Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Traumstadt Barcelona and meine Insider Tipps

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Hello my Aviator,

in August 2016 I moved my home base from Berlin to Barcelona. The original plan was to stay longer than three months, but then I received a new job offer which forced me to move back to Germany. Since then I did not get back to Barcelona until this summer. I was excited to return to my happy place for two weeks of vacation. I really missed the city because it feels like a second home. Unfortunately, the new network of the Airbus does not include Barcelona with an overnight. In this blog post, I will not only share with you my highlights of my vacation and give you some great insider tips, but also share my experiences during the cruel attack on Las Ramblas.

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Skyline of Barcelona from the air

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Happy place Barcelona and my insider tips

Barcelona is a great city to do sight seeing. Around every corner, you can discover something new. I recommend renting a scooter to do sight seeing but only when you feel comfortable driving in high traffic situations. Moto rent offers affordable prices. A scooter gives you so much freedom to go to different places in a minimum amount of time.

Since I did already a lot of sight seeing during my past stays, I did not do much this time.

What to do?

Bunkers el Carmel: A must visit if you want to enjoy one of the best views of Barcelona and the sea.  Turó del Carmel is a hill with a bunker on top. Best time is during sunset and sunrise. Take something to drink and don't think you will be alone ;-) The entrance is still free.

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Enjoying the view at Bunkers el Carmel

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Casa Batlló: Barcelona is the city of Gaudi. His architecture is world famous. One of the highlights is the Casa Batlló. I have walked by this townhouse many times before because it is centrally located on the Passeig de Gracia. If you like the outside of the building you should dare look inside. It is really impressive to discover the passion Gaudí has put into this building. I literally was overwhelmed by the beauty that I got glossy eyes. Each guest receives a smart phone as a tour guide and that way you can explore the building also in the virtual reality.

Insider tip: For most famous sights, you can buy tickets online. This way you can skip long lines at the entrance.

 

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Casa Battló on Passeig de Gracia

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Tour guide 2.0 = smart phone

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Boat trip: One of my highlights was a boat trip with Barcelona desde el Mar. I have seen Barcelona many times from the cockpit but to discover this amazing city from the sea was a unique experience. It gave me a whole new perspective of Barcelona. My little cruise lasted around 2 hours and I enjoyed a beautiful sunset from the sea.

Insider tip: Book the boat "Sa Nina" for yourself and take your friends with.

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My first boat trip in Barcelona / Instagram: @barcelonadesdeelmar

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Sunset cruise in Barcelona / photo by Andrés

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Where to sleep?

During my three months in Barcelona, I lived in a shared apartment in the historic Gotico. It was a great experience to live right in the center of this vibrant city. For this vacation, I stayed at several hotels in different parts of town.

I had the chance to spend part of my vacation in the Arts Hotel Barcelona. Its unique building characterizes the skyline of Barcelona and was first opened during the Olympics in 1992. It belongs to the luxurious hotel chain Ritz Carlton. As a pilot, I have slept in many 5 stars hotels around the world but the Arts Hotel is exceptional. Not only the temporary design but also the great team make the difference.

 

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Pool area of the Arts Hotel Barcelona 

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My executive suite was located on the 26th and offered me over 70 square meters of space and a fantastic view of the city and the beach. At night I could even see the Tibidabo mountain laying in my bed. The hotel itself is located right on the beach and just one kilometer from Barceloneta.

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One bedroom suite in the Arts Hotel Barcelona

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Luxury bathroom of my suite

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Over the weekend I almost did not leave the hotel, so I could enjoy all their facilities. The day typically started with a tasty breakfast. I spend some relaxing hours in a cabana at the pool and became a big fan of the Club Lounge on the 35th floor. This lounge is a bar, restaurant, cafe and relaxing area at the same time. It is like a hotel inside the hotel. It is more private since only few hotel guests have access to it.

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Check out in the club lounge

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Tasty breakfast on the patio of the Arts Hotel

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Do not miss out on the Spa 43, which offers luxury facilities paired magnificent view of Barcelona. Convince yourself in a 360 degrees video from the terrace in 150 meters height. For the first time, it took my VIRB360 of Garmin on a journey.  This compact camera takes your photos and videos to whole new level. Besides a brilliant resolution up to 5.7k/30fps, it shoots in 360 degrees. The viewer can decide himself where he wants to look at and you can even share videos in real time with the VIRB360. Check out my first 360 degrees photo from the cockpit on my facebook page. From now on you have the chance to fly with me in 360 degrees.

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https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1524204674311790/?type=2&theater

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Insider tip: Get a cocktail prepared by Diego. I was lucky to taste some of his creations. He is the funniest and coolest bar tender.

