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Posts for Tag: Spain

The Flying Diaries : BOM - BRU - BOM ( Emirates First ) ( May - June 2023 )

2023 was a special year for motorsports lovers. Besides Formula 1 having its longest season, the World Endurance Championship celebrated the 100th year of racing in Le Mans. Also, later in the year, India would host the inaugural MotoGP of Bharat. 

Ever since I received the news that it was the 100th year of Le Mans, I drew plans to be a part of the event. Considering how expensive it has become flying in and out of Europe, I also tried to merge an F1 weekend with the WEC event. Finally the itinerary got set and I would travel to Europe to attend both the F1 Spanish Grand Prix and the Centenary Edition of the 24 Hours of Le Mans in what would be one of my longest trips to the continent!


As always, Emirates was the choice of airline ( thanks to the perks of Skywards Gold ) and although its been an year since this travel got completed, this blog post is about revisiting those memories from this legendary trip!


My outbound journey was on 27th May and the return on 13th June. I upgraded myself from Business to First ( with miles ) for the Dubai - Brussels and Brussels - Dubai legs.


Mumbai - Brussels ( Emirates First ) ( 27th May 2023 ) :


The bags are packed and it's time to head to the airport!


The Emirates Chauffeur driving me to Terminal 2 in Mumbai :


After a smooth and seamless check-in, security and immigration, it was time to get some downtime in the Adani lounge. Since my Mumbai - Dubai leg was in Business class, I tried to find a quiet spot.


The view from the lounge! A glorious morning in Mumbai :


After a restful time in the lounge and a quick breakfast, it was time to board the flight to Dubai.

My seat :


With a view!


The pushback and taxi began :


Up and away, stunning visuals from the city above :


Takeoff from Mumbai ( Video Link ) :




The menu onboard :


Enjoying some Indian fare :


Dubai beckons :


Landing at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Touchdown Dubai!


A selfie with Shriya Saran, a famous Indian Celebrity! She was so gracious!


After a swift security check, I headed down to the First Class Lounge :


The brilliant First Class Lounge, enjoying an ala carte spread!


It was time to board the flight to Brussels, time to experience the Gamechanger Suites!

Popcorn, Dates, Arabic Coffee and some stills of some other goodies :


Taxiing to the runway :


Bye Bye Dubai :


Takeoff from Dubai bound for Brussels ( Video Link ) :




Live TV is a great feature on Emirates and I had the luxury of watching the F1 practice session from Monaco :

Vitality Boost, Chips and some popcorn :


The dine-on-demand menu, one of the most elaborates in the Airline industry :


Enjoying the food onboard :

For me, the showstopper were these chocolates by Coco Jalila. An elaborate spread indeed!

After a hearty meal, a couple of hours later, it was time to watch the F1 Qualifying :

We still had a couple of hours before landing into Belgium and I decided to get some sleep :


The Voyager app sharing our exact location amongst the clouds :


Hovering over Brussels :


Landed!


Touchdown at Brussels International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Welcome to Brussels! The Emirates Chauffeur was ready to ferry me to my friend's home :

Brussels - Mumbai ( Emirates First ) ( 13th June 2023 ) :


Saying goodbye to friends and heading to the airport :


Some stills from Brussels International Airport :


Enjoying a meal in the well-spread lounge :


My seat for the journey to Dubai. The new-gen Boeing 777-300ER ran into a technical snag so Emirates didn't offer the Gamechanger Suite for the return journey. :(


Amenities galore onboard :


The aerobridge withdraws from the aeroplane :


The sun setting on yet another evening in Brussels as we prepare for pushback and departure :


Takeoff from Brussels ( Video Link ) :




The menu for the return flight :


A hearty dinner!


The bed is ready as I prepare to sleep for a couple of hours :


Nearing touchdown :


Touchdown at Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Landing in Dubai International Airport :


Spending some time in the Lounge and having a quick bite :


The seat for the final leg, an old-gen 777-300ER :


The menu for the final leg, I decided not to eat, was too stuffed!



The pushback and the taxi to the runway :


Goodbye Dubai, see you soon!



Taking off from Dubai International Airport ( Video Link ) :




Hovering over the city, waiting for clearance to land :


Touchdown at Mumbai International Airport ( Video Link ) :



To the disembarkation gate :


Heading home from the airport with Emirates Chauffeur :


It was a great experience on Emirates in the mixed class. Yes, the disappointment of not having the Gamechanger Suite on the return journey remained but the service more than made up for its absence.


The Flying Diaries makes a return soon, with another journey to Brussels, which was just 3 weeks later!

Paddock Club Diaries - 2023 Spanish GP - Day 3

Time truly flies when one is at a Formula 1 weekend and before I realized, Sunday was already here! It was Raceday and I decided to leave sooner to ensure a timely arrival at the circuit. Although the circuit is close to the city of Barcelona, the traffic situation along with the narrow access roads, more than doubled the travel time!


How indulging was race day at the Spanish GP? How did the home heroes fare? Here is a quick recap with some stills from Sunday, shot with the Sony RX10 IV and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

En route to the circuit. The traffic situation worsened on Sunday and I had to walk for 2 km to make it to the Paddock Club.


Finally, at the Paddock Club entrance :


The view of the circuit on Sunday Morning :


Starting the day with some Coffee and Croissants :


Post Breakfast, it was time to enjoy the action on track with the F2 Feature Race :


F2 Feature Race Formation Lap ( Video Link ) :



F2 Feature Race Start ( Video Link ) :



Shots from the F2 Feature Race :


Oliver Bearman won the Feature Race from Enzo Fittipaldi and Victor Martins. Jack Doohan finished in P6.


Right after the Feature Race, I had the opportunity to visit the Fan Village and I made the trek down to enjoy the atmosphere there :


I returned just in time to the Ferrari F1 Club to attend Carlos Sainz Jr.'s interview. The home hero had a front-row start and hoped to put pressure on Verstappen in the race.


Shortly after Carlos Sainz's interview, Team Principal Frederic Vasseur visited the Ferrari F1 Club :