Exploring the world in the Beechcraft Bonanza

Leg 31 Sinj, Croatia via Bosnia and Hezegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, to Sofia, Bulgaria

DAY9_22.PLN (4.8 KB)

9-22 Sinj LDSS 7:04 AM North West follow the lake between the mountains
9-22 Glamoc LQGL 7:24 AM South-East via Blindinje nature park
9-22 Sarajevo LQSA 8:04 AM Sebrenica half-way
9-22 Belgrade LYBE 9:10 AM
9-22 Divci LYVA 9:36 AM
9-22 Ponikve LYUZ 9:53 AM Most na Đurđevića Tari bridge half way
9-22 Kapino LYNK 10:43 AM
9-22 Cilipi LDDU 11:10 AM
9-22 Tivat LYTV 11:24 AM
9-22 Cemovsko LYPO 11:40 AM
9-22 Amiko LYDK 12:10 PM
9-22 Pristina BKPR 12:24 PM
Performance severley degraded, restart
9-22 Prestina BKPR 12:31 PM
9-22 Breznik LBBR No lights
9-22 Sofia LBSF 1:32 PM

Flight time: 6:21 11 stops

I started off in the rain today. Light rain, just a couple specks on the windshield at take off.

It makes better pictures than the bleached out full sun look.

Zooming by Peruca lake

Blindinje nature park

Sarejevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, beautiful location in the Dinaric Alps

Apparently World War I started here with the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

Mine site spotted at Palež

Sebrenica, looks like such an innocent town, known for the Sebrenica massacre.

Location of the most recent genocide / ethnic cleansing in Europe, in 1995.

25th anniversary, more dead are still being identified, still around 1,000 people missing

On to Belgrade, Serbia

Close up of the old fortress on the hill

Very beautiful place to land at Ponikve on top of a hill

Priboj

Windows 10 had this picture as background a few months ago



I saved the link to fly underneath that bridge when FS2020 came out

Well, I found it

Needless to say, I flew over the bridge instead!

Good place for bungee jumps or zip line.

Niksic with a little rainbow

Cemovsko

Following the rainbow

Caught up with it at Tamare

Valbona National Park

Truly awesome to fly through

Pristina, Kosovo

Monument commemorating Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008

The border with Serbia is still drawn as a dotted line on maps. There are many countries that do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state (about 50/50), neither does Serbia.

Ending the day in Sofia after skipping Breznik (no lights)

I forgot to turn the avionics brightness down, I blame my co-pilot. The knobs are on his side.

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Leg 32 Sofia, Bulgaria via North Macedonia to Skiathos, Greece

DAY9_23.PLN (5.2 KB)

9-23 Sofia LBSF 5:07 AM
9-23 Pirin Airfield LBGT 6:05 AM
9-23 Petrich LB45 6:18 AM
9-23 Negotino LW72 6:41 AM Ultra short runway
9-23 Skopje LWSK 7:00 AM
9-23 Brazda LW75 7:12 AM
9-23 Tirana LATI 7:56 AM
9-23 Kucova LAKV 8:17 AM
9-23 Ohrid LWOH 8:39 AM
9-23 Aristotelis LGKA 9:13 AM
9-23 Ioannina LGIO 9:36 AM
9-23 Myrini - Karditsa LGMA 10:22 AM

9-23 Myrini - Karditsa LGMA 11:35 AM
9-23 Lamia LG53 11:56 AM
9-23 Molos Airfield LGMO 12:02 PM
9-23 Alexandros Papadiamandis LGSK 12:26 PM

Flight time 6:06 14 stops

Another great day flying through the mountains

First Sofia visiting the Palace of Culture

Very interesting looking building

Into the mountains, climbing up a valley in Rila national park

The top is obscured in the clouds

The clouds stuck with the mountains, Pirin National Park in full sunlight

Kosharka, in one of the wide open spaces between the mountain ranges

Skopje, the capital of North Macedonia

The stone bridge, symbol of Skopje, and Archeological museum. It’s the bridge just after the thin rectangular building on the right of the Vardar river in the picture above.

What caught my eye is all the statues all over the city, including this giant one of Alexander the Great on Macedonia square. If that was added to FS2020 it would likely be reported as a bug!

National park Mavrovo, heading back into rainy weather

Stunning views, awesome to fly through

Luzni-Bulaç on the other side

Tirana, I think I’ll just stay inside

Berat, so much to see around here

Tomorri mountain national park

Ohrid on lake Ohrid

It has this cute St John the Theologian orthodox church on the water

Kastoria/ See that cave entrance at the bottom of the hill, front left

It’s called the Dragon’s lair.

Loannina, back in the rain

There are these old castle ruins, castle of Loannina.

Passing Glifa at sunset

Flying over Skiatos to make a 180 over the Agean sea to come in for a landing

Coming in for the final stop of the day

The plane is all clean and shiny after all that rain!

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Leg 33 Skiathos, Greece with a detour into Bulgaria to Alexandroupoli, Greece

DAY9_24.PLN (5.0 KB)

Greece is amazing, great mountains to fly through and lots of history

9-24 Alexandros Papadiamandis LGSK 5:01 AM
9-24 Stefanovikion Army LGSV 5:18 AM
9-24 Larisa LGTE 5:29 AM Meteora Unesco site monastry West then Mount Olympus North-East
9-24 Alexandria Army LGAX 6:35 AM
9-24 Makedonia (Thessaloniki) LGTS 6:54 AM
9-24 Silata Airfield LGNA 7:03 AM Extremely short ‘runway’, Mount Athos on Eastern most peninsula
9-24 Amigdhaleon AB LGKM 8:04 AM
9-24 Megas Alexandros LGKV 8:22 AM
9-24 Plovdiv LBPD 8:56 AM

9-24 Plovdiv LBPD 10:08 AM
9-24 Stryama Airfield LBST 10:27 AM
9-24 Kamenets LB42 10:56 AM
9-24 Gorna Oryahovitsa LBGO 11:21 AM
9-24 Burgas LBBG 11:48 AM
9-24 Dimokritos LGAL 12:56 PM

Flight time 6:43 13 stops

Not a lot of airports on the way, thus some big detours for sight seeing in between

First to Kalabaka and Kastraki where the Meteora monastries are located

The 6 Eastern Orthodox monasteries, listed as a World Heritage site, are built on top of rock pillars, which are sadly melted in the game. Still a pretty site for monastries.

The real deal

Maybe not all that tranquil anymore now it’s a tourist attraction

On to Mount Olympus, highest mountain in greece, home of the ancient gods and and goddesses.

Odd bunch of trees clinging to the side

A real picture, looks like a very mystic place.

Thessaloniki next

Home of the white tower, in the bottom of the picture above.

It has been a Byzantine fortification then a notorious prison and nowadays a museum.

Landing at Silata, one of the shortest runways I’ve seen

Too short to comfortably take off from, luckily the bit of gentle downhill at the end of the runway help to get out over the trees.

Mount Athos, important center of Eastern Orthodox monasticism

Impressive rock at the end of a long peninsula

One of the 20 monasteries around the mountain

Beautiful inside as well as outside

They remind me of Spirited away, the bath house

Back inland, Rodopi mountain range national park

Approaching Plovdiv in Bulgaria

This looked like a giant runway from the sky, it’s actually for rowing competitions

2019 world cup rowing in Plovdiv

Plovdiv is also home of the theater of Philippopolis

A Roman theater constructed in the 90s, first century and still in use.

Central Balkan national park, amazing to fly through

Crossing the Rositsa river near Resen

Gorna Oryahovitsa. I saw lightning in the distance, only one discharge though.

Burgas, the sun is already setting

A shame since I hoped to get this view

Apparently you can swim in those red/pink salt pools

Great city known for its sand festival, sand castles!

The sea garden is very nice as well

Sunset on the way back to Greece

Arrival at Alexandroupoli in the dark

(Btw I got the city light reflections on the plane back by turning TAA off, render scale 200)

Great flight, tomorrow on to Istanbul, Turkey. I’ll be back to Greece later, much more to see here.

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Leg 34 Alexandroupoli, Greece through Turkey to Geçitkale, Cyprus

DAY9_25.PLN (5.7 KB)

Early start, lot of long distances to get other stuff done.