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Best barkeeper in town / Diego Instagram @dondiegobcn 

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If you are interested to stay in Eixample I can recommend the Ohla Eixample hotel. It is a five-star hotel with a minimalistic design and a roof top pool. I stayed in a spacious junior suite. The location grants you close proximity to all kind of different attractions, bars, and restaurants.

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Junior suite of the Ohla Eixample hotel

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Roof top pool in Eixample

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Which season is best to visit Barcelona?

Barcelona is great all year around. If you want to enjoy hot weather at the beach then you need to visit during the summer months. But if you come to do sight seeing and to discover the city, then I recommend avoiding the high season. That way touristic places are less crowded and waiting times are less. Additionally you do not have to walk through the city in extreme heat.

Insider tip: Visist Barcelona in the spring or late summer. My favorite months was October. Of course the weather is not that stable, but the city is less crowded and you have the chance to go wave surfing. Additionally the prices for a hotel room are less expansive compared to the summer.

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Magic fountain show

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Where to eat?

Barcelona offers diverse dining options. There is much more than tapas. Catalans eat late. Either be early or make a reservation. Here are my all time favorite places to go:

Väcka: Vegan restaurant and Cafe. Try their vegan classic burger and have a raw treat. Gracia

Teresa’s Carles: Vegetarian food and juices (only indoor/more for dinner) El Raval

Flax and Kale: Healthy restaurant offering a diverse menu (all day) Make a reservation and request a table on their outdoor rooftop garden. Don't miss the brunch on the weekend. El Raval

Surf House: Restaurant right by the beach. The menu offers healthy food but also tasty burger for a cheat day. Try their waffles! Barceloneta

Vinitus: In my opinion one of the best tapas restaurant in Barcelona. After 8 pm it gets really busy. You can choose your fresh fish from the display at the bar. Eixample

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Weekend brunch at the Flax and Kale

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Vegetarian restaurant Barcelona / Teresa's Carles

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Petit Brot: completely raw café, daily menus, and juices (breakfast and lunch) El Raval

Casa Gispert: Dried fruits, nuts and so much more. Best dried mangos I ever had. El Born

BeBo cold pressed: Tasty healthy juices, raw snacks (more for to go) Eixample

Barraca: seafood and paella overlooking the beach of Barceloneta (lunch and dinner)

Cafè Jaime Beriestain: high-class food in a concept restaurant (more for dinner) Eixample

Nubafancy restaurant with live DJ, nice interior and outside seating (more for dinner

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona

After a Meet and Greet in Berlin, Munich and Los Angeles, I was excited to meet my Aviators in Barcelona. One day prior my scheduled event the cruel attack happened on Las Ramblas killing innocent victims. I was at the sight just a couple of hours earlier and when it happened I was safe at the beach. The whole city was shocked and frightened that day. In the evening everyone stayed at home and Barcelona turned into a ghost town. But already the next day people were on the street again to make clear that they are not afraid "No tinc por!" This was a great signal to the world and to the terroristic organization. I decided as well not to cancel the Meet and Greet, because this would have been the signal that we restrict our freedom.

Thanks to all my Aviators who came to see me. I was really happy to get to know over 20 people. We met for one hour at Placa Catalunya to have a chat, take photos and to show that we are not afraid. Together we can create a more peaceful world!

 

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Meet and Greet in Barcelona with my Aviators

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Fantastic weather, interesting sights, cultural events, the beach and of course friendly people make Barcelona a perfect vacation spot. You can choose from a great variety of restaurants and hotels. The prices for food are decent, but the hotel prices can be expensive during high season. My dream is still to live in my two favorite cities Berlin and Barcelona!

 

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Enjoying the beach of Barcelona

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In which city could you imagine to live as well? Please comment below and do not forget to subscribe to my newsletter with your email below.

Safe travels and happy landings!

your Pilot Patrick 

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my first time flying in first class

Mein erster Flug in der ersten Klasse

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Im vergangenen Mai habe ich über zwei Wochen Urlaub in Kalifornien verbracht. Auf den Weg nach San Francisco bin ich in der ersten Klasse von Lufthansa geflogen. Ich freue mich mit Dir dieses tolle Erlebnis teilen zu dürfen. Mein Traum war es in der ersten Klasse zu fliegen bevor ich mein dreißigstes Lebensjahr vollendet habe. Ich bin überglücklich dieses Ziel erreicht zu haben. Erfahre in diesem Artikel wie Du auch erste Klasse fliegen kannst ohne dafür ein Vermögen ausgeben zu müssen. Am Ende dieses Artikels verlose ich etwas schönes und nutzliches aus der ersten Klasse.

