Saturday, September 26, 2009

It was a beautiful day in The Netherlands - a perfect day for a picnic.

Several Amsterdam families thought the same thing. While taxiing down
the maze of runways, I noticed many families having a picnic on the
grass along the fence. They were watching all the planes take off and
land. Whenever a plane came close, the children would run up to the
fence and wave. It was a happy sight. Another thing that made me happy
was the fact that I had a window seat. With this seat, I was afforded
excellent views of the city of Amsterdam. Each seat was equipped with
an LCD screen so I was able to track the plane's position as it
crossed into Germany. There were many small towns surrounded by short
stretches of green forests. My eyes were constantly surveying the
varied terrain as we passed over the Czech Republic, Slovenia and
Hungary. Well into Romania, I noticed that the farms were not
large squared off parcels of land, but thin strips. These colorful
strips of land were spread as far as I could see. It was an amazing
sight. Romania's farmland soon gave way to its coastal shores along
the Black Sea. Soon, I was able to see the Crimean Peninsula. In
recent years, the beaches of the Crimean Coast have become a famous
vacation spot for wealthy Russian and Ukrainian families. Many large
and opulent parties take place at their seaside villas. The flat
expanse of the Black Sea eventually gave way to the rugged mountains
of Georgia. From this point till we began our decent into New Delhi,
many signs of civilization were hidden. The Caspian Sea, with Russia
to the North and Iran to the south, seemed much larger than it appears
on the map. In the late afternoon, as we crossed into Turkmenistan,
the orange early evening light over the Great Black Sand Desert revealed
something amazingly beautiful yet at the same time completely barren .
As the sun set over the Afghan mountains below, I was astounded by how
all the mountain peaks looked eerily similar. Across North Pakistan
and into India, the lights below were far and few between. As we
neared our destination, The lights of the cities grew larger and
brighter. I noticed one city square below where several bright strobe
lights lit up the night sky. As we began our decent, an enormous
nuclear power plant with numerous cooling towers came into view. As we
neared the airport, the orange night glow of the City of New Delhi
enveloped the plane. I began to see individual cars and rickshaws in
the streets. Even late at night, the traffic looked very busy. Jay
pointed out a hotel he stayed in on a previous visit. The wheels
touched down on the runway, the cabin broke out in applause and I was
ready for an adventure!

Continued in part 3

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