9-25 Dimokritos LGAL 4:46 AM
9-25 Kesan LTFL 5:03 AM
9-25 Corlu AB LTBU 5:28 AM
9-25 Hezarfen LTBW 5:41 AM
9-25 Ataturk LTBA (Istanbul) 5:48 AM
9-25 Samandira AB LTBX 6:18 AM
9-25 Yalova AB LTBP 6:27 AM
9-25 Bursa LTBE 6:41 AM
9-25 Yenisehir AB LTBR 6:58 AM
9-25 Topel AB LTBQ 7:16 AM
9-25 Caycuma LTAS 8:11 AM
9-25 Sinop LTCM 9:15 AM
9-25 Esenboga LTAC 10:25 AM
9-25 Guvercinlik AB LTAB 10:50 AM
9-25 Polatli Airport LTPO 11:07 AM
9-25 Konya AB LTAN 12:03 PM to 12:38 PM
Autopilot bugged, save, reload, game save broken, game crashed to desktop
9-25 Approximate halfway position 12:51 PM
9-25 Gecitkale LCGK 1:25 PM No lights, landed with view finder

Flight time 8:26 16 stops

It seems the game starts to misbehave worse and worse after 5 hours running. Every time I leave it going continuously it grinds to a halt or crashes after 6 or 7 hours. Memory leak or rolling cache issues maybe.

First sight seeing stop today, Istanbul

The Blue Mosque on the left and Hagia Sophia on the right.

The Hagia Sophia looks marvelous, orginally build in 537

The Galata tower is across the water (still left side)

A very recognizable landmark, but not in FS2020 yet.

Flying past the Dolmabahçe Palace, bottom left

And here the Adalet Sarayi, palace of justice

Departing Bursa, clouds are coming

Skimming over the dead calm black sea by Lafarge Eregli Çimento

Zonguldak

Tunnels connecting the beaches and the Varagel tunnel which leads into the city

Küre Daglari Milli Parki

Ayancik, town spilling out into the sea

The Ilgaz mountains

Bülbül Pinari Mesire Alani

Ankara, the capital of Turkey

Flying past the Anıtkabir, memorial tomb.

It is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

Ankara also house the Kocetepe mosque

Relatively new (1967) yet a prominent landmark in Ankara and largest mosque in the city.

Coming in for a landing in Konya

The last flight to Cyprus went horribly wrong. The game was already acting up more and more and then I accidentally hit active pause while star gazing with auto pilot on. There was no recovery from that, auto pilot completely on the fritz.

Since it was still over half an hour from any airport I saved, quit and tried to reload the save game to finish the flight. After loading the save game, no option to fly, nothing. I tried copy pasting the gps coordinates from the .FLT file, but for some reason the game converted them to somewhere in Africa… So I tried to estimate where I was and click on the map to continue from there. I clicked Fly, crash to desktop.

Restart the game, try a slightly different position and it loaded! It started me at 7500 ft, fine. Auto pilot worked again, all dark, see you at landing time. Of course no lights at the destination airport, no problem. I landed using the 3D terrain viewer just like before. I didn’t even turn the landing light on, stealth landing.

Tomorrow, exploring Cyprus, then back to Greece along the Southern coast of Turkey to tour the Dodecanese islands.

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Leg 35 Geçitkale, Cyprus to Samos, Greece

DAY9_26.PLN (6.0 KB)

Great flight, more mountains then islands

9-26 Gecitkale LCGK 5:02 AM
9-26 Acheritou Airport LCAC 5:10 AM
9-26 Kingsfield AB CX00 5:19 AM
9-26 Larnaca Intl LCLK 5:27 AM
9-26 Akrotiri AB LCRA 5:45 AM
9-26 Pafos Intl LCPH 5:57 AM
9-26 Mammari LCNC 6:27 AM
9-26 Alanya LTFG 7:09 AM
9-26 Manavgat Airport LTKI 7:31 AM
9-26 Antalya LTAI 7:47 AM
Bad performance, long stutters, restart
9-26 Antalya LTAI 7:57 AM
9-26 Kastelorizo LGKJ 8:36 AM
9-26 Cardak AB LTAY 9:21 AM
9-26 Adnan Menderes LTBJ 10:22 AM
9-26 Alacati Airport LTAM 10:52 AM
9-26 Chios LGHI 11:05 AM
9-26 Olimboi LG56 11:12 AM
9-26 Ikaria LGIK 11:41 AM
9-26 Samos LGSM 12:00 PM

Flight time 6:48 17 stops

First I spotted another race track, never hear of it before

Achna speedway in Dasaki Achnus on Cyprus

Apparently (among other things) they have a drift championship there

Lanarca

Asgata

Kamaras aquaduct is here and a huge salt lake

On the Seath-West end, Paphos with the tombs of the king, dating back to 4th century BC.

Cyprus has a mount Olympus as well

Quite a view from up here

And Troodos botanical gardens on the side of the hill

Heading back to Turkey, leaving Cyprus behind

Ugrak along the South coast of Turkey

Alanya

There is a castle with a huge defensive wall dating back to the Seljuk era.

Antalya, big city

So many hotels with huge swim resorts along the coast

Better to swim in the pools, the coast is pretty rugged

Siviri Dag Milli Parki

Uyluk Tepe

Pamukkale

The white stuff is this

Thermal pools leaving white sediment, great picture opportunities

I’ve seen these in Yellowstone ntl park, hopefully they’re more detailed there.

Pamukkale also the Necropolis of Hierapolis

Izmir, large coastal town with an ancient Roman/Greek market

The market is where that tall building in the lower left is standing. That building doesn’t exist, AI bug. That whole square is an open air musuem.

There are water tunnels underneath the market

Leaving the mainland behind, on to Chios

The wind has picked up, 23 knots, it’s blowing the plane around quite a bit

Olimpi

Sunset on the way to Samos

That wind is fierce, slow going and flying over 20 degrees off angle.

Tomorrow, island hopping including a lap around Crete.

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Leg 36 Samos to Syros, Greece touring the Dodecanese islands

DAY9_27.PLN (6.3 KB)

Lovely to revisit my backpack tour from 25 years ago. It looks like it’s a bit overcrowded with tourism nowadays. Fun to recognize all the places I’ve been to.

9-27 Samos LGSM 4:42 AM
9-27 Leros LGLE 4:57 AM
9-27 Kalymnos LGKY 5:07 AM
9-27 Ippokratis LGKO 5:16 AM
9-27 Diagoras LGRP 5:43 AM The valley of butterflies
9-27 Karpathos LGKP 6:28 AM
9-27 Kasos LGKS 6:35 AM
9-27 Sitia LGST 6:53 AM
9-27 Kasteli AB LGTL 7:19 AM
9-27 Tympaki LG54 7:36 AM
9-27 Maleme Air Base LGGE 8:09 AM

9-27 Maleme Air Base LGGE 9:09 AM
9-27 Ioannis Daskalogiannis LGSA 9:21 AM
9-27 Nikos Kazantzakis LGIR 9:49 AM
9-27 Santorini LGSR 10:26 AM
9-27 Astypalaia LGPL 10:51 AM
9-27 Naxos LGNX 11:17 AM
9-27 Paros LGPA 11:28 AM
9-27 Milos LGML 11:49 AM
9-27 Syros LGSO 12:22 PM Seagulls

Flight time 6:40 18 stops

First up Kalymnos, a big rock sticking out of the sea like most of the islands.

On to Kos, boat spotted

Once you have seen one, you have seem them all :confused: I haven’t seen any other type of boat yet.

Rodos

The valley of butterflies is here. I never got this far backpacking and I imagined it to be bigger

It seems it’s a pretty small valley, how do they all get there!

Achata beach on Karpathos. Beaches are hard to find along these rock islands.

Thrypti Dimou Lerapetras, Crete

Spathi mountain, also on Crete. Crete has some very high mountains.

The top of the mountain in real life

Mount Pakhnes, further to the West

Heraklion, largest city on Crete

It’s known for the palace of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and has been called Europe’s oldest city.

On to Santorini, I’ve been here. Beautiful place, mosquitos were awful

Walking up and down that zig zag road to the harbor early morning was great. (to get away from the mosquitos)

Yeah it looks like ■■■■ in FS2020

The island is basically an old volcano and you can still visit the smoking center part. Sad to read it’s over crowded with tourism nowadays. This is just ridiculous


I need to find my old photo album. Those pictures with empty streets on Santorini might be worth something today! Dine in a not even half full restaurant with epic views, no reservation needed. I miss the Greek food most haha.

Astipalea, bland rock

Naxos. We rented bikes here for some amazing cycling, all empty roads, great views.

The Apollo temple is on that outcrop bottom left

I have that picture somewhere.

Antiparos with Paros behind it

It looks like there are a lot buildings on the island nowadays. On Paros I got cured from the notion that it would be cool to sleep under the stars on the beach. The stars were great, getting sand blasted all night and waking up with a sleeping back full of sand… What was I thinking.

Paros had the most amazing fresh baked feta bread. It was from a local bakery somewhere hidden in the village. It wasn’t easy to find as no one spoke English, universal ‘sign language’ to the rescue. It made a big impression, that feta bread and gyros pitas are the first things that come to mind when I think of Greece.

