A SWEATY STORY IN ABU DHABI

Photos and edits by Emma and Abbie.

After two full days spent in Dubai and a one-hour taxi drive away, we had now finally arrived to Abu Dhabi, the capital city of United Arab Emirates. We checked into the modern Rosewood Hotel on Al Maryah Island, overlooking the Arabian Gulf and headed straight to the second floor's Manor Club Lounge. We heard there was going to be something to eat there - and there was plenty! So when our stomachs were filled with all different kinds of yummy snacks and food we wanted to check out the massive pool area before going to a public beach just outside the city.  If it wouldn't have been for our goal that day to go to the beach, I think we would have easily just stayed by the cooled-down pool. But we didn't, and the rest became a very sweaty story...

Going to the beach in UAE is quite special during the month of June. The water temperature compared to the temperature in the air wasn't that big of a difference. We struggled to keep ourselves cool in 45-degrees heat, adding that we're not allowed to drink any cold water due to the fact that we visited during the holy month of Ramadan and therefore wanted to show respect. So, our visit to the beach was a quick one and after barely standing the heat an hour or two later we once again found ourselves in a taxi on our way back to our air-conditioned suite at the Rosewood. We spent the evening on another beach (when the temperature had dropped a bit) watching the sun set over the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque – what a perfect first day spent in Abu Dhabi!

DAY TWO IN DUBAI: BURJ x 2

Major photo bomb alert! Our little trio + our lovely host Gio woke up early on our second and last day in Dubai to visit the 828 meter megatall skyscraper Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. After approximately 60 seconds of an elevator ride we reached the observation deck on the 124th floor with impressive views over the big sparkly city and Arabian desert. A pair of broken shoes later and a quick cab ride away we arrived to our next stop. That day we spent the whole afternoon and evening at the most luxurious hotel in the world, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, where Nina was kind enough to show us around. Also, we had lunch at their Scape restaurant and the food there was incredible!

During our trip I had the great opportunity of testing a new lifesaver called KnowRoaming Global SIM card. It has helped me to keep in touch with friends, discover new places, and also to update you during all my latest adventures. Use my discount code MARIATHEPILOT50 to get 50% off your purchase and enjoy roaming freedom you too!

Next destination of our UAE trip: Abu Dhabi!

Kram,
Maria  

Photos and edits by Emma and Abbie

 

 

 

NAKD SUMMER DAYS

Wearing new favourites from NA-KD. Use MARIATHEPILOT20 to get 20% off (free worldwide shipping and returns). AD. - Photos by Emma

Even if I live on Tenerife, where we have summer all year round, I still love the time when the actual summer arrives every year. This past month has been crazy filled up with travelling for me, and I have actually received the question from some of you whether I still fly or not. The simple answer to that question is YES. So, the month of June has been my month off from work, which is why I've tried to jam pack it with different trips and spending as much time as possible with my friends and family.

The thought behind this blog has always been to be a place where you will find more pictures from my adventures besides what you see on my Instagram, and right now I'm hurrying up to finish the blog posts from the different trips I've made the past couple of weeks. I really hope you will like it, and if there is anything you would like to see more of here in the blog then please leave a comment below :)

KRAM, 

Maria

 

MY SISTER'S WEDDING ON MALLORCA

We are a family of six, it's my dad, my mom and my three sisters. I've always been close to my family and we share everything together. My sisters are my best friends. So I can't even begin to explain how happy I was to spend this special day on Mallorca when my oldest sister Annika got married to her Markus. Louise, Sofia and I was honoured to be Annika's bridesmaids, it was my very first wedding and It was a nothing but a magical day full of love. We're now a family of seven, welcome Markus to the family ❤️ 

OUR VISIT TO UAE: DAY ONE IN DUBAI

When Emma, Abbie and I first booked our tickets to go visit the sparkly and mysterious UAE with the two destinations Dubai and Abu Dhabi none of us knew that we were planning our stay during Ramadan. When we realized I think all of us got a bit worried. What were we getting ourselves into when travelling to a country where the average temperature during summer is at least 40 C (105F), and the month of Ramadan means no drinks or food in public while the sun is up? Well, let’s jump ahead a bit and start by saying that I am so happy that we actually went during Ramadan, because all the things we got to experience have created memories that I will cherish forever. 

Our trip started by arriving to Dubai late, and by late I mean just before sunrise, so maybe it was early?! The first thing that chocked us all, even though we had tried to prepare ourselves, was the desert heat. It was SO hot!! During the first two days of our trip we had the opportunity of staying with my good friend Gio, a former colleague now based in Dubai. We arrived to his amazing apartment and managed to watch the sunrise before we all crashed into bed. 

That first day of our trip meant sleeping in, as all three of us were extremely tired from travelling. My friend Abbie from New York joined Emma and I for this trip, and she is an amazing photographer – making us a little trio of photo geeks! After a tasteful home made breakfast, Gio took us to the Dubai Mall which is the world’s largest shopping mall (!), where we went to the fountain at the bottom of Burj Khalifa and kept on stopping everywhere to take photos. I told you we are photo geeks. After a relaxed afternoon hanging out, we took the car to the Palm Island where we decided to go for Iftar, which is the first evening meal after sunset, where muslim families break the fast with a huge feast shared with friends and family. We went home full with excitement for the adventures the day after and our stomachs filled with traditional Arabian food so good it should be outlawed! 

Xx,

Maria

All photos edited by my talented friend Emma!

