A Travellerspoint blog

December 2019

Best of 2019 (1)


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Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus

It is that time of year again - my annual awards. As always, my first category is airlines.

2019 brought an old favourite back to enjoy after an absence of many years - Aer Lingus. It was fun, but brief (for obvious reasons - Dublin is not far).

Edinburgh to Dublin

Edinburgh to Dublin

The year also introduced me to several airlines I had never used before - Georgian Airlines, Atlantic Airways, Buta Airways and Aircompany Armenia. All of them were a pleasure, although the Yerevan to Tbilisi flight with Aircompany Armenia was also short - 30 minutes.

Both my flights with Atlantic Airways were memorable for the views of Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. The Tbilisi to Baku flight with Buta Airways was a delight for the same reason - views of the Greater Caucasus on the port side and the Lesser Caucasus on the other.

Iceland Approaches

Iceland Approaches

When it comes to inflight service, it has almost ceased to exist these days. Ryanair, FlyBe, and easyJet all carried me from A to B without any frills. Many of what used to be full service airlines have gone down that road too - SAS, Air France, Aer Lingus and Brussels Airlines are the ones which come to mind from my 2019 travels.

Ryanair, 04:45

Ryanair, 04:45

I took 6 Turkish Airlines flights in 2019, and that airline is still making the trip a pleasure. TK is the airline I used most during the year. Its flight from Edinburgh is ideal for connections in Istanbul for Southeast Europe and the Caucasus.

Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport

TK even served us breakfast on a 1 hour flight from Istanbul to Athens which left at 01:15!

Loganair also does “full service”, but its routes are mostly very short and domestic so the service amounts to tea and shortbread.

Loganair Saab 2000

Loganair Saab 2000

It is very difficult to pick a winner for 2019 with several possibilities standing out, but I have gone for Atlantic Airways.

Southern Islands

Southern Islands

The flights were great in themselves, but the views were just incredible.

Posted by IainT 00:45 Archived in Faroe Islands Tagged flights iceland airlines reykjavik faroes torshavn Comments (0)

Athens

sunny 16 °C
View Athens on IainT's travel map.

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Zeus

I am back. I am revisiting Athens after 10 years.

The end of December is a good time for me to escape because office rules force me to take some holiday time, and then the office is closed for a total of 4 days (with a weekend in between).

Here I am, enjoying winter sun and a lot more daylight than Scotland offers in December.

Sunshine!

Sunshine!

I have an Airbnb apartment in the Koukaki neighbourhood, which is an easy metro journey from the airport - €10, 60 minutes and 1 change of line. Koukaki is just south of the Akropolis and Syntagma Square is a 25 minutes walk - or 2 stops on the metro.

Koukaki

Koukaki

I have a full week here, and the plan is to take it easy and try to avoid thinking about Brexit.

So far (Day 3, but Day 1 was taken up by travel) the highlight has been a Greek gastronomy walking tour. It lasted just over 4 hours, and not a minute was wasted!

It was fascinating.

Dairy

Dairy

I am no stranger to Greek food, but to be guided and educated about it by a local was a lovely experience. We even walked around the fish and meat market. The organisers claim we sampled 15 different foods. I lost count, but all were delicious.

Olive Shop

Olive Shop

You can see it all on this clip (4 hours condensed into 6 minutes).

Gastronomy

We had a different guide, but the same tour.

Posted by IainT 08:04 Archived in Greece Tagged food greece athens Comments (0)

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