We traveled from island to island on these ferries, free passage with interrail pass, which was only about $100 back then under 26, unlimited travel for a month.

Shame they aren’t in the game.

Milos, the island with the most amazing beaches

We rented bicycles here as well to visit (then) remote beaches

We swam here! It’s that cove in the picture above. Nobody else around

Looking in the opposite direction, that long curved beach is amazing

Again we were pretty much alone there, taking pictures of our stretching shadows on the terrain

Sifnos on the right

Final stop today, Siros

Tomorrow back to the main land, before heading over to Italy. Another thing I won’t do again, sleep on the deck of a night ferry. No sand, but you wake up soaking wet!

Leg 37 Syros, Greece, a bit of Albania, to Bari, Italy

DAY9_28.PLN (7.2 KB)

What a day for flying. I knew I was in for a rough ride when live weather showed up with lightning bolts. Lot of fun and an amazing sunset at the end of the day.

9-28 Syros LGSO 4:59 AM
9-28 Mikonos LGMK 5:16 AM
9-28 Eleftherios Venizelos Intl LGAV 5:52 AM
9-28 Hellinikon LGAT 5:59 AM Acropolis
9-28 Tatoi AB LGTT 6:23 AM
9-28 Elefsis AB LGEL 6:37 AM
9-28 Megara Army LGMG 6:46 AM

9-28 Megara Army LGMG 6:51 AM
9-28 Tripolis AB LGTP 7:15 AM
9-28 Sparti AB LGSP 7:35 AM

9-28 Sparti AB LGSP 7:50 AM Sparta North-West
9-28 Kalamata AB LGKL 8:14 AM
9-28 Epitalion LGEP 8:36 AM Olympia North-East
9-28 Andravida AB LGAD 9:09 AM
9-28 Dionysios Solomos LGZA 9:23 AM
9-28 Kefallinia LGKF 9:38 AM
9-28 Araxos AB (Patras) LGRX 10:01 AM
9-28 Missolonghi LGME 10:14 AM

9-28 Missolonghi LGME 10:30 AM
9-28 Agrinion AB LGAG 10:38 AM
9-28 Aktion AB LGPZ Geese 10:56 AM Geese
9-28 Ioannis Kapodistrias Intl (Corfu) LGKR 11:22
9-28 Kucova LAKV 11:58 AM
9-28 Tirana LATI 12:21 PM
9-28 Palese Macchie (Bari) LIBD 1:30 PM

Flight time 7:45 21 stops

First heading over to Mikanos

Circular parking place, you don’t see that very often.

Mikanos, known for its colorful houses

And plenty of the iconic windmills

Now I’m really thinking of ICO.

Back to the main land, entering at Daskalio on the way to Athens

The capital, Athens, also the heart of ancient Greece, so much to see here

First something modern that caught my eye, that stadium at the bottom of the picture above is

Lycabettus Theatre, outdoor concert arena

The next green section up houses Zappeio Hall, to the left of that, the big white rectangle

Panathenaic stadium, entirely build of marble, the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896

Of course the main attraction and superbly modeled in FS2020, the Acropolis

On the right Odeon of Herodes Atticus, restored stone theater constructed 161 AD, renevated in 1950 and currently used for outdoor concerts. There is a lot more to see here

And I have to fly by the modern Olympic Athletic Center of Athens “Spiros Louis” before moving on

Passing mount Kinorio, the skies are looking grim

Look at that radar, all red

A break in the clouds at Kastanitsa

Almost to Sparta, Sparti Air Base (Sparta is North-West from here)

There it is Sparta!

Hmm, that conference building on the left, that’s ancient Sparta…

The real thing

The fake thing

The weather really let loose after leaving Sparta

First time I’ve seen rain streaking down the windows in flight

Cozy inside

Crossing the Neda river

To visit Olympia, the site where the historical Olympic games took place.

That landing strip is the old stadium where the athletic games were held.

Here’s a better weather picture

That’s the international Olympic academy with the historical stadium above

And this is what the historical site looks like, ruins from different temples etc.

I’ve been there 25 years ago, still looks the same. There are lots of historical artifacts on display as well in the nearby museum.

On to Andravida, a break in the weather ahead

Argassi on one of the Ionian islands

Zakhintos nearby

Mount Ainos in the distance

Passing South of Oxia back to the mainland in between two cloud layers

Araxos on the mainland, still raining there

Messolonghi on the other side of the gulf of Patras

Odd little airport, one farm field converted into a landing strip

Psili Korifi mountain in the distance

Looking behind from the same mountain, lot of cloud action

Speaking of action, Aktion on the Ambracian gulf

Corfu, large island, popular holiday destination

Recreation and historical sites like this Venetian fortress

It’s where that beached yacht is in the previous picture

Kucova, Albania. Odd happenstance of light, shadows and showers

Arriving in Tirana, capital of Albania

Passing over the city while departing for Italy

A colorful city in itself, now delivering the best sunset I’ve seen yet in FS 2020

Onwards to Italy with a hefty headwind

Final stop, Bari, Italy

Next up, South along the coast of Italy.

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Leg 38 Bari to Pantellaria, Italy with a detour to Malta

DAY9_29.PLN (10.0 KB)

A tour along the South coast of Italy, including Malta.

9-29 Palese Macchie (Bari) LIBD 4:59 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Al Canale LIAH 5:54 AM
9-29 Aeroclub Citt Bianca Francesco Santoro LIJS 6:04 AM
9-29 Casale Mil (Brindisi) LIBR 6:12 AM
9-29 Lecce Mil LIBN 6:30 AM
9-29 Aviosuperficie Corte LINK 6:35 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Pietralata LIAW 6:40 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Gemini LIHT 6:47 AM
9-29 Grottaglie LIBG 7:15 AM
9-29 Gioia Del Colle Mil LIBV 7:34 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Natile LIGN 7:42 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Pisticci LIBQ 7:49 AM
9-29 Campo di Volo Dragons Fly LISI 8:08 AM
9-29 Aviosuperficie Franca LISG 8:27 AM
9-29 Crotone LIBC 8:37 AM
9-29 CdV 38 N Fly Zone LISM 9:19 AM
9-29 Reggio Calabria LICR 9:29 AM
9-29 Aviosuperficie Angelo D’arrigo LIPP 9:51 AM

9-29 Aviosuperficie Angelo D’arrigo LIPP 10:45 AM
9-29 Fontanarossa LICC 11:14 AM Big bumps on runway
9-29 Aviosuperficie Rinaura LICI 11:26 PM
9-29 Aviosuperficie Avola-Gallina LIFB 11:31 PM
9-29 Aviosuperficie Oasi dei Re LIPW 11:45 PM
9-29 Comiso LICB 11:55 PM
9-29 Campo di Volo Club Aeronautico Gela LIIN 12:05 PM
9-29 Luqa (Malta) LMML 12:43 PM
9-29 Lampedusa LICD 1:38 PM
9-29 Pantelleria Mil LICG 2:20 PM

Flight time 8:27 26 stops

First I have to explore Bari for a bit, photogrammetry city

Close-up of Basilica cattedrale di San Sabino 13th-century Romanesque church

And a close-up of Castello Normanno-Svevo, 13th century fortress

Bari train station, view towards the harbor

I took the train to Brindisi with a stop in Bari. The train goes right along the coast for long stretches, amazing train ride.

For the soccer fans, Stadio San Nicola built for the 1990 world cup

On to Brindisi from where I took a ferry to Patras, Greece 25 years ago

The Swabian castle on the right of the water

Gallipoli sticking out into the sea. The beach of purity right in front

Taranto, another city making the most of land on the water

Castello Aragonese on the bottom right of the island

Novo Siri Scalo, some foothills appearing in the Southern landscape

Villapiana, Pollino National Park behind me

A challenging landing strip at the pittoresque lake Ampollino

Scogliera delle Vasche di Cassiodoro, historical landmark in Copanello

The coast line in real life

San Carlo, another challenging landing strip. Italy has lots of really short strips.

Regio Calabria, ready to cross over to Sicily across the water.

Taormina, hilltop town at the foot of Mount Etna

From the other direction. There are caves big enough for a small boat

After a tough climb, circling the mountain, Mount Etna

It only has one photogenic side in the game, there is a detail transition right over top of the mountain.

The West side has the detail, other side is low res.

