sky dive dubai

Skydive - Should You Dare To Jump Out Of An Airplane?

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Dear Aviators,

It is one of those experiences you have to do once in your lifetime. But it is also one of those things you need to have a lot of courage for. Most of all, you will need a lot of strength to overcome multiple fears to do it. I am talking about SKYDIVING! I already did it twice and I want you to dare to do it as well.

+ Full video of my jump in this blog post +

sky dive dubai
sky dive dubai

This time I don’t fly the plane

Normally I am sitting behind the controls of an airplane – to jump out of an airplane is not something I do everyday. You know that I am a thrill seeker and my last trip to Dubai satisfied my desire for adrenaline. It was one of my most thrilling vacations I ever had. But you don’t need to fly to Dubai to go skydiving. I am sure that a provider is close to your location as well. 2021 will be a difficult year to go traveling due to restrictions and quarantine regulations, so I think we will mostly concentrate on discovering our home country, trying new activities and spending a lot of time in nature.

Might interest you as well: The City Of Superlatives – The Most Thrilling Activities in Dubai

sky dive dubai

STAY CALM and JUMP OUT OF A PLANE!

Aren’t those moments we experience intense emotions, the moments we feel most alive?! The emotions I felt during the moment I jumped out of the plane, the free fall through the air followed by the flight with the parachute blew my mind. It ranged from adrenaline rushes and excitement to nervousness and anxiety. Especially those feelings which make you worry and automatically ask  “what if” questions come into your mind and prevent us from trying out new things especially when it involves something which looks frightening at first.

the moment the airplane door opened at 12,000 ft I questioned myself what I was doing here.

Those what if questions?!

I was really looking forward to skydiving, but the moment the airplane door opened at 12,000 ft I questioned myself “what I was doing here. Am I that stupid?” The good thing is you don’t have any option other than to jump. I said to myself – in case I die it will be rather quick and it was during something I love to do: flying! The moment we left the plane all my worries were left behind in the airplane. I just felt pure joy!  After touching down I was sad that the last 4 minutes passed by so quickly and I wanted to jump again straight away.

How dangerous is it really? 

Of course nothing is 100% risk free in life. You need to trust in your professional tandem jumper and the equipment. You must follow the guidelines and listen carefully during the safety briefing to make the jump as safe as possible but in the end you need to trust the provider, the safety procedures, the professional tandem jumper and the equipment. If this does not calm you in any way, then the following numbers might.

The average probability to have an accident during skydiving is 0,026%. To die from it lies at 0,0013%. But this in perspective. The probability to die on a ride with a car is about 0,01%. This means the journey by car to the skydive experience is much more deadly than the jump itself.

The experience has a price tag

The price for a tandem jump highly depends on the location, the jump elevation and the provider. 

The first time I did skydiving was in South Africa in 2018. One of the most iconic skydiving locations is over The Palm in Dubai. The price is three times higher (approx. 340 €) than the  jump in Cape Town but the jump elevation was a lot higher and the view a lot more spectacular. The jump is priceless and the memories will last a lifetime! 

sky dive dubai
sky dive dubai

Are you ready now for your first jump or have you done skydiving before? Let me know in a comment below and don’t forget to like the blog post. Happy landings and jumps! Happy landing!

Your PilotPatrick


emirates business class review pandemic

Emirates Business Class Review Pandemic Edition

Anzeige/Cooperation

Dear Aviator,

In times of this pandemic, does it make sense to fly in Business Class? Pre-Covid, flying in Emirates Business Class was a truly luxurious experience with a world class service and lots of amenities for their valued guests. How is the experience now on board, with a pandemic taking place? Which drawbacks can you expect? I will share my personal flight experience with Emirates and let you know about benefits which are now more important than ever. Welcome on board my Emirates Business Class Review Pandemic Edition. 

emirates business class review pandemic

Photography by Manu (Professional photographer & plane spotter)

Pack Your Stuff and Escape

Don‘t you have the desire to pack your suitcase and fly far away to have a timeout from lockdowns and coronas restrictions? In November, I spent an amazing vacation in Dubai – the city of superlatives – where I could enjoy almost a “normal“ life.

MAY INTEREST YOU: “Dubai is open – the most thrilling activties in the city of superlatives

I flew with Emirates in their Business Class from Frankfurt to Dubai. Pre COVID flying Business Class was a luxury experience with a world class service and amenities.

