUN GEL-CREME (specials: anti-shine effect)

For the body:

SENSITIVE PROTECT SUN SPRAY TRANSPARENT

SENSITIVE PROTECT SUN SPRAY TRANSPARENT DRY TOUCH

All three products have an ultra-light texture and dry really fast on the skin. A big plus is that they are not as sticky as other products I have used in the past.

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My three favorite products of Eucerin Sun Protection

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Pool day at the Bellagio

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Have dinner at the Aria

The number of restaurants on the strip seems endless. Depending on your preference, occasion and budget you will find the right one. The Aria hotel alone offers 16 different restaurants. Even when not going there for dinner, the contemporary archtiecture is worth a visit. I had dinner at the Bardot Brasserie and I felt like I was in a french restaurant in Paris. All the meals were on point. In general service is really important. The waiters depend on your tip (which I think is not correct-but that's a different topic) and they want you to have an exceptional experience.

Tip: Make a reservation at your favorite restaurant. This way you will avoid long waiting times and disappointment.

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Surf and turf in the Aria hotel

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Dinner time

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Bardot  Brasserie

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Gamble a bit

I don't know how to gamble and even less how to use the slot machines. Last time in Las Vegas with the age of 17 I was not allowed to gamble, so I said this time I at least want to use a slot machine just for an Instagram Story. Honstly, I did not know what I was doing, but in the end I won 220$. HAHA.

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Las Vegas strip

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I won! Unforgettable stay in Las Vegas

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Get tickets for a show

The city of shows! It is a must to visit at least one show when you are in Vegas and the fountain show or the erupting of Vulcan does not count. I went to the show "O" of Cirque du Soleil and I have to admit that I was rather dissapointed by it. From the leading artistic circus, I expected so much more. On this website you find all the shows which are playing durring your visit.

Tip: Sometimes you get discounts a hotel guests for shows which take place in a venue of the hotel. It is worth to check with the concierge.

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Fountain show

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Venice in Las Vegas

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Have you been to Las Vegas and would you like to go after reading my blog? Let me know in the comment section below. I hope you will have an unforgettable stay in Las Vegas next time!

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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the greek Instagram island

Die griechische Instagram Insel- Kurzurlaub auf Zakynthos

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Anzeige / Advertisement

Dear Aviator,

great to welcome you back on my blog! Have you heard of Zakynthos before? I hadn't until I saw several bloggers posting like crazy from this greek Instagram Island - Zakynthos". I literally I was tempted by beautiful caves, crystal blue water and a breathtaking beach with a shipwreck. I thought I need to find out for us if this island is really that beautiful or if this is a "Instagram fake".

 

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Appraoching Zakynthos with Skyexpress

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It was super spontaneous

I finished my flight duty in Athens and decided spontaneously to stay in Greek during my off days. I checked for flight connections to the most famous islands Santorini and Mykonos, but there was no suitable return flight available. Then this island with the famous shipwreck beach came into my mind. I knew it was somewhere in Greece. I booked a flight connection with Sky Express from Athens, which lasts only 45 mins. The return flight was with Eurowings via Düsseldorf back to Berlin four days later. Watch also my the Instagram Story Highlight about the trip.

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Must see: Xigia Sulfur Beach

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Greek island facts - Zakynthos

The Greek island in the Ionian Sea is the third largest of the Ionian Islands. It covers an area of 405.55 km2  with only about 40,000 habitants and the coastline is roughly 123 km in length. The name, like all similar names ending in -nthos, is pre-Mycenaean or Pelasgian in origin. In Greek mythology the island was said to be named after Zakynthos, the son of the legendary Arcadian chief Dardanus. Zakynthos was hit by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake in 1953, which destroyed most of the buildings on the island. That's why you will not find any typical white buildings (like on Santorini) on the island.  Zakynthos econonmy is based on tourism, olive oil and wine.

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Suites at Olea All Suite

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Suite at the Olea All Suite

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Eagle view of the Olea All Suite

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more exciting videos about my trips around the world!