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Zeitlos elegantes Design und hochwertige Materalien

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Mein letzter Langstreckenflug mit Lufthansa ging 2016 in das wunscherschöne Kapstadt. Auf diesem Flug bin ich in der ersten Reihe der Business Class gereist. Auf dem Flug stellte ich mir die Frage, wie es wohl sein mag in der First Class zu fliegen, da die Business Class schon sehr luxuriös ist. An dieser Stelle hätte ich niemals gedacht, dass schon ein Jahr später ganz vorne in der First Class sitzen würde.

Die ersten sieben Jahre meiner Luftfahrtkarriere habe ich als Kopilot bei einem Privat Jet Unternehmen gearbeitet. In dieser Zeit durfte ich den wohl exklusivsten Flugdienst kennenlernen. Deshalb war ich gespannt die Unterschiede zwischen einem Privat Jet und der First Class als Passagier zu erfahren. Du kannst Dir sicherlich vorstellen wie gespannt ich war nach San Francisco zu fliegen.

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Lufthansa A340-600 MUC Terminal 2

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Lounge und Verbindung

Meine Reise begann schon luxuirös als mich der Limousine Service Blacklane mit einer Mercedes S-Klasse zu hause abgeholt hat. Diesen Service kann man in über 250 Städten weltweit buchen und kann ganz einfach über das Smartphone vorbestellt werden. Also ideal für ein Flughafentransfer. Die Kosten für diese Fahrt sind in Berlin nur unwesentlich teurer als mit einem reguläreren Taxi. Bei Blacklane hat man jedoch die Gewissheit, dass das Fahrzeug sauber und die Fahrer freundlich sind.

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Blacklane chauffeur Service zum Flughafen Berlin Tegel

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Meine Flugverbindung

04.05.17 TXL - MUC LH2037 13:00 - 14:05 Airbus A321 BUSINESS

04.05.17 MUC - SFO LH458 16:10 - 19:05 Airbus A340-600 FIRST

Lounge

Während meines kurzen Aufenthalts in München habe ich das erste Mal eine erste Klasse Lounge besucht. Diese befand sich im neuen Terminal 2 Satellitengebäude. Ich war total begeistert, da sie alle Privat Jet Loungen, die ich kennengelernt habe, um weiten übertroffen hat. Neben einer großen Auswahl an Speisen am Buffet, konnte man auch saisonal Gerichte von der Karte bestellen. Während des Aufenthaltes kann man die Flugbewegungen auf dem Vorfeld gemütlich von Innen und von einer Außenterrasse beobachten. Die verschiedensten Einrichtungen, wie Duschen und Büroräumlichkeiten werden einem anspruchsvollen Passagier zu Verfügung gestellt. Leider konnte ich nicht länger als 1,5 Stunden dort verweilen. Daher mein Tipp: Versuche Deine Verbindung so zu buchen, dass du mindestens 2 Stunden Zeit in der Lounge hast um alles genießen zu können.

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Sitz und Flugzeug

Meine Platznummer war die 1A an Board einer A340-600. Dieser befindet sich am Fenster und hat auch gleichzeitig direkten Zugang zum Gang. Ich konnte es kaum glauben, dass man so viel Platz und Stauraum hat. Hinzu kam, dass ich vier ganze Fenster für mich alleine hatte. Als erstes musste ich mit den ganzen Einstellungsmöglichkeiten meines kleinen Wohnzimmers über den Wolken rumgespielen.

Die Kabine besteht nur aus acht erste Klasse Sitzplätzen. Dadurch ist der vordere Teil des Flugzeuges sehr ruhig und entspannt. Nach meinem Abendessen habe ich die nette Flugbegleitung gefragt, ob sie mir den "Turndown Service" für mein Sitz vornehmen kann. Währenddessen bin ich mit meinem Pyjama durch die ganze Maschine gelaufen. Die A340-600 war mal das längste Flugzeug der Welt. Ich sah in meinem Altherren Outfit bestimmt lustig aus. Ich musste feststellen, dass die Economy Klasse noch enger aussieht. Gerne hätte ich die noch die freien erste Klasse Sitze an anderen Passagiere verteilt.

Als ich zurück zu meinem Sitz kam, fand ich ein zwei Meter langes flaches Bett vor. Eine extra Matratze machte das Liegen noch komfortabler. Ein richtiges Kopfkissen und Decke, wie in einem 5 Sterne Hotel, machten das Bett richtig gemütlich.

