Sep 29 – Day 2
We checked out early in the morning and drive to the FAA office near the Denver airport. My friend Ludo has got an appointment at 9am to pick up his american flight license. Everything worked well and 30 minutes later we are leaving the FAA offices.
It is in fact amazingly easy to obtain an US fligjt license if you have an European pilot’s license. No need to pass exams and skills tests whatsoever, you have to apply (some months) in advance to the FAA and send them your European flight license and your current medical. FAA checks then with local authorities in your country in Europe if you are who you pretend to be. The procedure takes nowadays less time than when I applied for it 10 years ago.
Ludo got a confirmation that his demand was validated and an appointment was made. The officers at FAA in Denver proved to be very friendly and extremely helpfull, a real pleasure to deal with. Summarized, both of us now have got their US flight license and we’re ready to start with our adventure. Great.
We ended our stay in Denver with a nice lunch in the Red Lobster. This was my first visit to this restaurant, which you can find at many places. We were not disappointed as we learned to discover the Tilapia fish, which is a very popular fish in the US, but unknown in Western Europe. It tasted very mild.
In the afternoon, we flew with United Express from Denver to Grand Junction. There was a huge thunderstorm in between both locations, our plane has to make quite a deviation via the north. Once we arrived in Grand Junction, we picked up our rental car and checked in at our hotel. In this town as well, we ate staying at the Double Tree Hilton hotel.
As the program for the next couple of days will be very intense and we likely won’t have time for cruising or driving around, we decided to enjoy and explore the absolutely magical landscape of this region by driving up the Grande Mesa mountains, where the national monument of Colorado is located. We followed the Rimrock scenig highway and could enjoy an extreme beauty of nature and stayed up in the mountains till after sunset.
We returned to Grand Junction only after sunset and had dinner in an excellent Italian restaurant ( Il Bistro Italiano) which I remember from my previous flying adventure tours back in 2005, 2007 and 2008. This is absolutely the best restaurant of Grand Junction, tastes like if you were in Southern Italy. However, the have no Crodino’s or San Bitter anymore, but the pastas we enjoyed were absolutely fabulous.