More Touring Fun! Portugal, Ireland, Denmark and Norway. LOTS of photos!

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Thursday 2nd March Well, here we go again with yet another ridiculously long PMN trip report! Again, mostly touring with the band, with another hop over to Dublin just for fun. On the first stage of the journey we fly to Lisbon for a gig at the Atlantic Arena. Our flights were with KLM via AMS, but when we arrived at LBA in the morning for a 6am flight we were told it was cancelled. The inbound aircraft the night before didn’t arrive, and hence we were plane-less! After queuing for a short while at the Servisair desk, we were re-booked on an alternative route that only put our day back by an hour. Flight 1 Airline: bmi Aircraft: Embraer ERJ-145 Registration: G-RJXA Route: LBA-CDG I was very happy with this change of flight, as I’ve never flown the 145 before, and I was trying to plan a trip where I could try it out. I have to say, I knew they were a small aircraft, but not that small. It’s tiny! Up until now the smallest aircraft I’d flown was a BAe ATP. That would have felt like a cavern after the ERJ! Still, a very nice aircraft with what seemed to be B752-like climb performance. Unfortunately the window iced up very quickly into the flight, which I can only guess was because of the airflow into the engine, so my shots through the window didn’t turn out to be all that clear http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo2-ERJWingView.jpg The sky was awesomely clear, and I spent most of the flight trying to identify the various airports and airfields we over-flew. Almost as soon as we entered French airspace, my view turned cloudy, but it was still equally spectacular. Despite all the negative comments I’ve heard directed towards bmi recently, I again found them to be excellent, with very efficient and polite staff. I’m writing bits of this report ’on the move’ on my laptop. The only problem with that being I end up being even more random than I am usually (as if that weren’t random enough). I’m currently sat off to the side of the arena, and here’s what I’m looking at now. I’m really glad my job never involves leaving the ground, except to fly that is! http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo3-CherryPicker.jpg Anyway, back to the important stuff… Flight 2 Airline: Air France Aircraft: Airbus A318 Registration: F-GUGJ Route: CDG-LIS Again, I was very happy we were given this flight. We were scheduled to be on an A319, but as luck would have it, an A318 turned up to the gate, although I didn’t realise it was actually an A318 until we boarded and I thought “hmm… The back of the plane seems a little close to the front!” I always thought my chances of flying the Microbus were quite slim, but I was happy to have my first A318 experience as my first flight with Air France. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo9-A318WingView.jpg I’m beginning to think the A32X series are a little more comfortable than the 737’s for some reason. They seem to feel a little more open and bright (the cabin on the Airbus is slightly wider than their Boeing counterparts, so maybe that has something to do with it). My first impressions of Air France were very good (although being bumped up into business class or whatever it’s called on AF did help). Again, as with bmi, the cabin crew were very efficient and polite. Our flight is smooth and comfortable, with the typical slightly bumpy approach into Lisbon. One unfortunate aspect of travelling with the band is there isn’t usually much time to wander off with my camera and get plane photos, but hopefully I’ll try find time later in the trip! Anyway, the gig we’re doing in Lisbon is a reasonably big one. The Pavilion Atlantico is a major venue here, so after checking in at our hotel we go to the venue and quickly see if the setup is going as planned, then proceed to get rather drunk on that wonderful Portuguese beverage known as Sagres! Friday 3rd March Today is gig day. We head to the venue at around 10:30 to see if everything‘s going according to plan. In a word, it’s going slowly, which gives me a chance to wander round the venue getting a few snaps http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo4-ArenaView1.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo5-ArenaView2.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo6-ArenaView3.jpg And just to prove I do actually do some work occasionally… http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo7-Soundcheck.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo8-Desk.jpg It’s a good gig, and there were… Well… A few people in http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo10-AudienceView.jpg I quite like the view I get from my office sometimes! http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo11-OfficeView.jpg After the gig it was back to the hotel for me to enjoy some well earned red wine before trying to get some sleep for our flights back. Saturday 4th March Today we head back home, leaving the hotel at 11:30 for our first flight up at AMS. I was hoping to continue my little run of new aircraft and get a 739 on this sector, but it turned out to be a 738. Flight 3 Airline: KLM Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Registration: PH-BXN Route: LIS-AMS http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo11-PH-BXN.jpg Nothing much to say about this flight really! It was a pleasant flight with some quite spectacular views http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo12-PH-BXNWingView.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo13-PH-BXNCloud.jpg There’s something I find very peaceful about this shot. I just wish the window had been a little clearer http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo14-PH-BXNCloud2.