 

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Sitz 1A mit  Jil Sander Amenity Kit und Van Laack Schlafanzug

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Mein 2 Meter langes Bett über den Wolken

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Service und Catering

Der Service war wirklich überragend und wird an die eigenen Wünsche angepasst. Ich konnte entscheiden zu welchem Zeitpunkt ich esse. Ich genoss das komplette Menu inklusive dem bekannten Kaviar Service von Lufthansa. Falls man zwischendurch mal hungrig werden sollte, kann man man jederzeit etwas von der Speisekarte bestellen oder sich selbst an der kleinen Bar bedienen. Die Speisen haben gut geschmeckt und waren sehr schön dekoriert.

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Der bekannte Kaviar Service von Lufthansa

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Drei verschieden Vorspeisen auf meinem riesigen Tisch

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Lohnt es sich erste Klasse zufliegen?

Das hängt ganz von Deinen persönlichen Bedürfnissen ab. Falls Du den extra Platz und den exklusiveren Service gegenüber der Business Class brauchst, dann solltest Du Dir ein erste Klasse Ticket buchen. Ein wesentlicher Vorteil ist das große Bett, die Sichtblende und die ruhige Kabine. Am Ende kommt man dadurch jedoch auch nicht schneller an sein Ziel. Der Preis für meine Strecke wäre um die 3.000€ gewesen. Das passt nicht jedermann ins Reisebudget. Wenn man das jedoch mit einem Privatjet Flug, der mal gerne 60,000€ eine Strecke kosten kann, vergleicht, ist der Service auf jeden Fall sein Preis wert. Wenn man sich etwas spezielles gönnen möchte, dann am besten zu zweit zu einem besonderen Anlass erste Klasse reisen.

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  • Mein ultra komfortabeler Sitz mit einem verstellbaren Ottman

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Wie kannst Du auch erste Klasse fliegen?!

Du möchtest nicht mehr Economy auf Deinem nächsten Flug reisen ohne ein Vermögen ausgeben zu müssen? Dann registriere Dich bei einem Bonusprogramm bei der Airline oder Allianz mit der Du am häufigsten fliegst und fange an Meilen zu sammeln. Ich reise vornehmlich mit Fluggesellschaften aus der Star Alliance und bin seit Jahren ein Miles and More Mitglied. Da ich sowohl für mein Arbeitgeber und als auch privat sehr viel fliege, habe ich bereits einen höheren Status erreicht. Dieser ermöglicht mir zum Beispiel Zugang zur Business Lounge. Wenn Du geduldig bist dann sammele Meilen auf verschiedenste Weise. Mit dem Miles and More Programm musst Du nicht mal fliegen um Meilen zu sammeln. Du kannst sie z.B. beim bezahlen mit Deiner Kreditkarte erhalten. Prüfe regelmäßig deren Website, um neue Wege herauszufinden wie man Meilen kann und schon bald fliegst auch Du in der ersten Klasse.

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Anflug auf San Francisco

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Annehmlichkeiten and meine Empfehlungen

Die Liste der Annehmlichkeiten is fast endlos. Hier sind meine Favoriten.

  • First Class lounge mit Restaurant
  • Hohes Freigepäck
  • Bevorzugtes Einsteigen
  • Große Auswahl an Speisen und Getränken
  • Amenity Kit, Pyjama and Hausschuhe
  • Turndown Service
  • In-flight Unterhaltungssystem
  • Extra Schallisolierung
  • große Sichtblende
  • Wifi (bei mir hat der Service nicht funktioniert)

Meine Empfehlung beim erste Klasse fliegen: 

  • Buche ein Platz am Fenster
  • Versuche mit der A380 zu fliegen (bei LH: größere Waschräume und bessere Kabinen Belüftung)
  • Fliege mindesten 10 Stunden
  • Besuche die First Class lounge (mindesten 3 Stunden zwischen beiden Flügen)
  • Genieße das komplette Menu inklusive Kaviar
  • Frage nach den "turndown service"

 

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Gewinne mein unbenutztes amenity kit

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Es war wirklich ein erste Klasse Erlebnis. Obwohl ich die 12 Stunden Flug nicht geschlafen habe, habe ich es nicht geschafft alles ausgiebig zu genießen. Ich liebe es auch als Passagier zu fliegen, aber die erste Klasse bleibt für mich der Platz im Cockpit. Man kommt an sein Ziel und man wird dafür sogar noch bezahlt.

First Class Gewinnspiel 

Ich verschenke mein unbenutztes First Class amenity kit von Jil Sander mit La Paraire Produkten, Schlafmaske, Socken, etc. Melde Dich für mein Blog Newsletter an und hinterlasse ein Kommentar mit deiner Lieblings Fluggesellschaft und Du hast die Chance zu gewinnen!

Viel Glück und happy landings!

dein Pilot Patrick

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