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Sexta-feira, 16 de Janeiro de 2009
Macau and Hong Kong (January 2009)

Hong Kong





publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 13:22
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Sexta-feira, 27 de Junho de 2008
Cebu Pacific Hong Kong-Manila-Hong Kong

Airbus 319 of Cebu Pacific Airways (click on the picture for the name of the photographer)

Flight Details

Cebu Pacific

Date: 20 January 2007
Dep: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Gate: 1
Boarding Time: 0655
Dep Time: 0800
Load: 100%
Seat: 25A
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 320
Weather during take off: Sunny
Arr: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Arr Time: 0945
Weather during landing: Broken clouds

My first trip abroad with my parents. My parents availed of Cathay Pacific travel package while I went for the cheaper Cebu Pacific (or is it really cheaper??). I only bought the airfare and stayed at the hotel where my parents stayed, lol.

We went to the airport early at around 3am because my parents' flight was scheduled to leave at 6am (although my flight with Cebu Pacific left at 8am). With Cathay Pacific, check in was a breeze though the outsourced check-in agent could have put some smile on her face even a little. She did not even key in the Finnair Plus numbers of my parents correctly. Apparently she was arguing with someone else before she sat at the check-in counter to attend to the passengers.

Anyway, check in at Cebu Pacific was OK; agent was cool.

The take off was smooth and we climbed up quite fast. It was a sunny day and the view from above was quite impressive. The pilot was a bit chatty (I like it this way actually) and he informed us about the places and interesting points that we saw such as Hundred Islands and the mountains near Manila before taking the route to China Sea direction.

The in-flight service was like any other budget airline; you have to buy your food. But there were games though and some prizes were model aircraft and some T-shirts. But one good thing happened when the plane arrived in Hong Kong airport: the 4 Embraer 170's of Hong Kong Express were parked near the runway and it was a sight to behold! It was my first time to spot some Embraer E-Jets (I was supposed to go to Laoag Airport simply to spot an E170 of Hong Kong Express but they no longer fly to this northern Philippine city so I had to see them in Hong Kong! And now, these E-Jets are now being operated by Air North in Australia and some went to Kenya and now operated by Kenya Airways).

My parents arrived at their hotel first and I met them (with another cousin who is working there) at the hotel room. I changed my clothes and we went to the harbour area of Kowloon; walked around for a while and bought some food to eat while exploring the other parts of the city.

Victoria Peak

We went to Macau in the afternoon and took the ferry. When we got there, we immediately went to the city centre, at the Largo do Senado. This plaza seemed to be transplanted from Portugal and the surrounding area was bustling with activities. Remember that Macau is a centre for gambling. Too bad, we were not there to gamble. No money, lol.

The weather was chilly and I liked it. I felt it was even more chilly in Macau than Hong Kong. And of course, Macau is a former Portuguese colony and some vestiges of Portuguese culture still can be seen and felt. Even the passport stamps were in Portuguese and Chinese, and English.

We went back to Hong Kong late evening. After hurdling the long immigration line in Macau, we got another 14-day stay in Hong Kong and another stamp in Portuguese, heehehehheeh.

The next day we explored Hong Kong and met up with some friends and former students of my mother who are now working in Hong Kong. Nice reunion.

Cebu Pacific

Date: 21 January 2007
Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Gate: 42
Boarding Time: 2116
Dep Time: 2200
Load: 100%
Seat: 22F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 319
Weather during take off: Rain showers
Arr: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Arr Time: 2345
Weather during landing: Hot



Hong Kong International Airport is without doubt one of the best airports in the world. I always enjoy using it. It's the first airport I travelled to.

The check-in agents were nice and efficient. I requested for a window seat and they gave it to me. And when I was about to go to the designated gate, I was interviewed by chance by an airport staff asking me things such as my impression of the airport. Well, I said nice things about it which was actually true. I went to my gate and did some plane spotting. The boarding gates of HKG are good places to plane spot.

The flight

The equipment was an Airbus 319 which had surprisingly more legroom than Airbus 320. I just slept and had to be ready again during approach Manila. It was a night flight so there's not much to see. That's what I hate about flying at night.