TWO DAYS FILLED WITH CRAZINESS IN DIJON

"If you work with watches, you'd better be on time", that's exactly what Maria P, Malin, Emma & I were told when we arrived at the hotel in Dijon, France, and asked what time we should all meet up the day after. We were to spend two days here with the Breitling team, with a schedfull of adventures and activities planned, no time to lose! 

Flying crazy manoeuvres such as loops and rolls in the L-39 Albatros with the famous Breitling Jet team, then Jonathan Brandt took us flying in his helicopter so we could see Dijon from above. When he was told we girls were all pilots, he let us have the controls - which was freaking exciting and scary at the same time! It's so different from flying an airplane (and so much more fun). As soon as we landed the helicopter, we were off SKYDIVING!! This was truly a life experience that I'd never ever forget. We were dropped from 14000 ft, freefall for about a minute that felt like so much longer, and then when the pilot released the parachute we got to enjoy the prettiest view gliding over Dijon - I was so happy and couldn't stop smiling. I've always wanted to go skydiving and it has been on my bucket list for quite some time. It was truly an experience of a lifetime. Two days filled with craziness, just the way I like it!

WHY OUR WEEK IN CHAMONIX WAS ONE OF THE BEST IN MY LIFE: PART TWO

Our skiing adventures in Chamonix that had taken us to Italy on Thursday continued on Friday by us taking the cable car up to a place called Brevent-Flégère, and just as with all other French words and names I struggled with its pronunciation. 

Down in the valley, it was all foggy from being inside a cloud, but on our way up the mountain we reached the sun and the view of the valley with its surrounding mountains (this time facing the frontside of Mont Blanc), was breathtakingly beautiful! I remember us saying that the views in Italy the day before were the best so far, but skiing in Brevent and Flegere that day definitely trumped that. Just like the rest of the days, we had the opportunity of having our guide with us. And although the final two days of our trip didn’t offer any more powder skiing I think all three of us would agree on that Friday and Saturday offered some of the best skiing adventures of our lives. 

After skiing for a couple of hours we went back to our chalet to send Josefine off to the airport going back home to Sweden. Emma and I also packed up our things from the chalet to later check in to a hotel in the city centre with a balcony that offered us an amazing view of the mountains. After we had said our goodbyes to Josefine our guide took us to a new place, with a plan in mind that neither Emma nor I knew about. We were about to take the cable car up to a mountaintop called Grand Montets for some off-piste skiing down the glacier. And what happened after we took the cabin up to the very top is almost hard to explain. 

For me, that afternoon offered the best combination of adrenaline and pure happiness. Once we reached the top, we fastened our ski boots and went down the slope with the most amazing views I had ever seen. Skiing off-piste in a place that required an experienced high mountain guide to show you the safe way down, and being on top of a glacier was an experience out of this world. Both Emma and I kept on screaming WOW and AMAZING all the way down, which our guide found very amusing! When driving back to our new hotel for the night we didn’t think it could get that much better, but little did we know about the adventures we were about to experience the day after. That night we went for dinner in town and later some drinks with newfound friends.

So, we have now come to the last day of our trip, the big finale. To briefly describe it, we spent our Saturday morning skiing down La Vallée Blanche, which is a 20 km long mountain off-piste ski route with a vertical descent of 2 700 m. In the afternoon, we went for lunch in Italy and flew a helicopter around the mountain tops of the Mont Blanc massif. 

Early Saturday morning we got picked up to go to the cable car that was about to take us up to the very top in Chamonix called Aiguille du Midi, which is 3 842 m above sea level. We didn’t have time for the hotel breakfast, so we brought a few croissants for the car ride and as snacks for our long way down the glacier. Once reaching the top the view was unbelievable, and you could see as far and beyond the Matterhorn in Switzerland and Monterosa in Italy! After shooting as many photos and video clips as we had time to we got ourselves ready to face the first challenge of the day, walking the mountain ridge edge called the ”arête” with a 50-degree pitch on both sides to the place where we would start skiing. 

It is safe to say that skiing down the glacier was the best skiing adventure I have ever had. The skiing was a bit tough at some parts, but the training we had done the previous days had left us well prepared. It’s hard to describe the experience itself, but the best part was probably when we were standing alone on the glacier looking over the mountains to Italy watching a bunch of Italians follow in our tracks, looking as small ants due to the far distance between us. But also when we went into this part of the route that almost felt like a ski park made by nature, which definitely was the most exciting but scariest part! To end our trip down La Vallée Blanche we went into this glacier museum before taking the Montenvers train down to town. 

After only eating croissants in the morning we were really hungry when we drove through the tunnel to Italy for a great lunch (Italians truly know their cooking), before jumping into a helicopter to experience the Mont Blanc massif from above. This was my first time being in a helicopter but definitely and hopefully not the last. To be able to fly as close to the mountains as we did, and seeing the same place that we had skied down just a few hours earlier from above was something that I will never forget. All in all, the adventures we had that Saturday left me with memories that I will never forget!

It is safe to say that the experience we had in Chamonix during that second week of March has left an imprint on me. I realise that Emma, Josefine and I were extremely fortunate to be able to experience all the things that we did, and also in the way that we were able to do it. So, to our amazing guide and to the one person making it all possible - thank you for giving us an experience of a lifetime, and also for giving me back the love for skiing. Hopefully, this was just the beginning of many more ski adventures to come, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Chamonix photos & edits by Emma.

Xo, 
Maria

PS. Don’t miss out to watch the vlogs on my YouTube-channel! (www.youtube.com/mariathepilot)