This puts everything humans have created into perspective

Good time for a little detour to the smaller islands, approaching Malta at Bugibba

Malta was well known for the Azure window, which sadly collapsed in a storm in 2017

Nothing lasts forever

Valetta and Floriana

View of Valetta with St Paul’s Cathedral and the big dome behind, Madonna tal-Karmnu

Malta, covered in old forts etc, is a popular destination for movies since 1925

One of the movie sets is now a tourist attraction, Popeye village

Onwards while the sun goes down, Lampedusa

Not much growing on the island, but great (crowded) beaches and lots of marine life.

I’ll take a closer look at Pantelleria tomorrow, not much to see in the dark.

Leg 39 Pantellaria to Rome, Italy

DAY9_30.PLN (7.6 KB)

Italy is all kinds of epic, too much to see

9-30 Pantelleria Mil LICG 4:45 AM
9-30 Aviosuperficie Agrigento LITY 5:29 AM
9-30 Campo di Volo AvioSciacca LIYM 5:52 AM
9-30 Aviosuperficie Terranova LIMI 5:56 AM
9-30 Campo di Volo Valbelice LICS 6:03 AM
9-30 Birgi Mil LICT 6:20 AM Isola di Marettimo West
9-30 Punta Raisi LICJ 6:53 AM
9-30 Boccadifalco Mil (Palermo) LICP 7:00 AM
9-30 Campo di Volo Albatros LISC 7:37 AM
9-30 Aviosuperficie Minotaurus e Medusa LIAC 7:54 AM Island chain North
9-30 Campo di Volo Il Grifo LIZA 9:06 AM
9-30 Terme LICA 9:16 AM
9-30 Aviosuperficie Cosenza LISO 9:34 AM
9-30 Castrovillari Airport LIKA 9:46 AM
9-30 Pontecagnano (Salerno) LIRI 10:24 AM Amalfi coast West, Pompei, Vesuvius
9-30 Capodichino (Naples) LIRN 11:20 AM
9-30 Pozzilli Airport LIZL 11:58 AM
9-30 Campo di Volo Piana 5 Miglia LIUN 12:10 OM
9-30 Aviosuperficie Celano LIFP 12:21 PM
9-30 Guidonia Mil (Rome) LIRG 12:40 PM

Flight time 8:25 19 stops

Things are getting better, no problem letting the game run for nearly 9 hours. It was paused for a while here and there, and I lost internet as well. After internet came back it logged itself back in and I could unpause and keep going without having to restart. Just wait a bit for streaming to catch up.

Pantellaria where I arrived at night yesterday

Odd stray lightning

It’s not that green in real life but looks pretty with trees

Back to Scicily, to Agrigento where the valley of the temples is

Galvestrano

A little detour to the Islands of the West Coast from Scicily, Isola di Marettimo

Castello di Punta Troia at the other end of the island

This island is popular for diving, lot of places to explore ocean life

Back to Sicily again, the capital Palermo

Massima theater in Palermo, Italy’s largest auditorium

Quattro Canti, octagonal square, to the right above the fountain at the bottom

If you zoom in you can just make out the statues on the square next to the church of Saint Joseph of the Theatine Fathers

Quattro Canti close up

Palermo also has catacombs you can visit, Catacombe dei Cappuccini

8000 corpses dating from the 16th century to 1920

A bridge on the E90 near Pollina. That road must have been very expensive, tunnel, bridge, tunnel, etc

Off to explore the Eolians, volcanic island chain North of Sicily, Isola Alicudi

Isola Filicudi

Salina (with Filicudi and Alicudi in the background)

Lipari with Vulcano behind

Vulcano is still active

Pertuso on Stromboli, also still an active volcano

A bit more dramatic in real life

Back on the main land, taking a break at Castrovillari before climbing over those mountains

Pollino national park

Salerno, looking at Castello di Arechi, front left

View from the castle towards the Amalfi coast

Amalfi on the Amalfi coast

Conca dei Marini, a little bit further down the Amalfi coast

This place is so pretty

It screams for the photogrammetry treatment!

Not far from the Amalfi coast, Pompei at the foot of Mount Vesuvius

Not much to see in FS 20202, ancient Pompei is in that big overgrown field

Mount Vesuvius, looking down on Pompei

Naples, on the other side of the volcano, Piazza del Gesù Nuovo at the front there

Castel Sant’Elmo, 14th century hilltop fortress

Chiaia district

Baia Trentaremi

Spectacular this time of day

Too much time spend in Naples, I still want to get to Rome today.
The weather turns for the worse over National Park of Abruzzo

More lightning along the way

Quite a spectacular approach to Rome

My internet went down again, the lightning continued yet approaching Rome didn’t look very good without streaming. It was getting dark as well, explore Rome tomorrow!

Leg 40 Rome via Corsica to Olbia, Sardinia, Italy

DAY10_1.PLN (6.8 KB)

Middle Italy and Corsica today, Rome and Florence, two amazing cities.

10-01 Guidonia Mil (Rome) LIRG 5:14 AM
10-01 Fiumicino LIRF 6:19 AM
10-01 Viterbo Mil LIRV 6:38 AM
10-01 Aviosuperficie Torraccia (San Marino) LIJV 7:23 AM VFR map Crash to desktop

Restart, approach from San Marino 7:33 AM
10-01 Aviosuperficie Torraccia (San Marino) LIJV 7:37 AM
10-01 Rimini Mil LIPR 7:44 AM
10-01 Cervia Mil LIPC 7:54 AM
10-01 Ravenna LIDR 8:00 AM
10-01 Aviosuperficie Renzo Storai LIVH 8:22 AM
10-01 Peretola (FLorence) LIRQ 8:32 AM Crash to desktop while exploring

10-01 Peretola (FLorence) LIRQ 10:33 AM
10-01 Aviosuperfice Mensanello LIDM 10:58 AM
10-01 Campo di Volo Campiglia LIXR 11:12 AM
10-01 Marina Di Campo LIRJ 11:29 AM
10-01 Poretta LFKB 11:47 AM
10-01 Corte LFKT 11:58 AM Crash to desktop while adjusting settings on landing

Restart, redo approach to Corte 12:09 PM
10-01 Corte LFKT 12:14 PM
10-01 Alzitone LFKG 12:23 PM
10-01 Figari/Sud Corse LFKF 12:42 PM
10-01 Aviosuperficie La Smeraldina LIAX 12:59 OM
10-01 Costa Smeralda LIEO 1:07 PM
10-01 Costa Smeralda LIEO 1:44 PM Doubled back, too dark to land

Flight time 6:08 17 stops

Starting in Rome with Porta Maggiore, 2 Roman aquaducts and Roma Termini the train station.

Thermal baths of Carcalla next to a modern concert stage

The main attraction, the Colosseum

The entire excavated historical area including Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Circo Massimo

Circo Massimo on the right was used for chariot races

Altare della Patria, Altar of the fatherland

The fancy patterns on the square behind it were designed by Michelangelo

The Vatican, another country visited

On the way out, passing Stadio Olimpico and Stadio dei Marmi, lined with 59 marble statues

Flying over Parco Regionale di Sasso Simone

San Marino, another tiny country and also the name of its capital build on a high ridge

It’s a bit overgrown in FS2020 hiding the cliffs

Well defended

Brisighella on the way to Florence

Approaching Florence

Awesome city, pretty compact as well, great for walking around

The famous Ponte Vecchio

Same bridge with the dome of the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in the background

One more picture, Florence is amazing

That colorful square is Piazza di Santa Maria Novella

Portoferraio on Isola d’Elba, island between Italy and Corsica (part of France)

Closer view of the popular white pebble beaches

Corsica, reminds me of Uncharted the way it looks in FS 2020

Corte in a valley between the high mountains

FLying past Gorges de la Restonica

Vivario, that lightning just keeps following me

Mount Rotondo

Aullène somehwere on that side

Levie down below

The light sure helped make Corsica very memorable

On to Sardegna, back to Italy, arriving in Olbia

I flew on to Aviosuperficie Dorgali (LIES) but it got dark, no lights at the airfield, nothing on synthetic vision, pitch black ground. I tried another airfield nearby, same thing, so I had to turn back to Olbia.

Back again with more lightning

Exploring Sardegna tomorrow, then back to Corsica on the West coast and further North in Italy.

