Mustafa loves London! And working as a SWISS pilot enables him to visit his favourite city more often than might otherwise be possible. A vegetarian for many years, what he particularly likes about London is the varied culinary offer. However, the city on the Thames has plenty to suit all tastes.
With a population of almost nine million people, the capital of the United Kingdom is the third biggest city in Europe. On the one hand, London has one of the most significant cultural scenes of modern times, but on the other is also well-known for its financial centres. SWISS flies to London (LON) several times a day from Zurich (ZRH) and Geneva (GNV).
Mustafa's day begins with an extensive Turkish breakfast at Simit Sarayi. "I have Turkish roots, and the food here reminds me of my mother's cooking when I was a child. Plus there is an excellent range of vegetarian delights," he enthuses.
Once fortified, it's on to Regent Street, which is between Oxford Circus and Picadilly Circus. It is one of the liveliest streets in London, and the many shops are perfect for shopping and browsing. Exceptional street artists ensure that every visit to London's West End is a unique and unforgettable experience.
However, the heart of London can be as tiring as it is exciting, and after a few hours in the bustle Mustafa longs to relax – and for something to eat! He pops in to Crussh – Fit food and juices, where he tucks in to vegan porridge, a bagel with avocado and goji berries, coffee, and a blueberry smoothie. His smoothie is to go, as he wants to take it to Hyde Park. "It might sound odd, but nothing is more relaxing than coming here and watching the ducks. It really does help me to switch off!" laughs Mustafa.
The pilot spends the afternoon at Camden Market, probably the biggest and best-known market in the city. About half a billion people come here every week. "I could stay here for ever, just walking around the stalls." He particularly recommends a stall called Little shop of magic: "It belongs to an Asian with an incredible sleight of hand. I've watched him so many times, but he never fails to amaze me with his card tricks."
Later in the afternoon, Mustafa goes for a boat trip on the Thames. He passes all the city's sights, from London Tower Bridge and Big Ben to the Ferris wheel called the London Eye. "They may all be the classic tourist attractions, but for me they're still the heart of London, what it's all about," explains Mustafa.
It's evening, and Mustafa's stomach is rumbling. His route takes him to Waterloo Station, and he gets quite carried away: "This place has a really specific flair! You can feel that it has so many stories to tell. One of my favourite films, 'The Bourne Ultimatum' with Matt Damon, takes place here!"
From Waterloo Station it's only quarter of an hour to Deliciously Ella, the vegan restaurant that was founded by food blogger and shooting star of the scene Ella Woodward. The tremendous selection of salads and hot dishes – all vegan and healthy, of course – are not all that Mustafa appreciates: "The staff are really friendly, and always up for a quick chat with vegetarians," he grins.
Mustafa's day ends in his "office", the cockpit of the CSeries. He takes as last longing look at London by night – knowing it probably won't be long before he's back again.