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Air France flight AF 7743 – BSL – CDG – March 20, 2014

Air France flight AF 7743 from Basel airport (BSL) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) is being operated by HOP! regional and the very first impression while boarding the aircraft is that the plane is not really tidy. The aircraft is an Embraer 190 in a 2x2 configuration and I was traveling on seat 11A which I had the opportunity to choose while checking-in on line the day before. This seat is an emergency exit seat which almost doubles the pitch between the rows, which was really good. That gave me Read more [...]

Frequent Flyer Programs – Star Alliance versus Sky Team

This is a brief comparison of the two frequent flyer programs of Star Alliance and Sky Team, respectively, from the point of view of a regular economy class traveller usually departing from Frankfurt or Zürich airports. Looking 10 or 15 years back, it appears very clear that the rules of the game between the clients and the air carries have changed tremendously. While living in Switzerland between 2000 and 2005, I was flying much less than today, but I was still able to get some free lunches Read more [...]

I’ve been waiting for 10 years for this: direct flight from Bucharest to Geneva

I've been living in Lausanne, Switzerland for some years, and each time I wanted to get back home in Bucharest, shopping for flights was extremely tricky. First of all, at that time there were no low cost careers flying to Bucharest and the direct flights operated by SWISS (SwissAir at that time) and/or TAROM were really expensive. And only from Zürich, while Geneva was just 60 km away from Lausanne. So most of the times I was flying KLM or Lufthansa with a stop either in Amsterdam or in Munich. Read more [...]

Spring cleaning. Air pollution in Beijing

One of the well-known issues of China's capital is the quasi-permanent air pollution in Beijing. When I was there, it was June and the shots I have are not the most dramatic ones to illustrate the issue plaguing Beijing's atmosphere. However, there have been many discussions about the air quality in Beijing, how chinese authorities are faking the measurements, how this becomes a huge health hazard especially during the hot summers days. I was therefore happy to read in the latest issue of Read more [...]

Photo Friday: Street food in Beijing

I must admit that, even if I am the type of person who would try anything at least once, I could not stand some items found as street food in Beijing. OK, I got the fact that all the scorpions and stuff are there just in order to attract the curiosity of some tourists who might have heard that chinese eat funny things. But take a look at the deep-fried whole baby-chickens below! I mean, come on, maybe they are crispy and tasty, but what happens when you get the ... well ... the BEAK?? Next Read more [...]

The hidden opera gem: Festspielhouse Baden-Baden, Germany

If you have to quickly name a couple of well-known opera houses in Europe or worldwide, I bet the first three names would be (not necessarily in this order): La Scala in Milan, The Royal Opera House in London's Covent Garden or the Metropolitan Opera (aka The Met) in New York City. Even if I live since almost six years now just 100 km away from the German city of Baden-Baden, I've never thought that this is home to the largest Germany opera house - Festspielhouse Baden-Baden (Baden-Baden Festival Read more [...]

Traditional Romanian restaurants in Bucharest

It is not so difficult to find traditional Romanian restaurants in Bucharest, especially if you are located somewhere downtown. I have recently read a couple of articles about the life as a tourist/visitor in Romania in general, and in Bucharest in particular. And I think I have a special and privileged status to be able to tell a story or two about the country and the city. As some of you may already know, I grew up in Bucharest so until 2000 I have been what is usually called a local. Since Read more [...]

Photo Friday: Timișoara – faces

I have recently visited my home-country for an extended weekend and that was my first time ever visit to the city of Timișoara, which deserved a separated, extended story. But for now just a new episode of my project - faces:   But ... where is Timișoara? Read more [...]

KLM adds its third destination to Japan: Fukuoka

News keep coming from Skyteam. After Air France just days ago, now KLM is coming with another interesting destination launching non-stop service between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and Fukuoka, Japan (FUK). So starting April 3, KLM will operate three direct flights out of AMS to Japan: Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka, being the only European airline to fly non-stop to this city in Japan. Flights out of AMS will be on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays (departure flight KL869 at 14:45, arrival 8:20 Read more [...]

Beach, sun and sea at Pensacola Beach

To my opinion, Pensacola is everything about the beach. Beach pubs and clubs, beach restaurants, fishing from the pier, swimming and sun-bathing, or simply enjoying the wild beach in the National Park located in the Santa Rosa Area - there is something for everyone and Pensacola Beach is an attraction which should not be missed. It's very easy to reach Route 98 from downtown Pensacola to cross the Pensacola Bay Bridge. After crossing the Bay, in order to reach the long barrier island you should leave Read more [...]