I arrived first in Manila and I waited for my parents for some minutes. Taxi ride was expensive (made expensive by the drivers actually) so we took a bus to Cubao and a taxi going home.

publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 17:20
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Sábado, 22 de Outubro de 2005
Manila-Hong Kong-Manila Cathay Pacific

Flight Details

Cathay Pacific Airways

Dep: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Gate: 7
Boarding Time: 0655
Dep Time: 0730
Load: 95%
Seat: 62K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 330
Arr: Hong Kong International (HKG)


Cathay Pacific

Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Load: 100%
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 340
Arr: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)




Cathay Pacific Airbus 340 (CX903) which will take me to Manila. Ah, I am in this photo too, hehehehehehe

publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 17:18
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Sexta-feira, 27 de Setembro de 2002
SWISS MD11 from Manila to Switzerland

MD11 of SWISS (click on the picture to see name of photographer)

A319 of SWISS (anonymous photographer)

Flight Information

Swiss International Airlines

Date: 27 September 2002
Dep: Manila Ninoy Aquino International (MNL)
Gate: G16
Boarding Time: 1935
Dep Time: 2000
Load: 86%
Seat: 34J
Class: Economy
Aircraft: MD11
Arr: Hong Kong International (HKG)

Swiss International Airlines
Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Class: Economy
Aircraft: MD11
Arr: Zurich Kloten (MNL)

Dep: Zurich Kloten (ZRH)
Boarding Time: 0935
Dep Time: 1000
Load: 100%
Seat: 11F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Airbus 319
Arr: Madrid Barajas (MAD)

Hummm, thinking of this beautiful country right now. I remember when I visited Switzerland for the first time in 2002, I flew with Swiss International Airlines (for professional and personal interests). The scariest take off I have ever experienced so far (because of the weather, maybe, but the pilot was good and plane in good condition, I suppose). When the plane was about to land in Zurich (at around 04.00 am), I said to myself: "So this is Switzerland...this is Zurich!".

Line at the immigration/passport control was non-existent. The immigration agent, upon seeing my Spanish resident card, spoke to me in Spanish and asked if I was from Barcelona. I told him I was from Madrid.

Upon clearing the immigration, I was offered a free ride to the city centre by my former classmate (Aileen, where are you, I'm here!, lol) and her Swiss boyfriend and toured me around for a while, took pictures and they left me at some square whose name I don't remember now, lol. Had few tears (owssss!) when I saw some familiar landmarks that I used to watch on TV programs and films I borrowed from the Swiss Embassy. I was simply obsessed with Switzerland that I decided to study French (another story). I am not obsessed anymore but I still like the country. Besides, I have some Swiss friends so the link is still there.....

I'd like to visit Switzerland again and see more of the country and experience other stuff that I did not experience before on my first visit...........

C'est un pays tres beau.....

Zürich Airport is a major international airport in Switzerland. It is also the hub of Swiss International Airlines.

What is interesting about this airport is the many possibilities for plane spotting.

Here is a simple guide for plane spotting experience in Zürich Airport!

Zürich Airport is a destination in its own right: see aeroplanes from all over the world take off and land, watch all the special-purpose vehicles go about their business... a fascinating airport world awaits you.

Article from Zü

Amazing, exciting, educational...not only will you encounter people from all countries and cultures, you can get close to the comings and goings on the tarmac on the terraces of Docks B and E.

A visit to Zürich Airport is an experience to remember, especially for your children. Why not schedule a visit here as an unforgettable birthday treat, perhaps with a guided behind-the-scenes tour? And good food and drink is certainly not a problem, especially since the new restaurants opened their doors on the Dock B terrace.

Some airport aficionados pay us regular weekly visits – to enjoy the atmosphere and to see what is new at Zürich Airport!

The Dock B terrace gets you closest to the planes. Then take the shuttle bus to Dock E, from where you have the best views of the runways.

Guided tours
How does an airport work? Where are the refrigerated storehouses for the fruits and flowers that are flown in from South America? The guided tour is a must for anyone who wants to know more about the workings of an airport.

