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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Amazing Amsterdam city guide - My top 7 highlights

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Advertisement - Anzeige

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

A german gem - you have to visit this city in Germany

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Anzeige / Adveristment

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 from 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 group of unique boutique hotels 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

Crete travel guide - how to have a splendid time

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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 led 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

How to relax in minutes with your breathing

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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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how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain Upgrade Part 2

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Dear Aviator,

I am able to share some good, but also some bad news with you! The good news is that I passed another important step in becoming a captain, but the bad news is that I don't know when my next flight will be! How can that be? In this second part of how I become a captain, I inform you about all the steps it requires and I give you insights about my training. At the end of this article, I have a little, but special give away for you. 

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What has happened so far

  1. In September 2018 I applied as captain with my airline
  2. My application was reviewed and accepted
  3. In November 2018 I passed the assessment in the simulator

Depending on the demand and if I am expandable from the flight operation,  my training to become a captain would start. In the meantime, I continued flying as First Officer on the A300. The last flight on the right side came earlier than expected. Already on the 31st of January 2019, it was my last flight, which took me to sunny Tel Aviv. I recapped my time as First Officer which were 8 years in total and I could not believe that a new era would start soon. Check out part one if you want to find out more about the requirements and the selection process.

 

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

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Upgrade to Commander course

Beginning of February the UTC (upgrade to commander) training started. The first part was a ground course which lasted one week. From this point onwards I was not allowed to fly as First Officer anymore by regulation.

This ground course took place with six other colleagues who were also in the process of becoming a captain. I thought I would be one of the youngest among them, but two other colleagues of mine were even younger than me.

Topics which were covered in the ground course:

  • Laws and regulations
  • Responsibility
  • Performance
  • CRM
  • Low visibility procedures

As a commander, I will be responsible for the aircraft, the crew, the passengers and the cargo on board. When operating the aircraft I have to consider all laws, regulations, and procedures. CRM (Crew resource management) plays also an important role in the safe operation. CRM is a set of training procedures for use in environments where human error can have devastating effects such it is the fact in aviation. It is used primarily for improving air safety, CRM focuses on interpersonal communicationleadership, and decision making in the cockpit. Human error is still the greatest factor for accidents in aviation.

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Not the A300 simulator but a A320 in Berlin

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One of my biggest goals is to become a captain at the age of 30 and as it looks right now it will most probably happen

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Simulator Training

After a free weekend, the training continued in the simulator. I prepared my self as good as possible because I wanted to show my training captain and myself that I am the right candidate for the left seat.

The simulator sessions took place in Berlin which was convenient for me since I could stay at home. The training consisted of six missions and a final check. Each session focused on a different subject. One session was primarily to train the procedures for engine fires and failures. Another session was to practice the low visibility procedures and flight control malfunctions. All had in common to improve the non-technical skills from the left seat. Non-technical means: the flight management, prioritizing tasks, decision making and the communication with the crew. In the beginning, I had to get used to fly the aircraft from the left seat. This was a little awkward because buttons and levers were now on the other side. It was a little bit like driving the car from the right seat.

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Studying hard

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A lot of flight maneuvers and SOPs (standard operating procedures) were new to me on the Captain's seat. Like the rejected take off and the engine fire with evacuation on the ground.

Up to the speed of V1 (Decision speed), the captain decides with the call "STOP" to aboard the takeoff. After this speed, the takeoff has to be continued because with a higher ground speed the runway would not be long enough to brake the aircraft anymore.

In case of an engine fire on the ground, two checklists have to be read in a structured and coordinated way. In the end, it is the captain's decision to evacuate the aircraft or not.

One duty session lasts six hours in total. One hour briefing before, four hours flying and one-hour debriefing. The simulator was intense with all the emergencies and abnormals, but it was still a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it.

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QRH (Quick reference handbook) Engine Fire and Evacuation checklist

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Check flight and ATPL skill test

End of February I had my simulator check flight which was combined with an ATPL skill test. As a commander, you need the ATPL license (Airline Transport Pilot license). To hold this license you need a CPL (Commercial Pilot License) with ATPL theory credit and a minimum of 1500 flight hours.

