Tag: travel

Top 10 Most Beautiful Beaches In The World

Lanikai Beach — Hawaii

Lanikai Beach in Hawaii is located on the northern shore of the island of Oahu. The water is peaceful and calm thanks to a coral reef just off its shores. This beach is the perfect place to swim or snorkel.

10 Aeroflot Facts You Should Know

Aeroflot is one of the oldest and most interesting airlines in the world. The airline has a colorful history of almost 100 years in operation, and has seen itself rise from a small airline to a mammoth airline with thousands of aircraft flying the skies of Russia and the world.

Dobrolet

Aeroflot was created in 1923 shortly after the Civil War in Russia. The initial name of the airline was “Dobrolet”, which means “Good Flying” in Russian. It wasn’t until the early 1930’s that the airline changed its name to Aeroflot.

First Routes

The first international route of Aeroflot was to the German city of Konigsberg (now the Russian city of Kaliningrad). The first domestic flight was between Moscow and Nizhniy Novgorod.

First Planes

The first aircraft in the fleet of Dobrolet/Aeroflot were not Russian built planes, but actually German built Junkers F-13 aircraft. It wasn’t until the early 1930’s that Russia began to develop their own aircraft which would replace the German Junkers planes.

Only Operating Jetliner

In 1956, Aeroflot launched services from Moscow to Irkutsk using the brand new jet engine aircraft, the Tupolev TU-104. From the time period of 1956 until 1958, the Tu-104 was the only jet engine aircraft operating in the world, due to the grounding of the British de Havilland DH-106 (the Comet), due to safety concerns after a few crashes.

Soviet Monopoly Joke

During the 1960’s, the Advertising and Information Office for Aeroflot was created. The office created the official slogan “Fly Aeroflot!” to promote the airline within Russia. However, this created a popular joke among the citizens, as there was no competition for Aeroflot within Russia, as they were the sole airline to operate in the Union. The actual reason behind this marketing campaign was to convince travelers to use planes over trains, which was Aeroflot’s main competitor at that time.

A Massive Fleet

At one time, Aeroflot operated over 2,000 aircraft in its fleet. The aircraft varied from tiny Antonov An-2 cropdusters and Mil-Mi Helicopters, to the large Illyushin Il-86 four engine aircraft and the Tupolev Tu-144 supersonic jet.

World Record Holder

During the 1980’s, Aeroflot carried more than 120 million passengers each year. This was a record set for the Guiness Book of World Records, and has never been beaten.

Banned from the United States

From 1983 until 1990, Aeroflot was banned from flying to the United States due to an executive order signed by then President Ronald Reagan. This order was signed in retaliation for the Soviet Union shooting down a Korean Airlines Boeing 747 (Flight 007) while flying over prohibited airspace in the Soviet Union. This ban was lifted in 1990 when the Soviet Union dissolved and the Russian Federation was created.

Babyflots

During the early 1990’s when the Soviet Union was dissolving, the massive airline Aeroflot was broken up into smaller regional/national airlines in their respective post-Soviet countries. Some examples are Bashkirian Airlines, Krasnoyarsk Airlines, Tatarstan Airlines, etc.

Flying Supersonic

Aeroflot is one of only (3) airlines in the world to operate a supersonic aircraft in service, with the other two residing in Europe (British Airways and Air France). Aeroflot flew the Tupolev Tu-144 in 1975 and was flying regularly between Moscow and Alma Ata (Kazakhstan) until discontinued in 1978. The Tu-144 was troubled from the beginning and

Ultra Low Cost Airlines vs Legacy Airlines. Which Is Best?

A common question that our readers ask us is “Which airline is better? An Ultra Low Cost Airline or a Legacy Airline.”

The short answer we respond with is that is depends on both your budget and scheduling needs. I will compare both types of airlines and break down the differences between them.

Atlantis Hotel – Kos, Greece

[yasr_multiset setid=1]

The Atlantis Hotel is a 510 room hotel situated right on the beaches of the sea.  I stayed at this hotel for a few nights and have a mixed opinion on the overall experience that we had.

While planning our trip to Greece for a friends wedding, we wanted to find a reasonably priced hotel that was situated near the town of Kos, but also near or on the beach.

There were many options available, but based on price, reviews, and photos, we decided on the Atlantis Hotel on the North East side of the island.

The Atlantis Hotel is about 45 minutes from the airport, and about a 35-50 Euro cab ride.  Upon arrival, there was a long wait to check in to our room.  Since there were four of us traveling together, we had booked a four person room, and were very curious to see how the arrangement of beds would work out.

After waiting about 20 minutes to check in, the front desk receptionist walked us to our room.  Since there were four of us, we were placed in a building a few minutes walk from the main hotel.  There were no elevators, so we had to carry our overly heavy suitcases up 3-4 flights of stairs.