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Minimalism, elegance and a private pool

I have stayed at many hotels in my time as pilot and frequent traveler, but the two properties on Zakynthos were one of a kind. On vacation I prefer smaller more intimate hotels, than big hotel bunkers. Boutique hotels offer a much more personalized and exclusive service.

I stayed 2 nights in the Zante Maris Suites and 2 nights in the Olea All Suite hotel, which are sister hotels and are located on the same property. As the names suggest the star hotels properties comprises of suites only.

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Private pool suite Olea All Suite

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Pool area at the Olea All Suite

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Mountain views at Olea All Suite

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Olea All Suite

The unique hotel is set on a picturesque hill, surrounded by olive trees and green, walking distance to the beach and only 10 minutes from Zakynthos town and airport. I was lucky to stay in a suite with a private pool, which not only offered stunning views of the ocean, but also granted a lot of privacy.

Next to a Spa, gym and a vast pool area, the 3 restaurants offer exquisite culinary options, including greek and mediterranean dishes.

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Breakfast at Zante Maris Suites

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Dinner at Zante Maris Suites

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Dessert at Znate Maris Suites

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Zante Maris Suites

Smaller in its size. Only 45 suites in total, but all with outdoor living space. I have never seen such a special welcome drink. Smoking Ice tea served on a plate with fruits and nuts. Food was amazing as well. As a half board guest you can choose from a huge menu from seafood, cheese to meat and extortionary desserts.

Which one did I prefer?

Both hotels are similar in its minimalistic yet luxurious design. For even more privacy, relaxation and exclusive service I would go with the Zante Maris Suites, since this is an adult only hotel. In my opinion breakfast and dinner was even more exceptional at the Zante Marris Suites. However I did not try the a la carte restaurants at the Olea All Suite.

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Welcome drink at Zante Maris Suites

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Spa ath the Olea All Suite

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View from the massage place at the Zante Maris Suites

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Activites on the island

I stayed for 4 days, which is sufficient for a short getaway. However, 4 days are not enough to fully explore the island. The stunning hotel property made it hard to leave the hotel, but I came to Zakynthos to see the island as well. So make sure you plan with enough time. One week should be about the perfect length.

What did I do:

Navagio Beach

The Instagran spot! Also known as the shipwreck beach. You can only get to the beach by boat because the beach is surrounded by 200m  high cliffs. A breathtaking setting with ultra blue water. Make sure to see the beach also from top of the cliff. The view is amazing but be careful as well!

 

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Navagio Beach - Shipwreck Beach

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Navagio Beach - Shipwreck Beach

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Navagio Beach - photo credit SPATHUMPA

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Blue caves 

One of the most popular attractions on Zahkynthos.  Nature is really the most beautiful thing on earth and so are the blue caves. To see the blue caves in real live and to find out why they are called blue caves was an amazing experience. The best way to visit them is in a small to medium boat. I charted a small boat with  Alykes VIP Boat  captain Georges knew all the amazing spots. With in 5  hours I was at the shipwreck beach, inside the blue caves, swam in crystal blue water and jumped of a cliff. Additionally he gave me lots of background information of the island. A true VIP and insider experience.

 

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Famous Blue caves

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Olive trees

Only few urban areas makes you feel that you are in nature the whole time. I did not expect such a green island. During my exploration tour I passed many wine-growing areas and olive trees. I also got to see the oldest olive tree of the island. It is supposed to be over 2000 years old.

Kampi

One of the best locations for sunsets on Zahkynthos. It is loacted on the west coast so you will be able to see the sun set into the ocean. The view is breathtaking. I could not stay for the sunset so please do it for me.

Transport

You do not necessarily need a car to get a round. One day I booked a driver to take me within 4 hours to many interesting sights on the island, since I did not have so much time. Alternatively you can book a quad or a two seater buggy to discover the island by yourself.

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oldest Olive tree on the island

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Go to Kampi for the sunset

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Zakynthos is not only an "instagramable" island with amazing photos spots, but also a place where you can relax and feed your soul to the fullest.

 

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Have you been on a greek island before? Let me know in the comment section below.

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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travel guide of rio de janeiro

Meine sonnigen Highlights - Reiseführer Rio de Janeiro

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Advertisement

Dear Aviator,

Is Rio safe? What are the best Instagram spots? Where to eat and sleep? What to do and see? How to protect yourself properly from the sun. Find the answers in my travel guide of Rio de Janeiro.