During my check flight in the simulator, it was the first time that I flew with a First officer, who was new on the fleet. This was the first time I really could demonstrate my role as commander because the simulator sessions before were flown with a captain aspirant with a lot of experience.

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Simulator check passed

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What's next?

Waiting time is next. Currently, I am waiting on my new license the ATPL, which will be issued by the authority. Once I receive it I will continue flying, but then as Captain. Not yet with four stripes, since the training continues on board of the real aircraft. The first 25 sectors/flights will be under the supervision of line training captain, who is seated on the right.

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Special giveaway

Soon I do not need my three stripes anymore. That is why I will pass the epaulets on to one of my Aviators with a personal note. They accompanied me for a long time, but now it is time for them to follow someone else journey. Maybe you are becoming a pilot and need them or you just want them as a lucky charm.

To join the giveaway

  1. Like this post (heart symbol)
  2. Leave me a comment below this article mentioning #PPstripes and answer: What is in your opinion the most important characteristic of a captain?
  3. Watch the full YouTube video in this article
  4. Like the video and leave a comment mentioning #PPstripes

I will randomly choose a winner 24th of March 2019. Good luck!

Stay tuned for part three!

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Giving away my 3 stripes!

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Subscribe to my newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

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  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code “Takeoff”

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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how to become a captain

Moving to the left seat - Captain upgrade Part 1

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Dear Aviator,

happy new year to you! I wish you all the best and many happy landings in 2019. The new year started with amazing news for me. At the end of last year, I already informed you that I applied for a captain position on the A300. The application process took several months and ended successfully with an assessment in the simulator. In this blog post, I want to give you some background information and insights into the application process and how to become a captain.  

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

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How to become a captain?

To become a captain of a commercial jet does not happen from one to another day. It takes several years after finishing flight school before you will able to move to the left seat. Your flight experience plays the most important role, on the way, you also have to pass countless simulator checks, type ratings, skill tests.

Additionally you not only need to meet the legal requirements, but you also have to prove yourself within in the company. You need to have the right attitude and personality for this position.

Read my blog series how I became a pilot for more information about my career path!

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How long does it take to become a captain?

This depends on the airline and the individual. To become captain of a commercial aircraft, you must have logged at least 1,500 flight hours and hold a full Air Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL). However, in reality, most airlines require a minimum of 3,000 hours before considering any pilots for promotion. Before I left the Business Aviation I had around 2400 flight hours and my previous employer already considered promoting me on a private jet. With the age of 27, this sounded pretty compelling, but I was looking for a different occupational challenge.

Requirements

When I joined my current employer two years ago, I have never thought that I will be promoted that quickly. At the moment of the job advertisement, I  met exactly the requirements for the upgrade, (only a few flight hours were missing, which I have by now) In my mind I always had the goal to become a captain with the age of 30. When I switched airlines I thought this will not be possible anymore, but it seems like that I am mistaken.

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Job advertisement of the airline

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Application Form

Like applying for a new job at a different company, I had to apply internally to the position of the commander. At first, I had to check if I meet all the requirements. The next step was to fill out the application form in which I had to mention why I want this position and why I would be a suitable candidate. Find my answers below. Additionally, I had to list my current flight hours.

All applications of the first officers were reviewed by the company. Training captains and the management were interviewed if I would be a suitable candidate.

I received positive feedback so the first step in becoming a captain was passed. 

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Commander assessment

The next step was an assessment in a full flight simulator. During an hour flight in the simulator, I was given a scenario with different malfunctions. Two instructor captains, one seated in the back operating the simulator and one seated in the captain position did the assessment with me. The check was primarily not to assess my flying skills, moreover to observe my flight management skills and my decision-making process. The whole flight I was pilot flying (PF) from the right seat and the captain to the left supported me but did not help me to find any solutions.

I was pretty nervous and really excited, but also really happy that I have this great opportunity. Once in the simulator, I was rather relaxed and I was looking forward to proving my skills and knowledge.

Additionally, I was asked a few questions to the operational procedure and technical aspects of the airplane. I went back home without any result and mixed feelings. The good news arrived in the new year!

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What will change?

