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Old 7th March 2020, 11:50 AM   #16
yflyer
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Great A380 Y cabin ambience on this completely full flight (By contrast, a full 777 Y cabin in 10-abreast is the stuff of nightmares)...





The restrooms...

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Old 7th March 2020, 11:56 AM   #17
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Our flight flew over Rome...



I was hoping to catch a view out of the window, but this was not possible from where I was sitting. The best I could do was snap a picture from the IFE, which had a camera view of the ground...



The resolution was quite poor (Unlike the new hi-def cameras Airbus uses on the A350), and I had no idea what I was seeing, but according to the map, we were above Rome, so I snapped pictures of the passing scenery below anyway, largely at random...

It was only a year later, when I looked closely at the photos while preparing this TR, that I realised that I could see the Colosseum in Rome on the screen in the picture above, I kid you not!

Here's a challenge for the reader: Look at the picture above, and post a comment if you can spot the Colosseum. It cannot be missed once you know what to look for. Comparing the picture with a Google Maps Satellite View of Rome will help too.

One day I hope to snap a picture of the Colosseum from the air, and maybe Vatican City too. It can be done. After all, if it is possible to snap a picture of the Pyramids of Giza from the air, it is definitely possible to take a pic of the Colosseum!


Last edited by yflyer; 7th March 2020 at 12:02 PM..
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Old 7th March 2020, 12:06 PM   #18
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Prior to landing, I took a stroll to the front of the A380, walking the entire length of this huge aircraft...



The EK A380 is one of the few with a configuration where the entire main deck is configured as a Y cabin.



Y seating extends right to the front of the main deck.



There is a little crew station under the forward staircase (Pic taken on my return sector)...



I gazed longingly up the leather roped staircase to the upper deck, where pax in F and J had undoubtedly been wined and dined through the last 6 hours of the flight...



Much more fun to be up on top looking down...
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Old 7th March 2020, 01:01 PM   #19
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Time passed quickly on this flight. Soon we were descending for arrival into BCN...



Cabin crew seated for landing...



I switched to the tail cam view...



Landing on Runway 25R today...





Overall, a very comfortable flight in EK A380 Y, with decent catering and good cabin crew.
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Old 7th March 2020, 01:07 PM   #20
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My hotel in Barcelona was very close to the Sagrada Familia.



The Sagrada Familia is one of those iconic landmarks that one never tires of viewing...



This is especially so of the Sagrada Familia, where construction has been ongoing for decades...



So each time I return to Barcelona there is new construction to marvel at...



I only viewed the outside this time round, but first time visitors should not miss going into the interior of the Church, as the interior is as stunning as the exterior.

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Old 7th March 2020, 01:12 PM   #21
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This time round, I stayed at Hotel Barcelona 1882, a fairly new boutique hotel a short walk away from the Sagrada Familia. Quite a convenient location.





The lobby...



Selfie point on the roof...



I headed to the Selfie point...



Also on the roof, sun loungers...



...and a small swimming pool, with the spires of the Sagrada Familia visible in the distance...


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Old 7th March 2020, 01:17 PM   #22
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My room was modern, and very comfortable, styled in dark wood tones...







The bathroom had a glass wall between the shower and the bedroom...



Ample open wardrobe space...



The bathroom...



Toiletries...



Shower...



This was a very comfortable room...

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Old 7th March 2020, 01:23 PM   #23
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There were bicycles for guests...



There was a bar and restaurant in the basement...



There was an excellent breakfast buffet...

Fresh fruit...



Cheeses...



Ham, sausages and cured meat...



The eggs were particularly fresh...





Delicious black pudding...



Best of all, breakfast came with a free flow of wine...



Of course, this was a work trip, so I resisted the urge to have a morning drink until the very last day of my trip, prior to departure...

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Old 7th March 2020, 01:25 PM   #24
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I took the metro each morning. This involved walking past the Sagrada Familia each morning on the way to the station.

I have to say that looking up at the Sagrada Familia in the chilly dawn hours each day was somehow very uplifting, and a great way to begin each busy work day...

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Old 7th March 2020, 01:34 PM   #25
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This was a very busy week for Barcelona, with many visitors in town.

Among the locals and visitors around town, and on the metro trains, were also petty thieves and pickpockets. This is a less appealing aspect of Barcelona that visitors are often warned about: Watch your belongings carefully, as wallets, phones, laptops are frequent targets for thieves which are really experts at what they do.

Everyone I spoke to either had stories of such petty theft, or been victims themselves.

I experienced it first hand on my train journey. While standing in the train, a middle aged woman pointed to my jacket...

There was an awful stain on it, a bubbly liquid which looked like detergent or saliva...



She started to hold on to it, perhaps appearing to want to help clean it.

As I had been forewarned of such scams, I slapped her hand away and stared at her, before moving to another part of the train. Fortunately, the train, while busy, still had standing room.

The other passengers on the train looked, but said nothing and did nothing.

I got off at my stop a while later, with no further incident, but what often happened was that while "cleaning" the jacket, my wallet would have been pickpocketed.

And who knows if there were accomplices onboard the train.



That was a close shave. Later on the trip, I saw police come onto a crowded train to pull a young man off, announcing that there were pickpockets onboard and to beware.
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Old 7th March 2020, 01:49 PM   #26
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I was in Barcelona, along with a hundred thousand other visitors, to attend a large trade show, Mobile World Congress, or MWC as it is known.