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Escadaria Selaron

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Sunrise in Leblon

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Not the safest city?!

On Instagram, I asked you if you have any recommendations for my vacation in Rio. I was a bit shocked when I read your story replies. Most of them were telling me to be careful and to take care of my belongings. Like many other big metropolises, Rio de Janeiro has its problems as well. The criminal rate is extremely high, but I never felt really insecure. You just have to know which places are safe (especially at night) and know how to behave. Best is not to stand out, but this was a problem with my big camera. In my opinion, people are exaggerating about criminality by spreading horrible stories and building extra high-security fences. (a local confirmed this) This is what caused me to feel uneasy, but never insecure.

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Check out my YouTube channel PilotPatrick for more videos!

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My place in Rio

I was lucky to stay at one of the hippest new hotels in Rio de Janeiro. The JANEIRO HOTEL, which is located at the beachfront of Leblon, recently opened its doors. The boutique style hotel not only offers stunning views of the ocean and beach, but I also felt like a VIP through their first class service. I stayed in an Ocean suite and I can totally recommend the extra charges over a standard room. The suite is facing directly the ocean and features a double rain shower, bathtub, a hanging chair and a lot of space to unwind. Unfortunately, there is no balcony, but this is no problem at all since the JANEIRO features a rooftop with a terrace and an infinity pool. Do not miss out on the free yoga classes once a week. You know I am picky about food and I must admit that the breakfast buffet did not offer the greatest selection, but everything was tasty.

TIP: Stayin the neighborhood of Leblon or Ipanema. Personally, I did not like the Copacabana. (too crowded, too many vendors and too dirty). Places I recommend below in my travel guide of Rio.

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Janeiro Boutique Hotel

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Staying fit on vacation

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Ocean Suite in the Janeiro Hotel

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My safe companion

No matter where I am traveling to, my safe companion SUNCARE is always with me. Like last year I have teamed up with Eucerin again to spread the awareness of the importance to protect yourself from the sun.

Why should YOU use suncare?

First of all not to get a painful sunburn. Secondly to lower the chances of getting skin cancer. Solely in Germany, 200.000 people became diagnosed with skin cancer for the first time in 2016. Additionally, the sun is the reason for many other skin damages. You should protect yourself during any #sunnymoment and it is never too late to start with it!

For your health and beauty

I never really thought about it, the UV- Light and HEV- Light does not only influence the healthiness of the skin, but also the aging process. The research of Eucerin revealed that the high-energy visible light (HEV) induce free radicals which also cause visible signs of skin aging and hyperpigmentation. About 90% of the visible skin aging is caused by UV- Light and HEV- Light.

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Beach of Leblon and Ipanema

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Eucerin Sun Protection in Rio

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Three tips for the proper protection

The right product

Find the right product for you and your skin type. Eucerin Sun Protection has a huge product variety thus meets your age, preference, and needs.

The right amount

Think of the size of a golf ball. That is the quantity you need to cover your whole body.

Think twice

Best is to apply sunscreen twice, so you don’t miss out on any unprotected spots on your skin.

Which products do I use?

Eucerin offers a wide range of sunscreen products for any age, skin type and occasion.

For the face: SUN OIL CONTROL FACE GEL-CREME

For the body: SENSITIVE PROTECT TRANSPARENT SUN SPRAY and TRANSPARENT DRY TOUCH (refreshing)

All three products have an ultra-light texture and dry really fast on the skin. A big plus is that they are not as sticky as you know it from other suncare products.

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It's all about the view

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My three favorite products

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Where to eat?

Food is great in Rio de Janeiro, but other then I expected it can be quite expensive.

Here is my list of favorite places:

SEEdS: healthy cafe in Leblon

Gurumê: delicious Sushi in Ipanema

Zucka: contemporary restaurant in Leblon

Gaia: Art & Café in Copacabana

Aprazível: Brazilian restaurant and bar with a view

 

 

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Restaurant Aprazível

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Sushi at Gurumê

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Restaurant Aprazível

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What to see?

