Garuda Air- A-OK

I have to admit that when boarding the Garuda flight to Indonesia I was feeling somewhat anxious. I might have even said a prayer or 6, just in case. But my worry was completely unnecessary. The flight was very, pleasant, the staff were delightful and the food was really nice too.

Garuda have had some aviation difficulties in the past and this has cast quite a shadow over their name in the industry. I hope to see this changing more and more as their technical standards increase and their security measures tighten.

I was surprised to find spacious and comfortable seating, also lucky to have 2 seats to myself. The entertainment system is state of the art with movies on demand, tv shows and music channels. The food came quickly and it was really tasty for aeroplane food. A paddle pop was given to us an hour before landing, a bribe or just a sweet treat? I’ll take it either way.

I actually felt bad for my doubtful approach to the service of Garuda. On the plane I watched a film called Love Happens starring Jennifer Aniston about continuing life even after tragedy has happened in your life. The message used through out the film is ”A-OK”. The stars in the film are encouraged to take on life’s challenges and face them. Even though something bad happened in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen again and you can’t live your life in fear avoiding any tragedy or sadness. So being scared of airlines because they have had technical difficulties in the past just limits our options and our life experiences.

Arriving safely in the lovely tropical surroundings of the Jakarta airport, I felt rather sheepish. My fears were unwarranted. I would now recommend Garuda to anyone, especially those heading to the carriers host country Indonesia.

HAPPY FLYING!

Melvin from Germany of Traveldudes.org

Melvin from Germany is this weeks Travel Profile. Melvin and I met through Twitter after I found some of the amazing tips of his website http://traveldudes.org. Anyone can sign up and pen their very own travel tip. It’s great! Everyone is a travel expert. It’s so nice to hear about REAL travel experiences from the people who live and breathe them.

Melvin and I have a shared love of the fabulous German City, Köln. This city has an amazing cathedral, it’s by the river and it has some of Germany’s best beer! The Christmas markets are a delight and the tasty treats on offer are sure to have you visiting over and over again. Ich Liebe Deutschland! Learn why Melvin does too!

Name
Melvin

Occupation
I’m a travel agent, but right now I just help out in an agency once a week. I’ve just got too much work with Traveldudes.

Country of Residence
Germany

Country of Origin
Also Germany

contact/ website
http://traveldudes.org/

http://www.facebook.com/traveldudes

Why do you love Travel?
There is this one quote, I really like: “Who lives sees much. Who travels sees more.”
I’ve traveled all my life. First with my family, later with friends or alone and now with my wife. With each single day I’ve traveled, I’ve experienced/learned something special, which made the day worth it.

Favorite place in your home country and why?
That’s Köln (Cologne). Most travelers visit Berlin, Munich, Hamburg & Frankfurt (of the bigger cities), but they should visit Köln instead of Frankfurt. The people in Köln are much more laid back then in other cities. If you go out for a beer, you could do it easily alone. It won’t be long and you’ll meet others and have a drink with them. If you go to a brewery, mostly crowded, you’ll share your table with strangers. In other cities (like Munich), people will look really strange at you, if you do it there.
Here are some travel tips for Köln:
http://traveldudes.org/traveltips/europe/germany/west

Best place for tourists to visit in your country?
I would recommend travelers to visit Berlin, Köln, Hamburg & have a nice ride through the valley where the river Rhein (near Koblenz) flows. That’s one of the famous areas in Germany, where all the great wine grapes are growing on steep hills.

What other country would you life in if you had to leave your country?
It really depends on the reason why I would have to leave. Normally I wouldn’t leave. If it would be critical politcal reasons and I would have to leave Europe, I think I would choose New Zealand. It’s so far away from everywhere and not really of international political interest. That means: Safety! The Kiwis are really nice people and a bit laid back. They take things easy. But if I could stay in Europe, then I would live in Portugal. I could imagine to have a nice surf hostel at Portugal’s Atlantic coast. I also know a nice place in Spain (north of Tarifa), which would be just my thing.

Best travelling experience anecdote in your own country?
Wow… that’s tough. Actually I haven’t traveled in Germany for some time now. I told myself that I would travel the world first, as long I’m a travel agent & I’m fit doing it. Sure, I’ve been traveling through Germany and know some nice places, but not really an anecdote… Sorry!

Favourite activity when around your city?
Tourist activity? Climb the Cologne Cathedral! Or walk across the railroad bridge to the other site and keep left. There you’ll find a nice beer garden and a fantastic view of Köln.

Do you feel you know your country well, or is more exploring of your homeland needed?
I think I know my country well, but there is still so much more to see. I haven’t really been to Dresden and the surrounding area, which must be really beautiful, too.

Any warnings for travellers visiting in your country?
Yes, don’t drink and drive! Having a glass of beer or wine is a cultural thing here. So it’s actually meant a bit serious. There is no other country in the world with so many breweries compared to residents, but I’m sure that the British gets close.

Must see movie featuring your country and Why?
There are many great german movies, but not international known. Perhaps “Der Untergang”. Another stupid world war II movie. Ok, that one is actually quite good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downfall_%28film%29

The best book to read before visiting your country?
http://www.amazon.com/Deutshcland-2007-2008-MaxiAtlas-Germany/dp/3826418034/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264114331&sr=1-4
LOL

The must eat dish or delicacy of your country?
There is so much and it depends on the region. I love the Pommes Frites with Currywurst. Forget about going to typical fast food chains. In Germany you will find many small and independant fast food “shacks”. Otherwise try Reibekuchen. That’s also very typical german. There are many restaurants with german cuisine & special menus with meals of the region.

The top three sayings to make travellers stay in your country easier?
Kölle Alaaf! (Cologne carnival saying)
Ich bin ein Berliner!
Hallo, wie geht es Dir?

Best time of year to visit?
Spring is nice (around May) as there are many flowers and all the trees got that really fresh green. Summer (July till mid September) is great for long nights in beer gardens. Autumn (September, October) is great for the wine regions & the winter (December till March) is great for snowboarding in the Alps.

The 4 words that best describe your country:
Great landscapes & friendly people!

Make sure to get more Travel tips from Melvin at http://traveldudes.org and Follow him on Twitter  @traveldudes