In flight

Early last year I wrote a post called ‘In Flight (Part 1).’ Part two has been a long time coming, but this seems like a good time to share with you some of the sights I’ve seen from the window seat of my travels in aeroplanes.

I love to travel by any means, but there is just something special about heading into the skies and looking at the world from a different angle.

I can still remember how excited I was at the prospect of my first ever flight. I was just a young boy and the flight was from London Gatwick to Naples International Airport in Italy.

In preparation my parents took my brother, sister and I to the airport so as to familiarize themselves with the procedures and complications that might arise from having three excited kids in tow.

Both my brother and sister inherited that kind of forward planning and preparation. I, on the other hand, adopted a more relaxed ‘let’s see where the road takes us’ approach to travel.


I’m a window seat kind of guy, and while that might mean that I have an impossibly cramped situation, it’s somehow offset by the pleasure of being able to watch the world go by beneath me while trying to pick out familiar landmarks.

[Above] Way back in 2003 the sun actually shone on Manchester. It might very well have been a clerical error some kind, but nonetheless I was above the city to capture this rare and momentous event which local teenagers are now telling their children about.

[Below] It always seems that you fly impossibly low over London as your plane circles waiting to land at Heathrow. It almost seems as though the skies above London are as busy as the streets below. In this picture you can see Tower Bridge and to the right of it the Tower of London, home to the Royal families Crown Jewels.

Tower Bridge in London with The Tower of London to the right

The Golden Gate Bridge

[Above] The unmistakable sight of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. A stunning landmark, but also a morbid mecca for those who wish to end their lives.

[Below] Downtown Portland, Oregon.

Downtown Portland, Oregon

Rocky Reach Dam and North Wenatchee, Washington

[Above] Last year after flying over the Rocky Mountains I was curious to identify a dam in the picture above so I emailed the Water Survey of Canada to see if maybe they knew where it was.

Joe McElhinney was good enough to forward my email to the Pacific & Yukon Regional office of the WSC in Vancouver whereupon Lynne Campo and her colleagues at the WSC kindly identified the location as the area of the Rocky Reach Dam on the Columbia River about 7 miles upstream from Wenatchee Washington, U.S.A.

“It is about 20-30 minutes out of Seattle heading east. There is a website of the Rocky Reach Project giving the project background, construction, construction costs, development history etc.” She told me.


[Above and below] Somewhere in southern Utah. As I looked down upon mile after mile of the spectacular and arid landscapes of Nevada, Arizona, and Utah, I noticed the apparent roads or tracks and wondered who might live in such a place and why. When one thinks of the USA, I doubt this amazing landscape is what comes to mind.


[Below] Taken earlier this year on my way back from my trip to India, this picture is looking out accros the dunes of Turkmenistan to Iran.

Looking over to Iran from the dunes of Turkmenistan

The Caspian Sea and the Kazakhstan shoreline

[Above and below] The Caspian sea and the shoreline of Kazakhstan. I’ve seen that strange cloud formation before of the Dutch coastline. I think it might be known as a roll cloud, though I can’t be sure.

Strange clouds roll up to the shores of Kazakhstan on The Caspian Sea

Clouds over the Ukraine

[Above] These clouds could of course be anywhere, in this instance they’re hanging over the Ukraine.

[Below] This was a quite incredible sight. The sun was setting and the plane I was on was between two sheets of clouds in a space that felt completely disconnected from the world to me.

Closer to God?

So tomorrow I’ll be taking to the skies once more. This time flying to California, the first stop on an adventure in which I will circumnavigate the globe, albeit from a window seat.

The romance of flying might have somewhat diminished, but for me the marvel of it all still remains. The opportunity to look at the world differently for a while is never wasted time as far as I’m concerned.

I know I could watch a movie, do a little reading, or use my laptop to catch up on work, but I never want to get to the point where I’m too busy or wrapped up in life to take a few moments to just sit back and observe it for the wonder that it is.

Caged birds never sing

In Flight (Part 1)
Waving at planes
One Such Moment
It’s Seven Thirty