I will still fly the airplane as before, but from the left seat with four stripes. As a commander, I will be responsible for the safe operation and the safety for all crew members, passengers and cargo on board as soon I arrive on board until I leave the aircraft at the end of the flight. So even when my colleague messes up something I will be the one who will be blamed for it. Flying means teamwork and finding solutions together, but in the end, it is the captain who orders and makes the final decision.

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Next steps

Passing the application process and the assessment in the simulator does not mean that I will start my next duty as a captain. The tough part lays now ahead of me. The upgrade course will start in a few weeks and will comprise a ground school, simulator sessions, the line training, and several checks. I will keep you updated!

Please cross your fingers that everything will fly smoothly.

 

Subscribe to my newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

3 easy steps to subscribe:

  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code “Takeoff”

Safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME:

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most followed pilot blogger

Seasonal greetings, recap of 2018 and my outlook for 2019

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Anzeige

Dear Aviator,

many seasonal greetings from your PilotPatrick. I wish you a joyful holiday season and a happy new year! I hope you can enjoy the time with your beloved ones. This year I am lucky and I can spend Christmas with my family. My seasonal greetings blog post has become a small tradition over the past years. As always I will recap 2018 and give you an outlook for 2019. 

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"The bad news times flies, the good news you are the pilot"

2018 what a year, but it flew by just too quickly. It was exciting, thrilling and intense. My occupational career and my social media kept me always busy. Maybe sometimes too busy, that I did not have enough time for friends, family and most important for myself. The year had its ups and downs, but in the end, 2018 was a very successful year.

Maybe soon as Captain

I am still flying the old lady, the A300. I applied as Captain this year, my application was accepted and I had the chance to attend an assessment in the simulator for the upgrade.  Besides my first long-range flight of six hours from Milan to Bahrain, the Captain upgrade is the biggest highlight of my aviation career this year. I am excited to take you on this exciting journey with me. Most possibly I will launch a blog series about my way to the left side.

The growing Aviator family

I am still really satisfied with my current job and it was the absolute right decision to switch airlines two years ago. One reason is that I have enough time for my second passion: my social media channels! It is still a lot of work and it does not get less, it only gets more :-) Especially now with my YouTube channel, which I launched this year. But all the effort and time I am investing pays off. All channels combined my Aviator family counts now over 550.000!!! It means the world to me that I am able to share with you my pilot life and give you insights you would normally never get. It is both for you entraining and informative. The money I make with collaborations plays only a little role for me. Yet it is still mandatory to finance my channels. I am more proud and grateful for everything I can experiencing through my blogging.

Check out my Christmas Video on my YouTube, in which I am talking more about my upgrade, my projects, the collaborations and I am explaining why everything is now labeled with Anzeige.

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Meeting you

Back in 2017 I managed to meet you in different cities around the world. Berlin, Los Angeles, Barcelona, Munich and Frankfurt. I hoped that I will be able to do more events in 2018, but unfortunately I only managed to do two Meet and Greets. One in Berlin and one in Tel Aviv. The one in Berlin was a very exciting one since we meet in a wind tunnel to go flying/skydiving. Additionally, a camera team joined me on that day to shoot a documentary about my blogger life. It is always a great pleasure getting to know you in person and to have a chat.

The next event I am planning is a 500k Instagram party. So far I only know that I would like to celebrate this. Stay tuned on my Facebook event section, so you will not miss it.

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Meet and Greet at Windobona

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My projects for 2019

My biggest goal for 2019 is to become a Captain. The upgrade training will be tough and will require a lot of studying. As I always stated clearly, my profession and flying have always the priority. With good time management, I try to keep everything at a high level, but sometimes I need to slow down my activity online. I count on your understanding!

Never the less I set out the following projects:

  • My Aviator bracelet: Currently sold out, but I am working on a new design for 2019. With my profits, I want to support one individual in the process of becoming a pilot. It would be fantastic to be able to pay for the entire flight training. More information here.
  • The PilotPatrick collection: I want to design more than just an Aviator bracelet. Any thoughts and wishes?! Let me know in a comment.
  • The PilotPatrick book. I do not want to reveal too much on this project, but I want to write a book

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Most liked Instagram post

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpe3qJgDw66/

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My personal goals

Both my passions consume a lot of time and time is one of the few things you cannot buy. In 2019 I have to take more care of myself. I want to do more sports and I want to have more time not for myself, but also for my people around me! My YouTube team is already a great help, but also the photographers I am working with. Thanks for your great support! In 2019 I need to optimize processes and may get some extra support. Maybe you want to be my assistant? ;-)

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Whats app newsletter

Recently I launched my Whatsapp newsletter.