I spend 9 days in Rio. 2,5 days I was unlucky with bad weather, but the rest of the time I had fantastic weather in May. The outside temperature was not too hot, which was ideal for sight-seeing and exploring. Keep in mind during the winter time the sun sets early (it's around 16:30) So my recommendation: start your day early!  I got up every day around 6 am to have as much as sunlight possible. I think 5-7 days are ideal to get to know the city and not to be stressed with enough time to enjoy the beaches.

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Cristo!

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Helicopter flight over Rio

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My must sees and dos / travel guide of Rio:

  • Sugarloaf: Go on top with the cable car for the sunset. Come with enough time to enough views.
  • Cristo: Visit the wonder of the world at least once. I was unlucky with the view. Don't expect too much. Come as early as possible to avoid the crowd.
  • Leblon and Ipanema beach: Sooo much better than the Copacabana beach.
  • Escadaria Selarón: check out the famous Rio de Janeiro steps but don't expect to be alone
  • The museum of tomorrow: I didn't visit the exhibition but the architecture of the building is worth to see live.
  • Helicopter flight: A must do if you want a thrilling view of the city. Book at least a flight for 30 minutes and search for a provider outside of the city (over 50% cheaper)
  • Mirante Dona Marta: Still a hidden secret. It's a viewpoint next to the Cristo. It's for free and the view breathtaking. Tell the uber or taxi driver to wait for you otherwise you won't get back to town
  • Botanical Garden: I am not a huge fan of plants, but the alley with palm trees is exceptional

I guess you miss the Copacabana on the list. To be honest I was so disappointed by this neighborhood and the beach. The area is too touristic, with too many vendors, too much dirt and too many people.

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Sugarloaf view from the middlestation

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Viewpoint from the Sugarloaf

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Botanical Garden Rio de Janeiro

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Top 5 instagramable locations

  • Mirante Dona Marta: Sit or stand on a rock at the edge of the mountain with the city behind you - best afternoon/evening
  • Leblon Beach with the two bothers mountain in the background - best early in the morning
  • Pedra do Arpoador: huge stones between Copacabana and Ipanema - best for sunset
  • Sugarloaf: many instagramable spots for example with the Sugarloaf in the background from the middle station of the cable car - best late afternoon and sunset
  • Janeiro: Infinity pool at the Janeiro hotel- best all day

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Mirante Dona Marte

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Instagramable Pedra do Arpoador

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Sunset from the Sugar Loaf

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Have you been to Rio or in Brasil? Let me know which other cities you can recommend and what was your experience. Comment below this article and don't forget to heart (like) my travel guide of Rio.

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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KLM Business Class review

KLM Business Class Review: Mit dem Dreamliner nach Rio

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Dear Aviator,

my last vacation took me to a destination which has been on my bucket list for a long time: Rio de Janeiro. Originally I had planned to go there February, but then my Captain Upgrade got in the way so I had to postpone it. This blog post will not deal with Rio, but about the flight that took me there. In my KLM Business Class review, I will share my flight experience on board of a Dreamliner. What can you expect? Additionally, you will be able to win a special souvenir of the flight.

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The Dreamliner

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How I book my flights

"You are a pilot you fly for free", "You have access to standby tickets", "ID-90 flying is great". Those are comments I have great below my postings on Instagram. I'm sorry, but all statements are not correct. All my flights are firmly booked and paid full price. I never had the opportunity to fly intercontinental for a fraction of the normal ticket price.

How do I manage to fly Business Class?

Whenever I can I book Business Class tickets on flights which last more than 6 hours. I either pay full price or I have enough miles to go on a reward flight. The price-quality ratio has to be acceptable. When tickets are overpriced in Business Class I book a travel class below (Premium Economy or Economy) and then I try to upgrade with miles or cash. Like I did on my flight to Miami in Eurowings "Biz Class".

I was lucky when I booked the flight to Rio. I knew I have a vacation for 12 days, so I opened up the world map of Google flight search. Selected the time period and my favored travel class. I was browsing through numerous destinations until Rio de Janeiro popped up with 1,800 € round trip for one person in Business Class. I immediately booked the flight. Normally you pay double this price, so it was a really good deal.