 

Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an

 

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Patrick Biedenkapp | Captain (@pilotpatrick)

Stay Safe On Board

The pandemic has not affected my trust in flying with airlines, nor have I felt uneasy or not safe while on board. Airlines and airport operators have implemented lots of measurements and guidelines to make traveling as safe as possible these days. 

MAY INTEREST YOU:How risky is flying during a pandemic?

I tried to be very respectful to other passengers and crew members in terms of keeping social distancing.  But of course, to keep 2 or 1,5 meters social distancing on board is, at times, very difficult. Be respectful as well and follow the guidelines.

emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic

Emirates Corona Precautions:

  • Travel hygiene kit (with masks, gloves, disinfection wipes and hand sanitizer)
  • Crew wears a protective uniform (gloves, masks and face shield)
  • Crew interaction is reduced by a different service concept

emirates business class review pandemic

Advantages of Flying Business During a Pandemic

More than ever the Business class can score with its amenities:

  • More space and separation to other passengers.
  • Less people sharing the same lavatories.
  • Less people passing through the aisles.
  • Smaller crowds of people during embarking and disembarking.
  • Cabin crew interacts with fewer passengers.
  • Separate and smaller cabins with fewer passengers.

emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic

My Recommendations On Board

To stay healthy during the flight:

  • The longer the fight, the higher chance of being infected.
  • Avoid walking through the cabin.
  • Wait some time before using the lavatory after a fellow passenger.
  • Take a seat at the window and if possible, avoid sitting next to another passenger.
  • Wear a mask. Preferably a FFP2 standard. 
  • Direct the airflow of the vents onto your lap.
  • Reduce interaction with the crew to a minimum (e.g. order several drinks at the same time).
  • Delay your boarding in case passengers of economy have to board through Business class.

emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic

Is it Still Worth Flying in Business Class?

You will still have a spacious seat/a full bed, to get some rest.  The service is still excellent, and the crew is still extremely courteous and friendly. Overall, it is still a luxury experience despite the fact that the mask can become quite annoying after some time. In my case the lounge in Frankfurt was closed due to Corona. The Emirates lounge in DXB was open. However the service war reduced offering pre packed food only. Always check for updates for your flight.

emirates business class review pandemic
emirates business class review pandemic

News News News

Emirates have just revealed its brand new Premium Economy – which is a unique cabin class between Business and Economy. You can enjoy more comfort through more space and a quieter smaller cabin on board the A380. It is considered an affordable product for those who do not want to purchase a Business Class ticket.  On a day flight it is a great option. On a night flight, I would definitely prefer the Business Class Seat since you can convert it to a fully flat bed. Emirates will launch its new product on the London to Dubai route.

emirates business class review pandemic

FAZIT

More than ever the amenities of flying in a spacious Business class seat can be enjoyed. That is why I think that it still makes sense and it is worth it. Especially, in terms of increasing the chances to stay healthy on your journey.

How do you feel about flying at the moment? Please leave me a comment below and do not forget to like this blog post: Emirates Business Class Review Pandemic Edition. 

Safe and healthy travels.

Happy landing!

Your PilotPatrick


how risky is flying

How risky is flying during a pandemic? How to make it safer!

Dear Aviator,

I noticed that a lot of people are scared to travel during the pandemic. Especially on board an airplane in which social distancing is not possible, people are fearing infection by the coronavirus. Are these worries justified? 

In this blog post I will inform you how risky flying is during the pandemic. How high are the chances of getting the virus and which safety measures make it safer.

how risky is flying

Photography by Manu (Professional photographer & plane spotter)

How risky is flying during the pandemic?

What do you think is more dangerous? – going to the supermarket or flying on an airplane? Spoiler, it is the first!

The chances of getting the coronavirus on an airplane are existent but very minimal.  If this is the case why do people fear to fly at the moment. Let me give you an analogy. You probably recall that a lot of people were, even before the pandemic, afraid to fly in fear of an accident. The chances of having a fatal accident traveling by plane are so little. 1 in 29 Million. By bicycle it is 1 in 340,000. 85 times higher. Yet, I know so many people who are afraid to fly but I don’t know anyone who is afraid to ride the bike (except for me).

Blog post: Tips against the fear of flying

It is identical to current times. People jump easily to the conclusion that air travel must be unsafe because that thought-process has already been made in our brain before. We irrationally associate it with risk, even though an airplane is the one of the safest indoor environments.

how risky is flying
how risky is flying

Airlines do the best they can

Airlines do their best to make flying even safer. Cabin attendants are wearing special protective uniforms. Emirates provides a hygiene travel kit with masks, gloves and hand sanitizer for every passenger. Social distancing procedures are in force during boarding and disembarking (some airlines free up the middle seat) Airlines use enhanced cleaning procedures.  