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo15-PH-BXN.jpg About 5 minutes after I dis-assembled my camera after the first few shots were taken, a twin jet, probably a 737, flew right underneath us. It just appeared in my window flying at 90 degrees to our plane, and it can’t have been much more that 1000 feet below us. I missed it and I was not amused, but it was an awesome sight. There was an interesting moment on approach to AMS. During the descent while we were still at a good few thousand feet, the left wing hit an air pocket and momentarily dropped very abruptly, then levelled out again. Moments like that make a flight more interesting for me (as long as I‘ve slept in the last 30 hours), but there were a few gasps from people in the cabin! A smooth-ish landing and relatively short taxi bring us to our stand and bring me one step closer to Burger King. We had a two and a half our connection at AMS, but by the time we’d found food and finished there wasn’t much point in heading to Panorama Terrace, which I have a feeling may have been closed at that time anyway, so we wandered around the shopping centre that is Lounge 1 until we boarded our flight back home. Flight 4 Airline: KLM Aircraft: Fokker 100 Registration: PH-OFC Route: AMS-LBA There had been some pretty heavy snow at AMS (as indeed there had been across much of Europe). After boarding the captain informed us we were in the queue to be de-iced. After an hour of watching Phoenix Nights on my laptop we finally pushed back from the gate to have the cold solid stuff blown off us. As you can see, we needed it! We later found out many flights hadn’t made it out of AMS that night, so we were among the lucky ones. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo16.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Photo17.jpg A short and at times slightly bumpy hop ever the North Sea and we’re back at a very cold LBA. We all head home in need of a good sleep. Because I’m, stupid, and ever so slightly obsessed, I spend Sunday and Monday at LBA taking photos, even though I’m flying back out of there on Tuesday for a trip to DUB.
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Tuesday 7th March Flight 5 Airline: Ryanair Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Registration: EI-DAX Route: LBA-DUB Today was one of those great moments when having an intimate relationship with one’s home airport has its merits. I was a little later than usual checking in, but by some random stroke of luck, my sequence number was 65 (instead of the more usual <10), so I made priority boarding. This being my fifth trip to DUB in the last couple of months and ninth in total, I’ve come to know it pretty well, and know it usually departs from gate 5a, so I wandered up there before everyone else to avoid the mad rush that is Ryanair boarding. When the gate agent arrived she asked “how did you get up here?!” I simply replied with a smile “I just kinda walked through the door”. I think she gathered I knew the place well. The flight is a very typical Ryanair flight. In fact, it’s a very typical flight. For some odd reason, I always seem to chose a seat on the right side of the aircraft. I have no idea why, but on this occasion we departed from runway 14, giving me a good view of the cemetery where I’ve spent so many hours over the last year. It was nice and sunny at 19-odd thousand feet, but sadly this was not the case in DUB! I came here today with the specific intent of taking photos and giving my new camera its first trip across the Irish sea. In a way I’m glad the weather and light were poor for photography, because it gave me a good chance to see what me and the 350D could produce in less than ideal conditions. Here’s what I came out with. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUBTrip2.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUBTrip.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUBTrip1.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB8.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB5.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB6.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB7.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DUB4.jpg As I mentioned earlier, I’m writing this as and when I get chance on my travels. I’m currently having a beer at the bar in the arrivals hall at DUB. Next to me is an emergency exit, which, from what I gather by the somewhat obvious signs the airport people wouldn’t be too happy if it were opened un-necessarily. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Sign.jpg One of the guys working here just used it as a short cut to his taxi. DUB makes me laugh sometimes! I’m now sat in a very deserted Pier A at gate A15. It’s 19:25, so we should hopefully be boarding in around an hour. This is the newer part of pier A, and it has its advantages. Firstly, there are plenty of power sockets for me to run my laptop. Secondly, there’s no-one around so I can watch Phoenix Nights without needing headphones, turning this part of the airport into my own little cinema I can’t believe I actually took a photo of this… http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Cinema.jpg Flight 6 Airline: Ryanair Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 Registration: EI-DLE Route: DUB-LBA Well… Boarding turned into the usual FR/DUB joke. A late inbound flight and two gate changes did very little to make us happy, but I’ve come to expect this at DUB. Nonetheless, it’s another uneventful flight with what was quite a rough landing, even by LBA standards, and… Well… I was on a plane. I can’t really complain!