 

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Do not miss any of my videos and subscribe to my YouTube channel PilotPatrick

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Three flight highlights

First highlight: So far I only knew KLM from short range flights, so it was the first time for me to fly with them long-range. Second highlight: I was excited to fly with a Boeing 787, also called Dreamliner, for the first time. Third Highlight: I flew in the new World Business Class, which has an interesting cabin layout.

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Berlin - Rio de Janeiro

KL 1822 Boeing B737-700

09:05 Berlin (TXL)

10:35 Amsterdam (AMS)

 

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KL 0705 Boeing B787-900

12:45 Amsterdsm (AMS)

19:35 Rio de Janerio (GIG)

total travel time: 15:35 hours

 

 

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Crown Lounge at Schipol Airport

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Champagne above the clouds

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The lounge

KLM recently opened up a new lounge called "Crown lounge 52" in the international departure area of Schipol airport. The lounge is huge and not yet fully opened. I had a hard time finding it. Navigation signs at the airport were not clear and a lounge briefing of the airline was missing.

The lounge expands over two floors with different areas, it even features an outside terrace, a cinema, and several outlets. In case you find the catering not tasty enough (like I did) you can visit the a la carte restaurant within the lounge (not complimentary).

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This is aviation porn

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lie flat seat

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The seat

The seat surprised me the most on this flight! When I had a look at some photos of the seat, it seemed to be quite narrow. The entire Business Class is in the font section of the B787-9 and comprises only 30 seats in total.

Oh wow! That was my first impression after boarding the aircraft. The color selection, the arrangement, and the design were well chosen. Everything is there where you needed it and the designers took special care of every detail. For example, you have a mirror in your small cabinet.

You kind of have to slide into your seat, but once seated it feels more spacious than I thought.  The seats are angled to the flight direction and surrounded by a cube, which makes every seat private. Especially the window seats are fantastic since you don't have to move your head to look out of the window. On top, the seat transforms into a fully flat bed. I am 1,85 cm and it was really comfortable

Highlights:

  • all seats have direct aisle access
  • a lot of privacy as a seat and bed
  • comfortable sleeping position
  • all buttons and controls are easily accessible
  • the armrest can be lowered to increase the sleeping surface
  • wide footrest for the bed function
  • big personal TV which can be stowed 

 

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Watch the full Business Class review on YouTube

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The catering

KLM would not win any prizes for its catering departing Schipol airport. On the 11 hours, flight lunch was served after takeoff. In between light snacks were offered and prior to landing, you could have a small dinner. The desserts were the best part of the catering: refreshing ice cream and a chocolate muffin with liquid chocolate inside.

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Healthy starter

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I did not want to show the nasty main dish too clearly

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Specials of the Dreamliner

The B787 was not always a Dreamliner, it moreover started as a nightmare. Boeing had to fix several problems after the aircraft has started its line operation in 2011. It is one of the most advanced and modern airliners in the world. It not only generates less noise overall, but CO2 emission is reduced by 20-25% and fuel consumption by 20% as well. The aircraft leaves a smaller environmental footprint without lowering passenger comfort. Quite the contrary is the fact. Passengers windows are bigger, the cabin altitude is reduced and the cabin humidity is increased, which makes you feel better when you arrive.

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Mood lighting on board of the B787

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Fails on the flight

Nothing too tremendous, but still not acceptable when paying a lot of money for a ticket.

  • Wifi on board was broken. The airline blamed the satellite.
  • The espresso machine was broken and the coffee was nasty
  • Corners of the seats were not spotless

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Nap time!

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Give away!

At the end of the flight, every passenger in the Business Class receives a souvenir. It is a miniature Delft house, which is famous in the Netherlands. I received so many messages from my Aviators, who want one of those houses since it is impossible to buy them. So I decided to give away one house, an amenity kit and a personal note to TWO Aviators

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning “I would like to fly to (destination) inspired by www.pilotpatrick.com"
  3. REPEAT the previous step on my YouTube video!

I will randomly choose two winners on the 23rd of June 2019. Good luck!

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GIVEAWAY!

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Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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