Leg 41 Olbia, Sardinia to Aviano Air Base, Northern Italy

DAY10_2.PLN (9.2 KB)

Long flight ending in a big thunder storm with zero visibility

10-02 Costa Smeralda LIEO 4:39 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Loelle LIHB 4:54 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Dorgali LIES 5:02 AM
10-02 Tortoli LIET 5:28 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Aliquirra LIRX 5:38 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Privata Avielsar LIYY 5:46 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Antica Sardegna LIOQ 5:54 AM
10-02 Elmas Mil LIEE 6:05 AM Sant’Ontioco islands South-West
10-02 Campo di Volo Monreale LITX 6:40 AM
10-02 Fenosu LIER 6:50 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Torre Foghe LIYK 7:02 AM
10-02 Campo di Volo Il Volo LIEB 7:12 AM
10-02 Fertilia LIEA 7:22 AM

10-02 Fertilia LIEA 7:38 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Stintino LISJ 7:47 AM
10-02 Propriano LFKO 8:23 AM
10-02 Campo Dell’ Oro LFKJ 8:36 AM
10-02 St Catherine LFKC 9:03 AM
10-02 San Giusto (Pisa) LIRP 9:53 AM
10-02 Pavullo Airport LIDP 10:22 AM
10-02 Borgo Panigale (Bologna) LIPE 10:55 AM
10-02 Ferrara LIPF 11:23 AM
10-02 Aviosuperficie Rovigo LITD 11:32 AM
10-02 San Nicolo LIPV 12:11 PM
10-02 Tessera (Venice) LIPZ 12:16 PM
10-02 Campo di Volo Tignes LIUG Zero visibility, divert
10-02 Aviano MIL LIPA 12:43 PM

Flight time 7:48 24

Exploring Sardegna I ran into a well rendered hydro dam Diga Pedra 'e Othoni

My plane is that little speck above the trees

Cala Luna, a secluded beach reachable by boat or hiking

It has big caves for shade with nice sand

Cala Sisine, another secluded beach

So nice

Carloforte with historical saltworks on Isola di San Pietro

Torre Foghe

The West coast or Sardegna is known for its red rocks and waterfalls

Asinara national park

It’s on an island of the North-East coast of Sardegna

Spectacular coast line

Real life

Approaching Propriano on Corsica

Rosazia, staying beneath the clouds

Calanques de Piana

More red cliffs making up the coast line

Monte Clinto hidden in the clouds

Calvi, North-West end of Corsica

Back to Italy, to Pisa, which unfortunately is missing its famous tower

The tower is there (cathedral and baptistry are flat) however it’s not leaning, just a cylinder.

On to Bologna, PG area. View from the train station

Finastrella, the vertical running canal in the middle at the bottom is apparently a tourist atrraction

Looks like its being restored

At first I thought the building height bug had invaded Bologna. But it’s all correct. Apparently in the 12th century noble families saw it as a status symbol to build high towers for viewing the city

The Two towers at Piazza di Porta Ravegnana

View from the South with Basilica di San Petronio on the left

On the first picture of Bolgna, you might have noticed the building on top of the hill on the right

That’s the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

While heading to Venice I got in a big thunderstorm crossing over the mountains. Thanks to synthetic vision, no problem to avoid the peaks and luckily there was a gap in the weather to check out Venice

Despite the gloomy weather, Piazza San Marco still looks great

From the side, Palazzo Ducale on the right with Basilica di San Marco behind

One more shot of Venice before heading into the Alps

Hmm, this doesn’t look good. More thunder storms

My initial destination, Campo di Volo Tignes, has zero visibility and since it’s a small airfield, no lights and not on synthetic vision. I diverted to the nearest airport that did have runways visible on the G1000. It wasn’t needed, the runway at Aviano military base is well lit and just below the clouds. Enjoying the thunderstorm after a safe smooth landing.

Tomorrow into the Alps, hopefully in better weather conditions.

Leg 42 Aviona Air Base, Northern Italy via Austria to Nuremberg, Germany

DAY10_3.PLN (6.5 KB)

The weather didn’t clear up, a rough day to cross the alps

10-03 Aviano MIL LIPA 4:45 AM Thunderstorm
10-03 Campo di Volo Tignes LIUG 5:04 AM Took 3 attempts to land, very low visibility
10-03 Bolzano LIPB 5:30 AM
10-03 Samedan LSZS 6:11 AM
10-03 Hoefen LOIR 6:53 AM Neuschwanstein castle North-East
10-03 Inssbruck LOWI 7:20 AM

10-03 Inssbruck LOWI 7:39 AM
10-03 Zell Am See LOWZ 8:13 AM
10-03 Amlach LOAM -:-- Too short, 246 ft ‘runway’ !?
10-03 Nikelsdorf LOKL 8:44 AM
10-03 Klagenfurt LOWK 9:14 AM
10-03 St. Donat Mairist LOKR 9:20 AM
10-03 Zeltweg AB LOXZ Red Bull Ring 9:38 AM
10-03 Niederoeblarn LOGO 10:07 AM Belly landing, forgot landing gear, just a scratch
10-03 Salzburg LOWS 10:35 AM Hohensalzburg Fortress

10-03 Salzburg LOWS 11:30 AM
10-03 Munich EDDM 12:05 PM
Bad performance, very low fps, restart. Takes forever to exit, heavy disk use.
10-03 Munich EDDM 12:16 PM
10-03 Augsburg EDMA 1:02 PM
10-03 Wulzburg EDHT 1:23 PM No lights, synthetic vision landing
10-03 Nurnberg EDDN 1:41 PM

Flight time 7:31 16 stops

It was rain right from the get go, low clouds, no visibility in the air. The first couple hours I was mostly flying by synthetic vision following valleys, never seeing anything. My first stop took 3 attempts to land, short runway on a hill, very hard to see while getting blown all over the place

Next stop Bolzano, a bit lower and a bit more visible. Dreadful outside.

Here’s my view of the alps this morning, climbing on to nearly 13K ft, still in the clouds.

Samedan, who knows what it looks like

Finally a break or rather some room under the clouds while coming in for a landing at Hoefen

Castle Neuschwanstein nearby, 19th cenury castle build for King Ludwig II

Innsbruck, more rain

A little break in the weather to see he mountains! Hinterwaldberg

Vorderwaldberg

Mittersill

Nikelsdorf, a fleeting glimpse, back in the grey soup

Zeltweg, a part with snow textures

There are some odd transitions in the alps between winter and summer ground textures

Visiting the Red Bull Ring in Austria

Looks like it’s still under construction here, the very distinctly painted runoffs are missing and it looks like a lot of construction equipment at the bottom.

Here’s a flying lap (literally)

Planneralm, I can see

Niederoeblarn, a bit of blue sky!!

5 Fingers, there is an observation deck here with 5 ‘fingers’ sticking out, near Obertraun

Halstatter See, Obertraun at the bottom

Niederes Platteneck

Fortress Hohensalzburg, 11th century fortress overlooking Salzburg

Salzburgring, another race track spotted. Build in the 60’s, those fast straights look fun

Looks more fun than Red Bull Ring tbh (RBR is always a mess in GT Sport)

On to Munich, it’s getting late already, Siegestor

Nymphenburg Palace, it’s big

Donnersbergerbrucke

Not really a landmark but the setting sun decided it was in the best spot for a picture

Odeonsplatz to the right of Hofgarten (bottom left) in front of Theatine Church

Flying over Augsburg while it’s getting dark

I flew on the Nuremberg to continue exploring from there tomorrow.

Leg 43 Nuremberg, Germany via Switzerland to Aosta, Italy

DAY10_4.PLN (6.1 KB)

Mostly visiting cities today, and bad weather hiding the Alps again.

10-04 Nurnberg EDDN 5:15 AM
10-04 Altfeld EDEE 6:05 AM
10-04 Frankfurt/Main EDDF Follow Rhine 6:24 AM
10-04 Mannheim City EDFM 6:48 AM
10-04 Hockenheim EDFX 7:15 AM Racetrack East
Terrible performence, break and restart

10-04 Hockenheim EDFX 8:05 AM
10-04 Forchheim EDTK Karlsruhe 8:22 AM
10-04 Karslruhe/Baden-Baden EDSB 8:32 AM
10-04 Entzheim LFST Strasbourg 8:57 AM
10-04 Basle-Mulhouse LFSB 9:25 AM
10-04 Birrfeld LSZF 9:51 AM
Terrible performence not clearing up, landed at 2 fps, restart
Lock-up trying to exit, lot of disk access, what is it doing
End process, delete rolling cache, trying smaller 8 GB cache

10-04 Birrfeld LSZF 10:10 AM
10-04 Zurich LSZH 10:18 AM Terrible stuttering, leaving PG areas kills performance, cache management issues, cleared up after 15 minutes
10-04 Altenrhein LSZR 11:00 AM Liechenstein South
10-04 Bad Ragaz LSZE 11:18 AM Drone kaput, not responding anymore
10-04 Ambri LSPM 11:53 AM
10-04 Raron LSTA 12:19 AM Matterhorn South
10-04 Aosta LIMW 1:05 PM

Flight time 6:41 15 stops

I can see clearly now, the rain has gone (for now)

Nuremberg, visiting Albrecht Dürer’s house, the one on the bottom left

Imperial Castle of Nuremberg in the background, Tiergärtnertor, 12th century tower on the left

Among other accomplishments Albrecht Dürer is credited with the invention of ray-tracing, in the 16th century! Another shot of his house (the roof anyway), bottom right this time

St. Sebald - Sebalduskirche Nürnberg in the background

St Lorenz church, restored after WWII

Part of the Ehekarussell at Ludwigsplatz

Controversial fountain with ring of statues portraying Hans Sachs’ poem ‘Bitter-sweet Married Life’.