Zürich Airport: Hotspots for Plane Spotters 1. Dock A; 2. Dock B; 3. Observation Desk B, Bus Tours; 4. Railway Station; 5. Cargo; 6. Hangars/Maintenance (SR Technics); 7. Car Park 3; 8. Depots, Administration, Fire Brigade, Rescue Service; 9. Fuel Reservoir Ruemlang; 10. Runway Junction: Spotting Point on excursions; 11. Car Park «Oberglatt»; 12. General Aviation Center 13. ExecuJet, RUAG, Rega; 14. Dock E; 15. BUCHairSHOP, Terrace B; 16. Catering (Gate Gourmet); 17. Observation Desk E

A map for plane spotters in Zürich's Airport:

Some of my old pictures in Switzerland:


















publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 17:01
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Segunda-feira, 1 de Outubro de 2001
British Airways Boeing 747-400 from Manila to London: my first flight

British Airways

Date: 01 October 2001
Dep: Manila (MNL)
Gate: G15
Boarding Time: 1856
Dep Time: 1930
Load: 30%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: Hong Kong Internatinal (HKG)

Dep: Hong Kong International (HKG)
Load: 86%
Seat: 44K
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 747-400
Arr: London Heathrow (LHR)

British Airways

Date: 02 October 2001
Dep: London Heathrow (LHR)
Boarding Time: 0725
Dep Time: 0800
Load: 95%
Seat: 21F
Class: Economy
Aircraft: Boeing 757
Arr: Madrid Barajas (MAD)

My first time to travel abroad. My first time to fly. And alone at that. No, definitely nothing wrong with flying alone nor traveling alone.

I have always dreamed of traveling to other countries and experiencing other cultures and seeing new faces.

This will be my first flight ever! One thing to note though. I have fear of heights. And though my interest in aviation has kept me glued to this goal of flying (even if it's only at a passenger level, lol). the truth is, this fear of heights made me delay this exciting experience. Enough said.

Anyway, I went to the airport with mixed feelings: sad and happy and excited. The check-in process was OK and then I went to the immigration counter to pay the departure fee which was 550 pesos at that time and had my passport stamped on the next counter. My bad, I forgot where I had my pen because of the anxiety of flying so I had to borrow one from the immigration officer and she said in Tagalog: "Ano ba yan, nagbibiyahe ng walang bolpen!".

As I approach the gate, I felt nervous but excited too when I saw the huge British Airways B747-400 (British Airways does not fly to Manila anymore) waiting for us passengers. When I went in to the aircraft I was overwhelmed. Sure I've seen pictures (and on TV) of the interior of an aircraft (I actually collect them) especially the B747 so I wasn't really clueless of what it's going to be like, lol. I requested for a window seat. It was a 3-4-3 configuration and the flight was not that full. The flight would take us to Hong Kong and then continue on to London.

Take off

When the door was closed and there were no more passengers coming in, the guy seated at the aisle went to another empty row so I got the 3 seats for myself. The economy class seat pitch was OK and I did not have any problem with the space. Anyway, my father told me not to worry because flying is safe that you'd feel like inside a house when in cruising altitude. OK, I took his words for it and tried to relax myself as we pushed back from the gate on-time and began our taxi to our runway for take off. During the taxi, the captain made a few announcements about the flying time and all information about the flight. Although the excitement was eternally present, I was freaking nervous and my being alone in my row did not help that much. I had nobody to share my fear with, lol. Before takeoff, the engines were routinely run up at high power and I was wondering if we were already about to take off. Not yet. I said maybe they're checking the engines. And suddenly, the "roar" of the engine became louder and we started to be pressed against our seats as the aircraft pulled to the end of the runway with the afterburner turned on and the aircraft raced across the ground with full force. The take off was exhilarating! Seconds after rotation, I looked out of the window and saw Manila with all its bright city lights. I did not know where I got that courage from to peek out of the window as I was really afraid and my fear of height was practically all over me. I felt like I wanted to tell the flight crew that I wouldn't be flying anymore and I'd want to go back to the ground right there. Anyway, I did not do that......

As the plane was climbing up, I looked at the other passengers and they seemed so relaxed and others were reading newspapers and doing their own stuff. And then the flight attendants started to go around metal tube. That's when I felt relieved somehow and told myself come on it's cool to fly. After some minutes, the flight attendants (FA) fed us with things of which I don't remember now. Two hours later, I could see the lights of the Hong Kong peninsula. When the plane landed, one of the passengers shouted: "Welcome to the First World!"

The flight form Hong Kong to London was uneventful and nothing to write home about. It was thrilling to see the Big Ben from the air when the aircraft was about to land. I ahd nothing to do at the London airport but wait for my flight to Madrid. Ahhh, nice gesture from a bristish Airways ground stewardess when she said "Salamat" when she returned my passport after checking my name and boarding pass!

The descent to Madrid airport though was exciting would be my home airport for the duration of my thing I noticed though and I mentioned it to the taxi driver: Tierra seca, eh?

publicado por Sadiri Gonzales às 16:53
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