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9th March Today the work begins again. We’re flying up to Billund in Denmark to start an 11 day tour of Denmark with one gig up in Oslo. We’re happy to find our KLM flight to AMS is running on time today! Flight 7 Airline: KLM Aircraft: Fokker 100 Registration: PH-OFF Route: LBA-AMS LBA really is almost starting to feel like home to me. Every time I arrive at the front of this little airport I feel happy, whether I’m flying or simply up there taking photos. It’s always a pleasant place for me to be. Today is purely a travel day, and on the first flight of this part of the trip I’m back on the good old noisy F100. Noisy as it may be, there’s something I’ve come to love about this little aircraft. There’s something solid about it. Reliable, trustworthy… Anyway, we boarded quickly after an efficient check in and were swiftly on our way. KLM were great as usual, and we arrived on time for our connection up to BLL. Our connection at AMS is fairly tight, but it still allows time for me to see how much red wine I can drink in 45 minutes in KLM’s Crown Lounge. Flight 8 Airline: Sterling Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 Registration: OY-MRI Route: AMS-BLL This flight is my first with Sterling,, adding a new airline to my list. Operated as a code share with KLM, it’s a disappointingly smooth flight (I like turbulence!) and Sterling’s cabin crew were friendly and efficient. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/SterlingAMS.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/MRIInFlight.jpg We arrive at a rather chilly BLL on time, head to our hotel in Esbjerg, check in, have dinner, find an Irish bar and drink. The next day I have time to wander round the town and investigate. It’s a harbour town, industrial but pleasant, which is good as I have a bit of a thing for ships as well as planes. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Tower.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Esbjerg153.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Esbjerg168.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Esbjerg176.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Esbjerg213.jpg After Esbjerg, we head to Herning for one concert, then travel by coach for 3 and a half hours to Copenhagen airport for our flight to Oslo. Our coach journey begins at some ridiculous time in the morning, but it allowed us the privilege of witnessing a stunning sunrise. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning11.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning19.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning26.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning40.jpg Tuesday 14th March Flight 9 Airline: Norwegian Air Shuttle Aircraft: Boeing 737-300 Registration: LN-KKR Route: CPH-OSL I thought these flights were on SAS Scandinavian Airlines, but for some odd reason we ended up flying on Norwegian. With tight seat pitch and buy on board service, it’s very obvious this airline are low cost. Bright yellow interiors and Eastern European cabin crew who speak limited English aside, they had something of a Ryanair feel about them. The frame around my window didn’t seem to want to stay on the actual window, reminding me of times gone by on the old B732’s of Ryanair. The views on this flight were so clear I couldn’t resist taking lots of photos. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning78.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/OSL.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning69.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning77.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning89.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Herning90.jpg We have a good gig on Oslo, and head to OSL the day after to fly back to CPH. On the way we see just how much snow this part of the world has received in recent days. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo45.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo46.jpg Check in was swift, as was boarding, and we were soon on our way.