Some darker history, Zeppelinfeld, The building on the right is where Hitler made his speeches

Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds, horsehoe shaped building across the water.

Pathe 1936

Currently it’s part of a race track, Norisring. The start is in front of the grand stand

Next up, Mannheim. The Wasserturm, a 60m sandstone water tower from 1889

Mannheim is home to a giant baroque palace, Barockschloss Mannheim

The Jesuit church from the 1700’s, beautiful building inside and out

Hockenheim circuit, not far South from Mannheim

Sebastian Vettel’s Pole Lap on Home Soil

Karsruhe on the way South, following the Rhine

Strasbourg, a little bit of France in between

The historic center looks great

Dominated by Cathédrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg

Build from 1187 to 1439, 252 years to build!

Barrage Vauban, pink sandstone weir & bridge built in the 17th century

Zurich, overcast

Grossmünster and Fraumünster church, 12th and 11th century

The train station and Swiss National Museum on the bottom right

Back to the Rhine, into the Alps, Vaduz, Liechtenstein

Reichenau, Vorderrhein straight, Hinterrhein left. I’m following the Vorderrhein

Rheinschlucht, spectacular canyon-like gorge

Raron, gloomy weather and winter textures

Following the Rhône now. I’ll be turning left soon towards the Matterhorn

Climding towards the Matterhorn, Les Diablons barely visible

It took a couple spirals to gain enough height

I descended down to Zermat for a brief glimpse of the Matterhorn

That little triangle sticking out against the dark background

It took a couple switchbacks to gain enough height again to pass by the Matterhorn. However, it wasn’t visible at all, the clouds decided to hide it completely. Final approach to Aosta

Unlit runway, just enough visibility to land

Hopefully the weather will clear up enough tomorrow to see Mont Blanc.

2 Likes

Wow that’s a cool idea! You should start another thread as kind of a flight log to post things about the journey, I’d be interested to follow that because no way do I have the time to do the whole flight.

Very interesting trip so far. Actually looked through all your images. Some amazing shots in there.

Traveled a lot IRL when I was young, some of the places bring back great memories.
Especially Nürburgring and Spa racetracks. Had the great luck of driving on both of them, was a complete blast.

I think doing a trip like you do atm, using life weather and time is a special experience. I do not have the time to do it myself currently, so will continue to watch this thread. Thanks for sharing and keep going :slight_smile:

1 Like

Leg 44 Aosta, Italy to Nice, France

DAY10_5.PLN (7.4 KB)

Bingo, 4th time crossing the Alps, finally some good views!

10-05 Aosta LIMW 5:29 AM Mont Blanc on the way
10-05 Megeve LFHM 6:23 AM
10-05 Meythet (Annecy) LFLP 6:43 AM
10-05 Geneva LSGG 6:53 AM
10-05 Vouvray LFHN 7:04 AM
10-05 Corlier LFJD 7:17 AM Steep runway
10-05 Bron (Lyon) LFLY 7:30 AM

10-05 Bron (Lyon) LFLY 8:08 AM
10-05 La Tour Du Pin LFKP -:-- Bugged short runway in a depression
10-05 St Jean d’Avelanne LFKH 8:26 AM
10-05 Aix-les-Bains LFLB 8:36 AM
10-05 Challes-les-Eaux (Chambery) LFLE 8:42 AM
10-05 Courchevel LFLJ 9:03 AM
10-05 Aeritalia (Turin) LIMA 9:34 AM
10-05 Malpensa LIMC 10:00 AM
10-05 Linate (Milan) LIML Monza North 10:37 AM
10-05 Orio Al Serio (Bergamo) LIME 10:58 AM

10-05 Orio Al Serio (Bergamo) LIME 11:30 AM
10-05 Piacenza Mil LIMS 11:50 AM
10-05 Campo di Volerio Glorialanza LIFG 12:11 PM
10-05 Sestri (Genoa) LIMJ 12:20 PM
10-05 Albenga LIMG 12:40 PM Monaco a bit before Nice
10-05 Nice/Cote d’Azur LFMN 1:11 PM

Flight time: 6:30 19 stops

Aosta by day light and less clouds. Heading for Mont Blanc!

Villeneuve, weather still looking good

Chenoz, I can see Mont Blanc!

Verrand, getting closer, I need to get higher

Back and forth in front of the French alps gaining altitude, currently above Entrèves

Looking back to Italy

Uh oh, that cloud front is moving pretty fast

This is the last ‘clear’ view of Mont Blanc I got (peak on the left)

While going in to cross over along Mont Blanc visibility went to zero and not long after the plane iced up. I had to push it into a 1000 fpm dive to keep it from stalling, luckily I had just cleared the ridge otherwise it would have been a long way around.

Megeve on the French side of Mont Blanc, now firmly hidden in the clouds

Point de la Beccaz

Corlier, a very challenging landing. Short steep runway up a hill

Ambérieu-en-Bugey on the way to Lyon, bad weather

Lyon on the river Rhône

That big rectangle in the middle is Place Bellecour

A massive square with a statue of King Louis XIV, aka Louis the Great or the Sun King

He was king of France from 1643 to 1715, 72 years

Lyon is also host to some interesting statues

From left to right Parc de la Tete d’Or, the Bartholdi Fountain and La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere

Chambery Airport on Lac-du-Bouget

Aix-les-Bains is behind to the left, in front of the airport is Chambéry

Crossing river Isère

To get to Courchevel, well known place in FS2020, runway on the right

A popular ski resort and incredible for take offs

Back across the Alps again, out of the clouds. Pointe de Charbonnel

Uia di Ciamarella

Grande de Motte in the far back

Flying over Usseglio

One more look back over Niquidetto

Turin, back in Italy

Milan, Parco Sempione with Sforzesco Castle

At the entrance of the park at the far back, Arco della Pazza

Duomo di Milano, one of the largest Cathedrals in the world

This one took over 600 years to build

Porta Nuovo, Milan’s futuristic business district

In the back are these 2 residential towers, Bosco Verticale

A bit beyond the capabilities of FS 2020, trees on a tower. Also the square in front looks like it’s still under construction, which is odd since it is completed on Bing.

One more shot of Milan towards Milano Centrale

Not far North of Milan is Monza!

A track that’s always certified chaos in GT Sport

Coming in for a landing in Genoa

Into the setting sun over Albenga, Cote D’Azur

Monaca, playground of the rich

It’s a shame there is no PG data here. I tried to figure out the Monaco GP layout when the game first came out, however the track is lost in a mess of seemingly randomly placed roads. Stade Nautique Rainier III, the Olympic-length heated seawater swimming pool is a blue roofed building.

Looking lovely on Google, from a distance anyway

I wish this track came back to Gran Turismo, blast from the past

And finally arriving in Nice

A lot of pictures today, currently already over 1,000 pictures from this trip

Leg 45 Nice to Toulouse, France

DAY10_6.PLN (5.2 KB)

A shorter route than usual, I actually had some more sleep and other things to do which didn’t allow multi-tasking with FS2020. My plan to explore the Pyrenees today got spoiled by the weather, however it ended up as one of the most epic flights yet.

10-06 Nice/Cote d’Azur LFMN 6:17 AM Cannes just before Mandelieu
10-06 Mandelieu LFMD 6:29 AM
10-06 La Mole LFTZ 6:53 AM Pretty place to land
10-06 Le Castellet LFMQ 7:16 AM Marseille halfway
10-06 Marseille/Provence LFML 7:44 AM

10-06 Marseille/Provence LFML 9:51 AM
10-06 Les Milles (Aix-en-Provence) LFMA 10:06 AM
10-06 Caumont (Avignon) LFMV Pont du Gard West 10:19 AM
10-06 Courbessac LFME 10:40 AM
10-06 Montpellier/Mediterranee LFMT 10:53 AM
10-06 Larzac LFCM 11:20 AM Viaduc de Millau North-West
Can’t interact with glass cockpit anymore, restart

10-06 Larzac LFCM 11:41 AM
10-06 Cassagnes-Begonnes LFIG 12:08 PM
10-06 Le Sequestre LFCI 12:35 PM
10-06 Blagnac (Toulouse) LFBO 1:41 PM

Flight time: 4:56 12 stops

The weather started off nice enough, Pointe Croisette along Cote d’Azure

Which is just ahead of Cannes (when going West)

Cannes, of course known for its international film festival

Interesting marina a bit further, Port Grimaud

Next along the coast is Saint-Tropez

A place I associate with Louis de Funès and the movies he starred in starting with Le Gendarme de Saint-Tropez. His Gendarme movies were a favorite when I grew up.

