Aerial Views – San Francisco-Beijing

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Took United Flight 889 from San Francisco to Beijing, a flight that arcs way north, crossing Alaska and reaching just south of the Arctic Circle then crossing Siberia, across the Sea of Okhotsk (where the Russians shot down a straying Korean Airlines 747, killing all 269 on board, back in the Soviet era in 1983) and finally over the north-east corner of China down into smoggy Beijing.

SFO - Lufthansa A380 542
▲ Taxing out from our gate at San Francisco International Airport we passed this Lufthansa Airbus A380.

Golden Gate Bridge 542
▲ Then took off over San Francisco with this perfect view of the Golden Gate Bridge off to the right. For much of the flight the views were to kill for, it was daylight all the way and perfect low light for much of it. And as usual not a soul was looking out. Around me every single blind was pulled down so passengers could watch their screens.

SFO-Beijing - California Coast 542
▲For the first stretch we paralleled the California coast. Then we headed north and came to the Alaskan coast, an area I’d explored with a Lonely Planet/National Geographic film crew back in 2009.

SFO-Beijing - Alaska glacier 542
▲ There were wonderful views like this glacier and mountain glimpse before we headed north, getting fairly close to Nome, which I’d also been to on that film trip.