When it comes to infectious disease, airplanes have an excellent safety record because the air people breathe while flying is some of the most filtered air in travel, according to Joseph Allen, who directs the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

how risky is flying

Cabins: The safest indoor environment

The air in (many) planes is a 50/50 mix of outdoor air and recirculated air. The outdoor air is bled off the engine, conditioned and delivered into the cabin. The other 50% is recirculated air that goes through HEPA filters.

All major commercial jets have ventilation systems with high-quality HEPA filters capable of removing 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other airborne particles with a size as small as 0.3 microns. For comparison, Covid-19 is thought to be between 0.06 to 1.4 microns.

Additionally, authorities have installed body temperature checkpoints at airports and implemented social distancing measurements. To numerous destinations you need a negative PCR-test prior departure which reduces the chance that a passenger infected with Covid-19 being allowed to board. (source: CNN)

how risky is flying
how risky is flying

Tips to lessen the risk

  • Wear the right mask at all times. Make sure it covers mouth AND nose.
  • Reduce the usage of the lavatory. Wait some time after another passenger used it.
  • Disinfect surfaces around your seat you may touch during the flight.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes with your fingers.
  • Spread out in the cabin to create more space between fellow passengers.
  • Think about the full travel experiences and not solely about the flight itself.
  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it regularly especially after using the lavatory.
  • The shorter the flight the less the risk of getting infected.

how risky is flying

The risks of getting infected are higher in security queues or on the way to the airport in the public transportation or when visiting the supermarket before the flight to get some snacks. So think about the full travel experience and not only about the flight itself. 

It is not about confining yourself and stopping doing things you enjoy but to use your capable mind to do research on the information that is just a google search away. Make the best decision for yourself, your mental health and others.

I hope you you find my article: “How risky is flying during the pandemic?” informative. Don’t forget to to like the post post and share it with users. 

Stay safe and healthy travels

Your PilotPatrick


corona vacation

What is it like to spend a vacation in Croatia in the times of Corona?

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Dear Aviators,
to be honest I was a bit worried to go traveling again after we had the lockdown in Germany and borders were closed. Numerous questions came to my mind when I thought about my first vacation in times of Corona. Is it really safe? Does it even make sense? Will the restrictions impair my vacation? What are the safety measurements in a foreign country? You might have the same mixed feelings when you think about your next trip. In this blog post / report I will share with you my impressions during my latest trip to Croatia.

Dubrovnik Airport

Coastline of Dubrovnik

Old Town of Dubrovnik

Traveling by airplane

I was curious to find out how air travel will be during a pandemic. I got a little glimpse of it when I flew on my way back from Australia via China to Germany in the beginning of February. Passengers started to wear masks and the service on board was tremendously reduced. (full video here on YouTube) Now a face mask is mandatory during the flight and there is almost no food and drink service. Direct flights are also reduced from Berlin due to Corona. So to get to Dubrovnik (DBV) I had to fly from Vienna (VIE) with Austrian Airlines.

It was great to observe that Corona has not only negative aspects. Flying has never been so easy going: No major crowds at the airport, quick security checks, no pushing of other passengers. Instead smaller and clean airplanes, respectful passengers, no panic while disembarking and everyone is trying to keep distance from others. Some measurements seem awkward but it is great to see everyone is obeying them.

Staying at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik organized by Turkfluencer

Direct Ocean front

What to expect at the hotel?

Last time I flew to Dubrovnik I was still a flight student back in 2008. So I was thrilled to come back to re-explore the region. I stayed in the Rixos Premium Hotel Dubrovnik, which is situated at the waterfront not far from the famous old town. Waking up in the morning overlooking the calm Adrian Sea and having a coffee on the terrace lets you forget about all the terrible things happening in the world right now.

Covid-19 measurements in the hotel

The hotel staff wore masks. There are plenty of stations to disinfect your hands. At the buffet restaurant you were required to wear a face mask and gloves but besides that you did not have to.

I really enjoyed that all facilities of the hotel, like the outdoor pool, indoor pool, sauna, bars and all the food outlets were completely open. The Rixos hotel really spoiled me with their Turkish hospitality. I enjoyed a dinner show at Umi Teppanyaki, Dry aged meat at the Turquoise restaurant and a romantic dinner in their open air fish restaurant  by the sea.