Le Castellet and circuit Paul Ricard

A lap around the circuit

Parc national des Calanques, the weather turned

I doubt it would have looked much better in full sunlight, this is what it really looks like

Higher resolution mesh needed

Marseille with Le Dôme de Marseille at the bottom

Cathédrale La Major neo-Byzantine cathedral from the 1800’s

Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde at the highest point of the city

It is crowned by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary by Lequesne and there are model ships hanging from the ceiling inside. That’s different. I learned a new word today ex-voto

Aix-en-Provence looking at Fontaine de la Rotonde from 1860

I did not expect to find a memorial to the Armenian genocide here

The first genocide of the 20th century in Europe, mostly forgotten, 1.5 million Armenians methodically killed by the Ottoman government (Turkey) between 1914 and 1923.

Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d’Aix-en-Provence

On to Avignon, it keeps getting darker

For once, the sunken bridge is sort of accurate

The remains of Pont D’avignon aka Pont Saint-Bénézet, originally build in the 12th century

And now that song is stuck in my head again

Pont du Gard, partially lit by lightning in the distance

Build in the first century by the Romans to transport water 50 km to Nemausus now Nîmes

Montpellier, lit by lightning as well. Too dark! Looking at Montpellier National Opera

It’s a shame it’s so dark, Montpellier is quite beautiful

Arc du Triomphe

Interesting modern architecture as well, L’Arbre Blanc

The weather kept getting worse and worse, Larzac

Using synthetic vision to find the runway, which wasn’t visible until right on top of it

Pushing on, Viaduc de Millau

Sagging under the weight of the rain I guess

The highest cable stayed bridge in the world from 2004 to 2012

Ok, enough trying to see under the clouds, time to climb! It sure is a rough ride though the clouds, getting thrown around a lot. After getting above 12K ft I can see!

Lightning in the sky on the way Cassagnes-Begones

I went down to land, could just make out the runway. Back to the sky

On the way to Le Sequestre

Yikes, it’s getting close

Down for a landing again, rough rough, nothing to see, back up again.

Watching the sunset on the way to Blagnac (Toulouse)

I’m only flying 80 knots, too beautiful up here to leave

What an end to a rough ride, amazing flying around here

By the time I got down to Toulouse it was pitch black. Luckily a well lit runway and a gap under the clouds to see it. Despite the rough weather higher up, a very smooth landing. What a ride!

Leg 46 Toulouse, France via Asobo Studio to Ribadeo, Spain

DAY10_7.PLN (9.1 KB)

No luck seeing the Pyrenees today, however visiting Asobo Studio was fun.

10-07 Blagnac (Toulouse) LFBO 4:05 AM
10-07 Salvaza (Carcassone) LFMK 4:33 AM
10-07 Torreilles Airport LF01 (Perpignan) 4:56 AM Andorra West
10-07 Bagneres de Luchon LFCB Zero visibility
10-07 Balestas LFIP Zero visibility
10-07 Castillon de la Laquette LFMB Zero visibility
10-07 Lourdes-Pyrenees LFBT 6:45 AM Finally!
10-07 Pau/Pyrenees LFBP 7:11 AM
10-07 Aire-sur-l’Adour LFDA 7:24 AM
10-07 Bazas LFJW 7:44 AM
10-07 Merignac (Bordeaux) LFBD 8:16 AM Asobo, 23 PARVIS DES CHARTRONS

10-07 Merignac (Bordeaux) LFBD 9:00 AM
10-07 La Teste De Buch LFCH 9:10 AM
10-07 Parentis LFBS 9:18 AM
10-07 Mimizan LFCZ 9:28 AM
10-07 Tosse Airport LFUY 9:42 AM
10-07 Bayonne-Anglet (Biaritz) LFBZ 9:52 AM
10-07 San Sebastian LESO 10:03 AM
10-07 Pamplona LEPP 10:31 AM

10-07 Pamplona LEPP 11:26 AM
10-07 Foronda LEVT 11:49 AM
10-07 Bilbao LEBB 12:02 PM
10-07 Santander LEXJ 12:25 PM
10-07 Camaleno-Artanin ULM LECW 12:45 PM Tough landing

10-07 Camaleno-Artanin ULM LECW 1:31 PM
10-07 Leon LELN 1:52 PM
10-07 Asturias LEAS 2:20 PM
10-07 Villaframil Airport LEVF 2:47 PM Stealth landing, no lights

Flight time 8:17 20 stops

Leaving Toulouse in the morning, still raining

The bridge at the bottom is Pont Neuf, stone bridge from 1632

You can also visit part of the space station in Toulouse at Cité de l’espace

Carcassone, known for it’s double walled medieval citadel, La Cité, on the left

Perpignan, that bare blurry bit in the middle of the city is intentionally blurry

It houses the palace of the kings of Majorca, restored 13th-century Gothic palace

No clue why it’s blurred, on Google as well (while street view is available…)

Andorra, in the Pyrenees, hard to find in this weather

The nobility of time by Salvador Dali

Valley connecting Andorra to France. I would love to cycle in the mountains but that looks daunting

Ainet de Besan, my last view of the Pyrenees today

Visibility got worse and worse so I decided to take a look above

I had to skip the next 3 airports, visibility was so bad I could not spot the landing strips. Only thanks to synthetic vision could I make it back up without flying into a mountain.

Lourdes, finally some room under the clouds to see

It’s a bit bare bones with auto gen, this is what it looks like

Lourdes is a major Catholic pilgrimage site. Sanctuaires Notre-Dame de Lourdes

The cave on the right, Grotto of Massabielle, is where the virgin Mary is said to have appeared in 1858. Now millions come each year for the water from the spring. My parents took me there while we were on holiday, more as tourists but we participated in the evening procession. What I noticed most is how commercial it all was, souvenir shops all the way to the plaza. We got some water as well, into plastic virgin mary statues bought at one of the shops. My mom said she would leave it in the car for protection. She got into an accident a few years later, car totaled, she walked away fine from it. This was before airbags, so maybe it worked. It didn’t work for the car…

Air-sur-L’adour finally the weather clears up

On to Bordeaux, Basilica of Saint Michael, why a separate tower

It’s a theme, Cathédrale Saint-André de Bordeaux from the 11th century

Place des Quinconces with Monument aux Girondins

In honor of Girondin revolutionaries, part of the French revolution from 1791 to 1793

Now the main attraction of Bordeaux, Asobo studio

The balloon says “The sky is calling” very true

Asobo’s view of the Garonne


No thank you! Merci Beaucoup!

Hydrobase de Bicarrosse, where are the float planes

South along the coast to Biaritz, a popular beach destination, no sun today

Not far further San Sebastian, Spain

Ciudadela de Pamplona, fortress build in the 16th century

Plaza del Castillo, the famous running of the Bulls goes through a street behind this Plaza

Route of the bull run

Some crazy stuff

Bilbao with the Gugganheim museum down below

Home to 20th century art

Camaleno-Artanin, a beautiful and challenging landing spot

From the other direction looking at Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa

Flying past Cistierna, the shadows are getting longer

La Vecilla down below while on the way to Asturias

I flew on for a night flight, passing Puerto de Cudillero

Unfortunately no lights at Villaframil Airport, no problem, smoothest synthetic vision landing yet

It is dark, squatters in my plane!

On to Portugal tomorrow.

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Leg 47 Ribadeo, Spain through Portugal to Santa Maria on the Azores

DAY10_8.PLN (6.9 KB)

Long flight to Santa Maria, not ending as planned

10-08 Villaframil Airport LEVF 4:51 AM
10-08 A Coruna LECO 5:12 AM
10-08 Aerodromo Naturmaz LEMZ 5:27 AM
10-08 Santiago LEST 5:39 AM
10-08 Aerodromo de Beariz LELB 5:52 AM
10-08 Vigo LEVX 6:03 AM
10-08 Aerodromo do Cerval LPVA 6:59 AM
10-08 Aerodromo de Cabeceiras de Basto LPCA 7:25 AM
10-08 Francisco Sa Carneiro (Porto) LPPR 7:42 AM
10-08 Seia LPSE 8:16 AM N236 “road of death” South West
10-08 Aerodromo Municipal de Ferreira do Zezere LPFI 8:41 AM

10-08 Aerodromo Municipal de Ferreira do Zezere LPFI 9:57 AM
10-08 Pista do Monte do Pombo LEDL 10:17 AM
10-08 Santa Margarida LP77 10:35 AM
10-08 Santarem LPSR 10:45 AM

10-08 Santarem LPSR 11:40 AM
10-08 Alverca AB LPAR 11:53 AM
10-08 Lisbon LPPT 11:59 AM
10-08 Tires LPCS 12:19 PM

10-08 Tires LPCS 12:45 PM Full tank, 756 NM to next stop
10-08 Santa Maria LPAZ 19:24 PM On island, just short of runway

Flight time 11:56 17 stops

That includes a 6 hour 39 minute flight, mostly on auto pilot, to Santa Maria.