Please subscribe to the newsletter, if you want to receive a message from me when I posted a new blog, video or event!

3 easy steps to subscribe:

  • Add me as contact: +49 152 52651846
  • Open your Whatsapp
  • Send me the code "Takeoff"

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Most viewed YouTube video

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Thanks my Aviator

Thanks, my Aviator, for being so engaging. I appreciate every like, comment and all your advice. It makes me really happy to hear that I am an inspiration for some of you. You are also my inspiration for my stories, photos and my content on this blog. You are like a jet engine which propels me to goals, which I would never have imagined to achieve. Like me, you are probably noticing hate and bad vibes on a daily basis offline and online. But why? Life is already tough and each of us has problems and struggles, so be more kind to each other and spread good vibes!

Merry Christmas and happy landings in 2019!

Your PilotPatrick

FOLLOW ME: 

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vacation on mauritius

The vacation in paradise I always dreamed of?

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Collaboration /Advertisement

Hello my Aviator,

if I had to choose I would always decide on a summer vacation. I love the warm weather, the sun, the beach and everything that goes with it. Especially when I am able to escape the cold season at home in Berlin. This year I decided on Mauritius. This destination was always on my bucket list. Did it meet my expectations and was it really the paradise I always wanted to visit?

This blog post is supported by skincare of Eucerin.

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The PilotPatrick flat white with almond milk

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My Ocean villa

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Why Mauritius?

The name Mauritius itself suggest long sandy beaches, palm trees, and crystal clear sea. From what I have heard and seen it must be a paradise on earth. Honestly, I am not able to recall how it got onto my exclusive bucket list of destinations. When I started to plan my vacation in September I still did not know where to go. But once Emirates offered me to fly in their Business Class my decision was made rather quickly. One important point was that both flights from Frankfurt via Dubai to Mauritius were on board the A380 and November you can expect good weather (as long no cyclones visit Mauritius) Check out my YouTube video about my first time flying the A380 and Emirates.

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Skincare on my travels

During the winter season in Germany, I try to escape the cold season of the year at least once. So I packed Eucerin Sun protection for the sunny weather on Mauritius. It is not only vital to protecting the skin from the sunlight, but skincare is important throughout the year. Every day I can read new comments saying that I am perfect, but I can say my skin is not ;-) You might be facing the same problems as me. Sometimes it is a turbulent flight with the skin and once in a while, you have to use the right products to get it under control again. Eucerin offers a wide range of skincare for your special needs.

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The Pilot Essentials of Eucerin

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Bedroom of the Ocean villa

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DermoPure face fluid

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My daily routine

Clean my face: Eucerin DermoPure Cleansing Gel cleanses to remove dirt, make-up, and any excess sebum. The gel eliminates skin bacteria and prevents bacterial growth. I use it in the morning and before going to bed.

Shower: The pH5 shower gel of Eucerin which is made for people who shower frequently. It protects your skin from drying out. Especially during work, I shower a lot, that's why I carry a small travel edition with me.

Day cream: I differentiate between if I am exposed to strong sunlight or not. If yes I use Hyaluron Filler with SPF30. If not I use the DermoPure face fluid which has a matting effect and it also helps to control blemished skin. I can easily have a shiny fatty-face appearance, so it is ideal for me.

Hands and lips: Especially during the cold season and to fight the dry air on board of aircraft, I have always a hand lotion and a lip balm with me.

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The pH5 shower gel for frequent showers

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Hyaluron Filler with sun protection

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Brief facts about Mauritius

Mauritius officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. The main Island of Mauritius is located about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) off the southeast coast of the African continent The island of Mauritius is relatively young geologically, having been created by volcanic activity some 8 million years ago. The capital and largest city Port Louis is located on the main island of Mauritius. It inhibits around 1,2 million people.