Originally an event for telecom companies and mobile phone and equipment makers, this has in recent years become a much more all-encompassing event.

Given the rise of mobile and data connectivity in all aspects of life, as well as the so-called Internet of Things (IoT), there were car companies, manufacturers, healthcare and financial services firms in attendance. These days, one might be forgiven for mistaking this for an auto-show, for example, with the likes of Mercedes and other car companies participating...



This was a showcase of new technology, and a great place to launch new gadgets and phones.

At MWC in 2019, it was folding phones which were in the limelight...



...with visitors snapping away at phones like paparazzi...



Other eye-popping exhibits included an aerial taxi...



...and lots of very creative technology demonstrations as well...



But all that was last year, in 2019.

This year, in early 2020, as the Covid-19 crisis unfolded, big name exhibitors began withdrawing from the event...

And just weeks before the event, the inevitable step occurred, the organisers announced that MWC 2020 would be cancelled: An unprecedented step that had, and continues to have, huge repercussions for both buyers and sellers in the industry.

Here's hoping that the event comes back next year, and that the world is collectively able to overcome the current Covid-19 crisis.

But going back to the TR timeline, in 2019, the event was a memorable one with a great trade show and, pickpockets aside, Barcelona was presenting its best face to visitors, with great weather, food and hospitality...

To be continued!

Last edited by yflyer; 7th March 2020 at 01:56 PM..
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Old 12th March 2020, 03:46 PM   #27
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Hey! Looks like we are in a similar situation. Deprived for life on the road.

I was also supposed to be in MWC but yeah we know how it ended up.

I did make 2 trips so far with 2 more being pushed back. 1st trip just after CNY, I made a trip to Europe via CDG on SQ then to London via Eurostar return to CDG again and then Mauritius via Istanbul on TK and back to SG on MK.

Since MWC was cancelled I went to the US just a couple of weeks ago. From SIN to EWR on SQ --> YYZ on UA --> to DCA on AC --> MIA on AA --> EWR on UA --> SIN on SQ.

Am supposed to head back to EWR this weekend but the other side cancelled the event/meeting. Well, I am happy to spend more time with the kids at home but I know I will be itching in a few more weeks. Looks like my company is gonna implement a travel ban soon. With the prices of air tickets so low now on SQ, I thought I am finally making PPS, just 1 more trip to EWR.. So near yet so far....
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Old 12th March 2020, 05:35 PM   #28
Tonitan
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Hi Yflyer,appreciate all your TR writing, especially more so now as your reports have good visual effects from your excellent photography and they do bring our imagination to your destinations! Keep them coming (I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not PC savy to crop/re-size and host photos for TR purposes! Must have been a lot of work!)
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Old 14th March 2020, 09:27 AM   #29
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennyberg View Post
Hey! Looks like we are in a similar situation. Deprived for life on the road.

I was also supposed to be in MWC but yeah we know how it ended up.
Hi Lennyberg! Yes a shame that MWC was cancelled. It's always quite a spectacle to attend. The meetings and relationships built there do set the stage for business over the year. Travel aside, what I really am deprived of this year is my supply of Jamon Iberico, which I usually stock up on and bring back home, as it is very expensive in Singapore compared to Barcelona. In recent years I've also been a fan of Spanish chuleton steak (More on that later in the TR!)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennyberg View Post
I did make 2 trips so far with 2 more being pushed back. 1st trip just after CNY, I made a trip to Europe via CDG on SQ then to London via Eurostar return to CDG again and then Mauritius via Istanbul on TK and back to SG on MK.

Since MWC was cancelled I went to the US just a couple of weeks ago. From SIN to EWR on SQ --> YYZ on UA --> to DCA on AC --> MIA on AA --> EWR on UA --> SIN on SQ.
Wow quite a few trips. Your timing is good too, just before the Covid-19 situation worsened dramatically in Europe and the USA, and before all the travel restrictions kicked in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lennyberg View Post
With the prices of air tickets so low now on SQ, I thought I am finally making PPS, just 1 more trip to EWR.. So near yet so far....
I was one trip away from KF Gold requalification...my MWC trip on SQ to BCN (With return via MXP ..) would have done it for the year but as it stands, I am several thousand miles short of KF Gold. In normal times I would be thinking up excuses to travel to break the 50K barrier to requalify, but nowadays retaining FF status is pretty much the last thing on my mind. All up to SQ now, if they want to be generous and let me keep KF Gold another year.
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Old 14th March 2020, 09:44 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonitan View Post
Hi Yflyer,appreciate all your TR writing, especially more so now as your reports have good visual effects from your excellent photography and they do bring our imagination to your destinations! Keep them coming (I'm ashamed to admit that I'm not PC savy to crop/re-size and host photos for TR purposes! Must have been a lot of work!)
Thanks Tonitan!

I am just a casual photo taker, not a serious photographer/hobbyist by any means, although when I was a teenager I was quite into SLR cameras. I was more into the camera and technical aspects of photography than the artistic aspects of it....

Yes, I do take some time to crop the photos and tweak the colour balance so the photos look decent. No photoshopping! Just blurring of faces to protect privacy. All done in the photo app on my Mac. Quite easy to do lah...no need to be PC savvy!
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