It has just occurred to me that I haven’t blogged in a very, VERY long time. It’s not through lack of trying, but more through an excess of flying, and visitors and travelling on days off! I’ve also managed to obtain my US visa, and have just been accepted to study my Masters (in Zoology) online. Things have been busy!
After my trip to Dublin, which naturally consisted of mostly eating, shopping and taking pictures, I had a few days off in Dubai, as did Jane, so we made the most of it by going out for dinner, lapping up the sun and catching up. The problem is, living in Dubai most of our friends fly, and if our rosters don’t all match up…then we can go a month or more without seeing one another! Which is crazy and seems to feel like an eternity, especially when one of us has long trips or ULR (ultra long range) flights.
I had swapped onto this Milan flight because I originally had Paris (which I love, but have been to 6 times now) and I wanted something different. Despite having explored Italy in some detail, I never made it to Milan and was thrilled to do so for work. I was also excited as one of my good friends, Francesca, whom I met on exchange more than 6 years ago (and who joined Emirates about 6 months after me) was going home to Bologna on that flight. Her time in Dubai was cut short for reasons beyond her control, and that was hard, so I was happy to be able to give her the “beyond expectations” send off that she deserved! One of the Seniors on board (seniors means “boss” on board, not elderly people) made a Public Announcement at the end of the flight, Congratulating Francesca on her time in Dubai and wishing her the best of luck, all in Italian! Thankfully I could appreciate the message and everyone clapped! It was a bittersweet moment.
We arrived at the hotel, which was located inside the airport… it sounds close but actually it is a very long way to walk laden down with two over flowing suitcases (the weather was unpredictable!). After a quick change of clothes, the Captain took the whole economy crew out for dinner to a nearby restaurant called “La Pista”, which is a family owned restaurant that gives crew a massive discount and service “con un sorriso” (with a smile) I ordered a pizza to share, that had fried zucchini flowers and goats cheese. It was a first for me, and it was amazing!! We all shared some more pizza, prosciuitto and cheese and a bottle of wine. It was a nice evening, wrapped up with vodka infused limoncello sorbet! Yum 😀
The next day, instead of heading to the city centre, we decided to be adventurous and hired a car to drive to Lake Como (all of the George Clooney wedding fever had gotten to out heads!). We hired two cars, and Francesca drove our one which was a FIAT 500 (cinque cento), only the cutest little Italian car known to man! I navigated, she drove and the rest of the crew provided the music (you can only imagine what we were listening to, an Italian, Australian, Portuguese and Greek mixture!)
After a while we reached one of the Lakeside Towns, Cernobbio. We stopped there, got out, took photos, wandered around and then decided to get the ferry over to Como, for a bit of lunch.
We found a nice (albeit touristy, much to my disappointment) restaurant, ordered some tagliatelle and enjoyed the view and crisp, fresh air. All too soon it was time to go back to Cernobbio, back to the car, back to the hotel and back to Dubai.
Before I left, I was lucky enough to see Francesca’s parents that I hadn’t seen for years. My Italian was in full swing again, and her mum had packed me a yummy lunch like she used to when we were at school in Bologna! It was so nice to see them again, but sad as I wouldn’t see Francesca for a really long time 🙁 The flight back was long, and very busy, especially for me being the only language speaker in economy! All in all, it was a beautiful layover, with a great crew and even a special plus one, too!
Enjoy the pictures, because I had a ball taking them 😉 xx