Are restaurants open?

Most of the restaurants in the city were open even with a fewer number of tourists which normally would visit during the summer. Make sure to visit restaurants outside of your hotel as well. 80% of the people are dependent on tourism in Croatia. To go outside for dinner to support local businesses like the Gverovic Orsan restaurant, a traditional mediterranean restaurant which is also one of the oldest ones in Dubrovnik. Their signature dish is the black risotto and during all meals you can enjoy stunning views of the Adria. Don’t miss trying fresh oysters from Croatia.

Cabana day

Fish restaurant at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

Umi Teppanyaki restaurant at the Rixos Premium Dubrovnik

Protection is key

The face mask has become a mandatory accessory in our daily lives. You need to wear a mask whenever you get into an enclosed public building in Croatia. You are supposed to keep at least 1,5 meter to others but this is almost impossible in the narrow streets  and small houses of the old town.

Please do not to forget your other safe companion: sun protection. As you know I have a long lasting partnership with Eucerin 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) induces 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.

Three easy tips for the proper protection

  1. 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.
  2. The right amount: Think of the size of a golf ball. That is the quantity you need to cover your whole body.
  3. Think twice: Best is to apply sunscreen twice, so you don’t miss out on any unprotected spots on your skin.

What are my favorite products?

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: SUN OIL CONTROL BODY DRY TOUCH (NEW) 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. Additionally the Oil Control products have a mattifying effect so your skin is less shiny for your vacation photos.

Activities in Dubrovnik

Now it is the time to discover and re-explore  European cities which are normally over crowded with people. Normally, Dubrovnik is packed with tourists during high season. Thousands of day visitors come by cruise ships and it is hard to enjoy the full beauty of the city. In the last two years the city became even more famous because Games of Thrones and Star Wars used the scenic city as their movie set. This is summer, it is all different. I spotted only a few tourists strolling through the old town. I can recommend booking a city tour by @experiencedubrovnik, the official tourism board of the city and do the walk on top of the city wall.

Fun fact: Did you know that Dubrovnik was the first city to have a quarantine?
Back in the days mariner returning from their trips had to isolate themselves in a building for 40 days before they were allowed to enter the city. They never had the black death.

Old Town of Dubrovnik

Adria from the Cable Car

The Old Town Dubrovnik

What can you do?

I decided to do activities which did not require me to be surrounded by a lot of people.

  • Cable Car ride to have stunning views of the city, the Adrian Sea and the islands surrounding Dubrovnik. Do this prior sunset for the best light and pleasant temperatures.
  • A private boat trip. I chartered a Jeanneau 30 boat with @Dubrovnikboats for the full day. My skipper Frano showed me the old town from the waterside and took me to some beautiful bays at the Elaphite islands to go swimming, cliff jumping and diving into caves. Be sure to stop at Bowa restaurant for lunch.

Boat Day are the best days

Bowa Restaurant

Bowa Restaurant

Drinks on the island

Local Oysters from Croatia

  • Day trip to Montenegro. @finestluxurytours from Dubrovnik took me ona full day trip to show me the highlights of Montenegro. Within 10 hours I visited the picture perfect cities Perast, Kotor, Budva and Porto Montenegro. “At birth of the planet, the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have been on the Montenegrin coast line” Lord Byron.

Luxury Mercedes Car of @finestluxurytours for the day trip

Sokol Fortress in Dubrovnik

Comfortable Montenegro day trip

Yachts at the Porto Montenegro

Perast, Montenegro

Verige 65 restaurant in Montenegro

Verige 65 restaurant in Montenegro

Verige 65 restaurant in Montenegro

Did Corona impair the quality of my vacation?

At no time did I have the impression that Corona impaired the quality of my vacation. Moreover, the hotel was not that crowded, reservations were not required for restaurants, less waiting time for attractions, the city was less crowded and activities were more affordable. The only thing I was worried about was that Croatia will be determined as a risk country which would require me to self isolate myself when returning to Germany.

Gverovic Orsani in Dubrovnik

Are you planning to go on vacation soon? How do you feel about it?
Let me a know in a comment below and please do not forget to like the blog post.

Happy and healthy travels

Your PilotPatrick


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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differences between Captain and First Officer

What are the differences between Captain and First Officer?

Dear Aviator,

you cannot imagine how bad I feel that I have neglected my blog for a while. Lately my travels kept me very busy, therefore my productivity went doen. This fact and the packing are the two things I dislike most about traveling.  