First up, North-West end of Portugal Cedeira

Very nice place to go to the beach

Santiago de Compostela, apparently another major pilgrimage site like Lourdes

The Cathedral of Santiage de Comostela

The alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James, consecrated in 1211

On to Vigo, Castelo do Castro, build in 1665 to protect the city from British Royal Navy raids

Cardama shipyard in Vigo

Vigo has a long stretch of coast included in it’s PG area, Praia do Cocho

Porto de Canido

Faro de Cobo Estai, a historical landmark on the right side, a small light house

Monteferro

Parador de Baiona, apparently you can stay there from $124 per night

That’s where the PG area ends, nice stretch of coast

Aerodromo de Cabeceiras de Basto (LPCA) fun challenging place to land

Porto with the super Bock arena at the bottom

Of couse known for its Port wine, I would love some right now

Pedrógão Grande

A terrible tragedy happened here in 2017, 4 forest fires engulfed the town and the N236

Close up of the the dam, Barragem do Cabril

Pista do Monte do Pombo, another fun landing

Flying to Lisbon, the fields that feed the city

Lisbon, Parque Eduardo VII

Zooming above the Tagus

Belém Tower below and Jerónimos Monastery on the right

Belém Tower, the Tower of Saint Vincent, a 16th-century fortification

Jerónimos Monastery, a Unesco world heritage site together with the tower

Tires, my departure point for Santa Maria, full tank, check

Saying goodbye to the mainland for now, I’ll be back

Directly onto course after take off, using FLC mode maintaining 100 knots for a steep climb to start saving fuel by lowering the fuel mixture.

To the Azores, due West, long flight ahead

Lot of water ahead, 11 knot wind mostly from the side but also slowing me down a bit

Follow the sun

Oh some pretty fog, or so I thought

Yep, the plane iced up of course, forcing it down after reaching 15.5K ft. Luckily it was just a little patch which slowly cleared off. After getting down towards 10K ft the ice cleared off and I could start climbing again

Bye Bye sunshine

Very calm up here now, 17K ft. I’m targeting 18.5K but will need to burn more fuel to reach that

Maintaining 100 knots IAS, on average 115 knot GS, long flight

Oh ■■■■, I didn’t order this. Lightning, more clouds

That was too close, and icing up again

Descending again due to icing, quite a show outside

Looks like it’s mostly behind now, bright at night

Still some lightning illuminating the high clouds

Leaving the storm behind, ice cleared up again and back to 18.5K cruising altitude or rather now I can reach it with less than 20% fuel left.

Azores in sight! However the fuel situation is not looking good

I started a long gradual descent 45 minutes before getting there, maintaining 100 knots, slowing the propeller down to 80% and reducing the throttle back to 35%. It’s going to be very close.

Too close. I was aiming to the right of the island since the main runway runs North-South. However there was not enough fuel left to make a good approach. When getting near the island I decided to aim for an old closed runway, better aligned with my travel direction. It was still too far, plus there was a pond in front of the runway…

No lights either, airport pitch black. All I had to go on was the synthetic vision. I stretched it out as long as I could. I waited to lower the landing gear until the last moment to avoid drag, same with flaps. Only out when needed for extra lift right before touching down. The engine died just as I reached the main land, I was down to 800 ft already so not much extra glide time.

I kept it in the air as long as I could and set her down very gently in what I guess was a field. It was pitch black, landing using the view finder. It felt smooth, stopped quickly with the brakes since no idea what I was ‘driving’ on. Just short, so close!

On further inspection I was lucky not to make it any closer. My emergency landing site

Looks like I’ll need a tractor to tow my plane to the runway. Couple repairs, she should be fine.

920 NM range, erm no. I didn’t make it 756 NM, flying as high as possible to save fuel. I was forced down to to between 10 and 11K twice due to minor icing but still, the plane should have made it. I didn’t even have any passengers or luggage on board. Next time leave the co-pilot behind as well…

It should be better on the way back as I’ll be stopping by Madeira splitting it into two 490 NM flights. Good to know not to try anything above 700 NM anymore.

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Leg 48 Santa Maria, Azores via Madeira to Sines, Portugal

DAY10_9.PLN (5.1 KB)

A tour around the Azores, then via Madeira back to Portugal

10-09 Santa Maria LPAZ 4:22 AM
10-09 Joao Paulo II LPPD 5:04 AM
10-09 Lajes AB LPLA 5:41 AM
10-09 Graciosa LPGR 6:13 AM
10-09 Corvo LPCR 7:29 AM
10-09 Flores LPFL 7:42 AM
10-09 Horta LPHR 8:55 AM
10-09 Pico LPPI 9:10 AM
10-09 Sao Jorge LPSJ 9:35 AM
10-09 Santa Maria LPAZ 10:58 AM 486 NM to next stop
10-09 Madeira LPMA 2:28 PM
10-09 Porto Santo LPPS 2:51 PM 10:13

10-09 Porto Santo LPPS 5:30 PM 496 NM to next stop
10-09 Sines LPSI 8:42 PM

Flight time 13:25 12 stops

Couple long auto pilot flights, set timer to switch tanks

Starting at Santa Maria, where I landed short yesterday, in a field right before the airport

The weather is interesting again

I can barely see where I landed, left of the little lake next to the airport

Povoação on Ilha de São Miguel not far to the North

Ilha de São Miguel, a long narrow island

Ilha Terceira to the North-West

Angro do Heroismo, one of the 3 capitals of the Azores

Pretty town

Graciosa, a little further North-West

Furna Do Enxofre Caldeira, remains of the volcano that made the island, fertile land

The next island is quite a bit away, lightning keeps the journey interesting

Caldeirão on Corvo, a small island, not much more than the volcano that made it

The level of detail is a bit patchy in the Azores, here is the real thing

Vila do Corvo, the only town on the island on a bit of land sticking out from the volcano

Fajã Grande on Ilha das Flores. A much bigger island just South, the clouds seem to like it

Back East for the rest of the islands, bye bye clouds!

Or not, they’re back

Entertainment above endless water

Conceicao on Ilha do Faial

The caldera is hidden in the clouds, here’s a peak

Mount Pico on Ilha do Pico, right next door. It took a lot of spirals to get up here, 7713 ft high

Ilha do Pico while flying North a bit to São Jorge

São Jorge with Graciosa and Ilha Tercia behind where I was earlier

The airport on São Jorge

Flying over Serra do Topo, São Jorge is another long island

My next destination was Madeira. The wind was looking good so I was toying with the idea to go straight there from São Jorge. However my old friend icing showed up again.

Not to risk another emergency landing I decided to stop at Santa Maria first (where I started today) for a full tank. It’s a lot faster to fly lower. At 5,000 ft my ground speed was 157 knots, instead of the avg 115 knots I managed flying at 18.5K ft. I did have a tail wind though. Currently I’m doing 148 knots at 9K ft trying to find a flight level with less headwind. It was 18 knots headwind at 5K feet, now 5 knots. (I’m still in the air from Porto Santo back to Portugal)

Madeira, Levada do Risco, a hiking route with steps & narrow walkways leading through forest to a swimming spot fed by cascades. It’s very pretty

Near Ilha

Pico Ruivo, accessible on foot only, if you’re not afraid of heights. Amazing trails on Madeira!

Watching the sunset over Madeira, by drone while my plane is headed to Porto Santo, cheeky

Porto Santo, a much smaller island North-East of Madeira

Still 84 minutes to Portugal, now doing 153 knots at 10K ft. Less wind up here. The weather radar is clear, looking good. I should be there at 8:40 pm with plenty fuel to spare.

Wheels on the ground at 8:42 pm. It was another unlit airport, yet clearly defined in synthetic vision, thus landing fs 4.0 style. I wonder if there is a way to increase the gain similar as with the drone. The ground is simply black, somewhere in the black spot is where the runway is. After landing and turning up the gain a couple notches in drone view it was perfectly visible and still looked like night. My pilot is night blind.

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