Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Tale of Airports and While Up In The Air

For the recent trip back to Malaysia, we transited at two new airports, new to us I mean. The first is the George Bush Inter-Continental Airport at Houston (IAH), and the other, the (Moscow) Domodedovo International Airport (DME). Not only are the airports new to us, so are the place. And courtesy of Singapore Airline (SIA), we can now put these two cities under our belt, even though we did not venture beyond the confines of the airport, or to be exact, the Transit Lounge. However, nobody can deny that we were physically on the ground at these places. That dubious distinction would also apply to Taipei and HongKong (for me since Wify has been to HongKong).

We are not new to the Changi Airport in Singapore, which, as a home-port of SIA, is necessarily a transit point in the route. But what amazed us is the d├ęcor, putting space to optimal use for visual pleasure and also some learning experience for the benefit of the weary travelers.

The return trip also means that we spent about 2 days high up in the air, at a height of 35,000 – 40,000 ft above sea level, which placed us at the stratosphere (6 – 31 miles above the surface). And the view out of the window was really spectacular. The wide expanse really dwarfs the human presence, invoking a sense of awe that helps put everything into perspective, or cut us down to sizes, all made possible by having a window seat, not my preferred emplacement, but one that I have grown accustomed to with age, especially when armed with a camera.

Let me then bring you on a whirlwind tour of the airports and the airspace that connects them, a chance at a bird's eye view of the atmosphere up close, and terra firma, from a distance, vertically that is.

At IAH, in the lone star state, or in the parlance of college football, the Longhorns.

At IAH. I was wondering what has chilli got to do with AT&T and mobiles, until I was alerted by Wify to look closer. How uncanny. Then it all makes sense.

One of the eateries at DME, Moscow. But they were out of bound to us as they only deal in Russian rubles. We had better luck at the Tax-free shop, buying some chocolate with US dollars.

The Transit concourse, Changi Airport, with kois swimming in an elongated pond fringed by plants and flowers and graced by Wify.

Wify guarding the entrance to the giant festive decoration, Changi Airport.

Wify trying her hand at one of the hand presses for making motifs of Symbolic Asia out of papers, Changi Airport.

One of the many symbols of Asia on display (hint: learning experience).

Our claim to the grand sending off, at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sepang.

And now, (drum roll ...), the panorama extravaganza, views up in the air or from up in the air.

A river debauching into the Straits of Melaka, with stationary boats dotting the seascape, watched by distant clouds.

A distant sun beaming down on us at high altitude, the shot captured understandbly without the aid of me looking at the LCD screen. I simply pressed the camera lens against the plane's window in that general direction, and hope for the best.

A sunrise, illuminated by the distant glow on the horizontal.

A sea of icebergs? No, just ice-berg lookalike clouds buffering us from below.

A cotton field in the air.

I caught this plane flying by us. Talk about airspace ... Wonder whether anybody on it saw us too. What are the odds of two people clutching their cameras and fixating on things outside the window at the same time?

Then another one jetted by, leaving a linear contrails behind, though I think this happened on the return trip. Nah, can't be the same guy on his return trip too, but I wonder.

1 comment:

Lee Wei Joo said...

Very grand views of the sky. Great pictorial blogging entry!