Aerial Views – some of 2015’s highlights

Sunday, 13 December 2015

IMG_0431 - over the Alps, London-Turin◄ An early morning Ryanair 737 flight from London to Turin and as usual the Alps look terrific. Remember the Winter Olympics were held in Turin in 2006, it’s not far from the Fiat motor city to the white stuff.


Absolutely the best out-the-window glimpse of 2015 was from a Cathay Pacific 777 flying from Hong Kong to London as we made our final approach down to London Heathrow Airport. We seemed to pirouette directly above the Shard. But over the previous 24 hours Cathay had provided some other great views, like this one over the Pacific, featuring clouds and dawn light just before we started to descend into Hong Kong on an A330 flying from Melbourne. ▼IMG_2878 - sunrise, Melbourne to Hong Kong

IMG_4545 - Benoa Harbour & Nusa Dua, Bali◄ It’s October and I’m on my way down to Labuan Bajo on the Indonesian island of Flores to join a boat and go look for Komodo dragons. As we climb out of Bali’s Denpasar Airport over Benoa Harbour the resort activity at Nusa Dua pops up from my window.

Earlier in the month, I’m flying on an easyJet A319 from Venice to London Luton and it looks like the engine is about to ingest a lot of English Channel wind turbines.  They’re good to see because just a month earlier Australia had got rid of its hopeless Prime Minister Tony Abbott, a climate change denier who was adamantly against any form of renewable energy, in particular wind farms, which he hated with a passion▼IMG_4514 - windmills on approach to England
IMG_2199 - over Afghanistan▲ July and I’m on a Singapore Airlines A380 from Singapore to London. We fly further north than I’d expect across India, very close to Delhi and then near to Amritsar, before we take a curious westward-then-northward kink over Pakistan, possibly so we don’t go over the troubled tribal region? The visibility has been clear, but hazy over India and Pakistan, the Himalaya visible on the horizon, but over Afghanistan it’s suddenly crystal clear and it looks terrific. We go right over Kabul, I can see an aircraft far below us and glimpse Kabul airport and the big military airfield to the north, Bagram. A few minutes later I get this view of mountains, still snow dusted this close to the middle of summer, and bright blue lakes. Afghanistan so often looks wonderful. Then it’s north, near Samarkand, across Russia, south of Moscow, just north of Berlin, intermittently overcast, cloudy or clear. Across the aisle on somebody else’s screen I also catch enough of the new Disney Cinderella movie – is it Ella? – to squeeze out a tear at the end

IMG_0121 - Los Angeles-New York▲ Finally what on earth is this? I’m on a Qantas 747 flying from Los Angeles to New York and about 20 minutes out of LAX I spot these three curious looking columns with bright lights on top, some sort of solar power generating project I suspect. Which is exactly what it is, it’s the Ivanpah Solar Power Facility,