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I was excited to go on a snorkeling trip but then ...

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Not the visibility underwater I expected (ocean in front of Grand Gaube)

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The paradise I have dreamed of?

As a blogger, it is my responsibility to share with you my personal opinion. This includes mentioning aspects that I did not enjoy or like as well. Like on previous blog posts, for example, the one about my dream job. I have not only listed the great advantages of my job, but I also mentioned the downsides which come with it.

I stayed for one week on Mauritius close to Grand Gaube, which is in the northern part of the island. As I found out the concentrations of attractions and activities is a lot higher in the southern part then up north. This was not too severe since I wanted to enjoy a rather relaxed vacation at the beach, with good food and hot weather.

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Why my disappointment?

But in the end, I was rather disappointed. Not of Mauritius itself. Do not get me wrong: it is paradise on earth! The people are all super friendly and their hospitality is one of the best one I have ever experienced. Never the less I felt like I was in a tourist trap. I do not mind to spend a little fortune for a vacation, but the cost-benefit has to be aligned. For a 5 star hotel in a junior suite with half-board, I spend over 700€ a night (regular price was around 1000€) I have never spend so much money on accommodation. Despite all the luxury amenities, it was not worth the extremely high price. I expected a lot more.

Additionally, all extras in the hotel were, in general, more expensive outside of the hotel and more expensive than in Germany. During my stay, I had to find out about the salary of the staff. I was literally shocked. Their daily salary is even less than the price for a burger in the hotel. They put in all the hard work to make it an unforgettable for the guests and they do not get rewarded accordingly. That's why I think the price is even more over the top.

Since it was my vacation, my precious off time, I made the best out of it: I wrapped up the positive sides in a video on my YouTube channel

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My recommendation

My opinion should not stop you from visiting Mauritius. Next time I would plan my stay more wisely. Get a rental car and stay at different spots on the island. Maybe a serviced apartment or a vacation rental of a villa could be a more affordable option. With a car, you can be more flexible and you have the chance to discover and see more of the island. That way you do not have to rely on expansive hotel prices of tours and activities.

Good planning is the key to a successful and satisfying vacation. 

Where will you spend your next vacation? Leave me a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email!

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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A380 emirtes business class

First time flying on board of the A380

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Advertisement / Cooperation

Hello my Aviator,

welcome on board of my first flight with an Airbus A380, the king of the skies. Yes, I am being sincere. Even though I am traveling so much and I am an aviation lover, I have never had the chance to fly with the A380 so far. To make my first flight an experience, Emirates welcomed me on board their flagship for a flight to Mauritius. In fact, it was also my first flight with Emirates. In this blog, I am sharing those two premieres with you.  

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Finally! I was excited like a little boy to go on my first flight the king of the skies. During the aerospace exhibition in Berlin this year, the ILA, I already took a glance inside the A380 of Emirates, which was displayed on the apron. At this point, I thought I will take forever until I will take a flight on board of the biggest passenger airline. But in the end, it took only 6 months to find me drinking a champagne in Emirates Busines Class on the way to Mauritius.

Check out my Vlog about the ILA and do not forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel: PilotPatrick

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The king of the skies

I am flying the A300, which was the first model ever built by Airbus. Its first flight was in 1972. About 20 years later in June 1994, Airbus announced its plan to develop a very large airliner, designated as A3XX to be a competitor to the B747. In 2005 the A380 had its first flight. The A300 is already a huge aircraft with 54 m length, 45 m wingspan and a maximum take of weight of 170 tons. Compared to the A380 this is small and light. The length is 72 m, the wingspan 79 m and the maximum take-off with is 575 tons. Impressive figures!

More economical than a car: The A380 consumes only 4,05L fuel per 100km per passenger.

Passengers: it seats a maximum of 853 passengers (typical 575)

Biggest aircraft? No there is one more airplane called Antonov An-225, it is larger than A380.

Wiring: If all the wiring in the A380 is laid end to end, it will stretch from Edinburgh to London – 320 miles.

Paint: More than 3600 liters of paint is required to paint the exterior of the aircraft.