Once we arrived in the room, we were pleasantly surprised.  The bathroom was simple, yet clean.  The main room contained two small single beds, a table with chairs, and a kitchen area complete with stove, refrigerator sink, etc. The main bedroom led out to the balcony, and contained one large bed, and an older television.

The only room with any type of air conditioning was the main bedroom.  However, it was very weak and would keep the room slightly cool at best.

Since I was due to leave and fly to Russia, I had to shower and get ready.  Upon entering the shower, i instantly became frustrated with the water, and then the shower curtain, as the rod and curtain fell down completely!

A few days later, I returned to the hotel after my trip to Russia.  Things had turned from normal to bad.  The room had not been cleaned in days.  The towels were the same ones, and it was just overall disgusting.

I went to the front desk with our old towels and politely asked for new ones.  The front desk receptionist told me “i am sorry, but we only give new towels every few days”.  I was shocked! “Every few days!”  That is one of the most disgusting things I had ever heard.  After a few minutes of arguing and fighting, they finally agreed to send up “just a few” new towels to shower with.

The room had not been cleaned in days, and i had asked about this as well.  Luckily, the next day a housekeeper appeared and cleaned the room, but at this point, it had been 5 days without a cleaning.

The Wi-Fi in the hotel is NOT free, but is cheap.  The downside is that a connection is only available in the lobby, and it is a very weak signal.  I was not able to make calls on Skype/WhatsApp/Facetime, and sending a plain text email took 2-3 minutes to “send” from the outbox.  This was a major let down since I had some work that needed done.

The food was good.  We didn’t purchase the “all inclusive” plan, but ate all of our meals at the hotels facilities.  No one ever checked or asked, so we didn’t bring it up.  The food was all in buffet style format.  Overall, I thought the quality and quantity was good.  You could never leave a meal hungry, but, you could find yourself running from the table back up to your hotel room bathroom.

The hotel offered a pool area and the beach.  The pool was nice, but overrun with families and children.  We relaxed by the pool and enjoyed complimentary snack and coffee.

The beach area was ok, but nothing incredible.  The hotel next to Atlantis Hotel was called “AquaBlu”, and offered an amazing beach that was much better than the Atlantis beach just a few steps away.

The reason I complain about the beach at the Atlantis Hotel, is that it was very rocky.  I enjoy fine grainy sand, and don’t like walking and hurting my feet on stones and rocks of all sizes.  Also, as you entered the water, you could only walk out about 5-6 feet before it dropped off completely.  I really hated this.  It was similar to the water I had experienced in Abu Dhabi a few months earlier.

Since this beach experience was a bit dissapointing, my friend and I walked down the beach to the “AquaBlu” hotel.  As we walked, there were big signs that read “Do Not Enter.  Restricted Military Area”.  Since the corner of the island where Atlantis Hotel and AquaBlu meet is directly across from Bodrum, Turkey, they are an epicenter of refugees entering Europe.  Each night, hundreds or even thousands of refugees will get on to small inflatable rafts, and make their way across the sea to Kos, Greece.  As we walked along the beach, we could see washed up rafts, life vests strewn about, and personal items scattered everywhere.  It was crazy to think about what these items represented.  These were people that made their way from oppression in Syria, through Turkey, and now into Europe.

After crossing through this restricted Military area, we found ourselves on the wonderful beach of AquaBlu.  The reason we did not stay at this hotel, was simply because of price.  A room for us would have been in the $300-400/night range, compared to $100/night for the Atlantis Hotel.

The beach of AquaBlu was amazing.  Finely grained sand.  No rocks.  

As you enter the warm water, you could walk out for what seemed an eternity.  After enjoying the water for a few minutes, we saw a friend of ours named Robert.  He joined us, and we played a fun game with a ball in the water.  I will never forget standing in the water and looking at everything around me.  To the left side was Turkey (Asia), and to the right was Greece (Europe).  It was so cool being at a crossroads like this in the world.  We had fun with our game, and then went to relax on the beach for a while.

My overall opinion on the Atlantis Hotel is this. If you are looking for a nice, safe, clean place to stay in Kos, then this is perfect for the budget minded traveler.  If you have the means to spend more, then stay at the AquaBlu hotel.

The Wi-Fi is a let down, and the staff at this hotel is miserable.  I did not encounter a single helpful, friendly, or courteous person during our entire stay.  The food is good, and the beach is acceptable.

There is a small store next to the hotel where you can buy anything you might need.  Seriously.  ANYTHING.

Also, the thing that bothered us the most with our (4) person room was that we only had ONE key.  Yes.  One key for (4) people.  That was very troublesome, because it meant we always needed to remain together.  The hotel had no other keys, and it was impossible to ask an employee to let you into the room.

If I ever returned to Kos, I would not stay at the Atlantis Hotel.