Now that I am in Europe, the time difference really makes it more and more difficult to get any flying done during the daylight hours. The one thing going for me, is the fact that we are now past the Spring Equinox, so the days are rapidly getting longer.
I started this flight early, just before 1 am local time. It is a bit on the longer side (although nothing comparing to some of the flights I will have to do later). The Athens airport was busy as if it was noon. It took me a while to talk to the ATC, get clearance, taxi into a position and then finally take off. Once in the air, I set the heading to 294, direct route to Rome, Italy. Not too long after the takeoff I had to cross surprisingly high Pindus Mountains. I had to fly at 12,000 ft in order to clear the highest peaks there. OK, maybe that was too high, but as they say, better safe than sorry, especially in the case when sorry means being a flattened spot on the side of the mountain. Surprisingly, the good winds followed me almost all the way to Rome. That does not happen all that often. As a result, I did great on gas.
Sun caught up with me 30 minutes before arriving to Rome. Once more, I resisted making yet another (or ten) sunrise picture(s). I did make few pictures of Rome though, which BTW I am sure looks nothing like that, as well as the obligatory ones of the final approach and the parked plane at the end of the trip. Bandwidth be damned.
The flight over the Ionian Sea was not very exciting, being night and all. The only comfort was that soon I will be able to do all the flying during the daylight.
The odd thing was that the weather over the city of Rome was clear, but over the airport it was very foggy. Only then I understood why the ATC guy was insisting on the airport being IFR. I still landed without bouncing even once. Grand.
Pre flight check at Athens airport
Ready for a takeoff
West coast of Italy and Tyhrrenian Sea
Flying over the ancient city of Rome
Lined up for landing on 16L
Done for the day
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