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Flight 10 Airline: Norwegian Air Shuttle Aircraft: Boeing 37-300 Registration: LN-KKL Route: OSL-CPH On our flight to Oslo, I didn’t have my camera out for departure, and missed some spectacular views as we left Copenhagen. I wasn’t going to make that mistake again, although the views this time weren’t quite as stunning. Nonetheless, there’s a nice Icelandair 757 with winglets in the first shot! http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo47.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo52.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo53.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo.jpg Unfortunately the low cloud messed up my chances of getting more shots from the air, but we were soon above the cloud layer in the bright sunshine. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo55.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Oslo56.jpg On arrival at CPH, we have a day off, then head for concerts in Albertslund, Ringsted, Viborg and Aalborg. Aalborg was the only town I had chance to investigate, but what I found was a very clean and friendly place to be. I wandered around the town and ended up by the river. More ships! http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg146.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg149.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg027.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg042.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg046.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg092.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg101.jpg http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/Aalborg108.jpg The day after our final gig in Aalborg, we head back to Billund airport and fly home. Monday 20th March Flight 11 Airline: Sterling Aircraft: Boeing 737-700 Registration: OY-MRD Route: BLL-AMS To celebrate a good tour, I had a few beers with our Danish promoter on the 2 and a half hour coach journey to BLL this morning (starting at 9:30am). Check in took a little longer than usual as there wasn’t a business class check in desk, but we were soon through and I was soon in the sparse but pleasant lounge at BLL. Right at this moment, I’m happy. We’re cruising at FL320 with a view that I never tire of. http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y36/MMSR5/DC009.jpg Having done several flights recently where I’ve been happy to land due to tiredness, it’s great to sit back in a semi-drunken state and actually enjoy the experience of flying without having to think about doing a concert when we land. I feel amazingly relaxed, and what better place to watch the world go by than from up here. This flight reminds me why I have such a love of being in the air. Flight 12 Airline: KLM Aircraft: Fokker 100 Registration: PH-OFJ Route: AMS-LBA Our connection for this flight was tight, but myself and our lighting designer still managed the ritual drink in the KLM Crown Lounge at AMS. Schiphol, like LBA, is starting to feel very much like home for me. As with my local airport, I’m always very happy to be at AMS, even if only for a short time. As we were waiting to board this flight I noticed on the walls around our gate, some stunning large illuminated photographs of times gone by at AMS, when DC8’s and 707’s were as regular as 737’s and A320’s are now. Unfortunately I didn’t think to get my camera out and take some shots of them. Maybe next time. Another good and enjoyable (and noisy!) KLM F100 flight. It’s been a good tour, and the trips to Lisbon and Dublin were great, but I’m looking forward to getting back. Unfortunately I have just two days at home, both being taken up by trying to get systems ready for three UK tours, one of which I’m on and heads to Scotland just three days after returning from Denmark. The strange thing is, all I want now is a day off where I can sit at the side of the runway at LBA and take photographs. Am I slightly obsessed? Well… Yes, possibly, but it’s all good fun. If you read this far, I hope you enjoyed it! I certainly did, even if it was a little tiring! Paul
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Brilliant Paul! Great report and pics :D
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Superb report! One of the best I've read. Someone else to comment on how small the ERJ is once they've flown it! It really is! I'm glad you posted that pic of the door at DUB, looks very familiar. ;)
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Wow - fantastic trip report there - one of the best!
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Well Paul a very impressive report and a joy to read! loved it especially the fantastic selection of photos :D.
I'm glad you posted that pic of the door at DUB, looks very familiar.;)
You'd have to be me to know what Stuart was onabout, I don't reacall the signs being quite so big. :diablo:
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Well Paul a very impressive report and a joy to read! loved it especially the fantastic selection of photos :D. You'd have to be me to know what Stuart was onabout, I don't reacall the signs being quite so big. :diablo:
I don't remember it being such a potentially expensive mistake either! :diablo:
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Brilliant report!! Smashing photos aswell! :D
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fabulous report!
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Just brilliant mate, that shot at DUB reminds me of when me and you were sat drinking beer and watching Phoenix Nights! What a report! Any update on DUB again in a few weeks?
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Nice to hear from you Paul, some cracking shots there. You think the ERJ is small do you? Try a couple of sectors in a Trislander then :D
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Nice to hear from you Paul, some cracking shots there. You think the ERJ is small do you? Try a couple of sectors in a Trislander then :D
You try being 16 stone Mark :D Thanks for your comments guys. Much appreciated! Paul
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You call that work, do you? :diablo: Interesting report and nice pics, mate. :D

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Intresting report, loved it, any flights + reports in the immediate future we can expect, too lazy too scroll up and see if there are any in your signature, Wozza
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Intresting report, loved it, any flights + reports in the immediate future we can expect, too lazy too scroll up and see if there are any in your signature, Wozza
Hi Wozza, I'm just down to four flights next tuesday now, and no doubt I'll be doing some kind of trip report for them! As for future flights, not too sure at the moment. We have more gigs in Portugal, Norway and Latvia in the next few months but no details have been confirmed as of yet. They'll be in my signature as and when they appear! Thanks again for your comments guys! Paul

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ace pictures, is the TNT a TU204 ?
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Sure is.
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Excellent report and pics there!! :D:D
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Extreamly interesting report love the pics and great detail, thanks alot for posting!