Runway: Only 20 runways in the world are now fully capable of handling A380 aircraft. Others are not long or wide enough or not technically equipped for A380.

Flight hours: The Airbus A380 is designed to fly for 140,000 hours – meaning it could fly around the world more than 2,000 times in its lifetime.

Orders: as of September 2018, Airbus had received 331 firm orders and delivered 230 aircraft; Emirates is the biggest A380 customer with 162 ordered of which 105 have been delivered.

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Upper deck rear section of the Business Class

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Emirates

Emirates was only founded in 1985. Today the Gulf carrier, based in Dubai operates 3,600 flights a week to 140 cities in 80 countries around the world. Emirates only uses two kinds of airplanes, the Airbus A380 as well as the Boeing 777. Itis is the worlds largest operator of both airplane types. In total Emirates flies 234 planes.

Here are some more interesting facts about Emirates

International crew:  Cabin Crew from over 150 different countries. you will find at least 12 different nationalities of cabin crew. In total Emirates has over 60,000 employees.

First Flight from Dubai to Karachi was in 1985 on a Boeing B727 for the Royal Family.

Longest Flight takes 17 hours and 25 minutes from Auckland, New Zealand to Dubai on an A380.

Dubai Airport is the 3rd busiest on Earth after Atlanta Jacksonville and Beijing Capital Airport. 58 million passengers fly with Emirates in a year. (Source)

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Business class seat in row 23

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Business Class of the A380

Upperdeck! Flying in Business Class is truly a privilege and a luxurious experience. The entire upper deck of the A380 comprises the Business Class and First Class. The layout of the Business Class offers all seats direct aisle access. Especially the direct window and the middle seats (more for couples) grant extra privacy and storage. On all three A380 flights, I chose a seat in the rear cabin at the window. The seat right behind the bulkhead (row 23)  is great since there is no other passenger right in front of you. I enjoyed a tasty menu of regionally inspired gourmet dishes and drinks from an endless beverage menu. A specialty on Mauritius you could choose coconut water as a welcome drink. The seat also seamlessly reclines into a fully flat bed with a soft, comfy mattress and a cozy blanket.

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fully lie-flat bed

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The "Fly better" experience starts already before the flight. Since there is no flight from Berlin (unfortunately) I had to drive to Frankfurt Airport to catch my connection from there. The Business Class ticket includes either a free First Class Deutsche Bahn round-trip ticket (Rail & Fly) or the Chauffeur-drive. At Frankfurt Airport I arrived extra early so I could visit the Airport Lounge of Emirates. A picture/video is worth 1000 words. So check out my Vlog about my first time flying A380 with Emirates.

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Highlights of the A380

It is already a highlight itself to fly with the A380. The aircraft is extremely quiet inside the cabin. I was impressed that I could not really hear the take-off thrust on departure.

An onboard lounge: Fancy having a cocktail at 36,000ft in an exclusive lounge where you can mingle with other passengers and enjoy delicious snacks between meals. On the flight to Mauritius, the cabin supervisor invited me to have lunch at the dining table in the lounge. It felt like I was flying on a private jet.

Let's have a shower: Normally only First Class passengers are allowed to use the Shower Spa, but the for me the purser made a great exception. He knew how much you love seeing me taking a shower. ;-)

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Onboard lounge

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Shower Spa for First Class passengers

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Stop over in Dubai

On the way to Mauritius, I decided to do a short stopover in Dubai. It was only for 30 hours, but enough time to go shopping, to have a tasty dinner and enjoy some glamours vibes of the city of superlatives. I totally can recommend doing a stopover but plan for a couple of days so you can experience more. I stayed in the Le Meridien Airport Hotel. It is only a 10 minutes drive from the airport and 15 minutes to the downtown area of Dubai. Check out my Dubai Vlog from my vacation in April, If you want to find out about activities you can do.

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Le Meridien Dubai Aiport Hotel

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Thanks to the flight crew of Emirates for making my first A380 experience remarkable. I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did.

Have you flown on board of an A380 before? Leave it in a comment below and subscribe to my newsletter with your email!

As always safe travels and happy landings!

Your PilotPatrick

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