Are you ready for another aviation related blog post? You probably have  questioned yourself what is really the difference between a captain and first officer. How many times have I heard people saying: "Ah you are the captain now, so you are finally allowed to fly the airplane!" In this blog post I will share with you the four major differences between Captain and First Officer.

 

Appearance

Age is not an indicator of whether a pilot is a Captain or First Officer. I have flown with First Officers who were almost double my age. Have a look at the number of stripes of the pilot uniform.  Three stripes stand for First Officer and four for Captain. In genral, the higher the number of stripes, the higher is the rank.

Sometimes you might spot two stripes on a pilot uniform. This is a Junior First Officer who is either still in training or has not reached a certain hours flown. You might have also seen  three stripes with a really thick one. This stands for a Senior First Officer. This pilot is very expereicend  and he/she can fly from the left seat during cruise flight when the captain is taking a break on long-range flight for exampl. Speaking about the seat position. The Captain is seated in the left side whereas the First Officer in the right. These positions must not be interchanged. However, Captains can receive a right seat check out (additional training required) which allows them to fly from the left as well.

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

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Duties

How many times have I heard people say: "Ah you are the Captain, so you are finally the real pilot!" What was I before an unreal or fake pilot?! Both crew members regardless of their rank can be called pilots.

This might surprise you: Captains fly their aieplane as much as First Officers. Before each flight the crew decides how is PF (pilot Flying) or PNF (Pilot not flying or pilot monitoring). The PF controls the plane, performs the take-off, controls the autopilot in cruise flight and does the landing. The PNF fills the flight log, communicates with air traffic control (ATC) and supports the PF. Usually, I leave the choice to my First Officers which role they would like to perform. The answer is always the same when the weather is bad or it is getting late: I prefer to do the next flight ;-)

There are cases where the Captain determines that he or she wants to fly due to weather or other special reasons. Addtionally, the there are some circumstances  in which the First Officer is not allowed to fly. (more in detail at a later point)

So why doesn't the Captain fly the whole time?

  • Fatigue is better distributed if both pilots fly.
  • First Officers gain experience they will need as captains.
  • Flying is not always the best use of the Captain's experience, training and time. In cases of abnormal issues such as a system malfunction, it may be better for the Captain not to be tied up flying. That way he/she  can concentrate and coordinate the appropriate actions.

The major difference is that the captain always has the responsibility. From the time the Captain boards the plane until he/she leaves the plane again (no matter who is flying!!!), the Captain is responsible for the flight and is in command of it. The First officer is the second in command.

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Operational Procedures

The commercial operation of an aeroplane requires a high level of standarization. Guidelines, regulations, limitations and procdues on how to operate an aircraft are written in the opertional manuals. This grants a high level of safety and allows a new crew composition to fly with each other since they follow the prescibed operational procedures.

It is the job of the Captain to taxi the aircraft on ground due to the fact that the tiller (steering wheel of the nose gear) is mounted only on one side of the cockpit. The Airbus A300-600 has also a tiller on the First Officer side. This feautre does not automatically grant the First Officer to taxi as well. Most airlines follow a philosophy that it should be only the Captain taxing since he/she is responsible of the aircraft. An outdated philosophy since one day the First Officer becomes a Captain without any practice taxing.

Coming back to the cases in which the First Officer is NOT allowed to fly:

  • Takeoffs below 400m runway visual range (RVR).
  • CAT 2/3. when the weather is below CAT1 which means in most cases an RVR of less than 550m with a decision height of 200m.

To sum it up: Everytime it gets more challenging it the Captains task to fly , because he/she is trained to operate in low visibilty (LOVIS) and usually has more expierence.

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Money

The topic that everyone is most curious about. Moneywise there is a big difference in the salary of a Captain and a First Officer. To have the entire responsibility for a multi-million Euro jet, the lives of the passengers and the rest of the crew, a Captain gets paid extra. A safe flight depends on the ultimate judgement and decision making of the Captain. As a general rule you can say that a Captain makes about 50% more than a First officer. So if a First Officer makes about 60,000€ a captain makes at least 90,000 €. It can be also more than double or even more than that if company affliliation is a longer or when a Captain has additional tasks and responsibilites (eg. instructor).

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Which question about aviation would you like to have answered next? Let me know in a comment below and don’t forget to like my blog about the differences between Captain and First Officer. 

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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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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the greek Instagram island

The greek Instagram island - mini vacation on 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 was 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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