The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag airplane

Over the Alps, 11:50 am

I put my book down and look out the window. Normally all  I could see would be the blue sky delineated by the wing of the plane, but now, below us, I see the Alps. A vast range of mountains stretching off in all directions, stark grey tops covered in pristine snow that make me wish I could be there right now, riding my snowboard. Moments later a valley appears, starting somewhere under me and stretching out in a quarter circle towards the tip of the wing. The sides of the valley are a deep forest green, with lighter shades … Read the rest

Sky over Japan 3:02 pm

I’ve got the ear buds stuck in at angle to get the bass notes better, Volbeat blasting away, all electric guitars and garbled English. The air conditioning is set to a comfortable level and despite not being able to see the ground I still enjoy the view. It turns out our cruising altitude is such that we are flying just above a layer of clouds. Hills and valleys, crags, boulders and ravines all formed of pristine white vapor bathed in sunlight against a backdrop of clear blue sky and even a few lighter tufts of cloud above. It really is … Read the rest

Over the Taiwan Strait, 8:10 pm

We took off with the nose pointing roughly northward, seeing little but blackness out the windows. Just a moment ago the pilot made a big sweeping left turn to point us more southwesterly and as we leveled out a magnificent view opened up outside the little porthole to my left. We are flying at a pretty low altitude so we can see the ground fairly clearly; most of it is wreathed in shadow but thousands upon thousands of lights are spread out in the darkness, little dots of amber intermingled with specks of blue tinted white. It lights up the … Read the rest

Over keflavik 9:14 pm

We have just turned in over land, only a few minutes from touching down. At this point you will normally see the outskirts of the city down below, trees rivers and highways. To my surprise there is nothing here, just a grey brown plain of broken rock and earth stretching uninterrupted out to the sea. Not a single sign of civilization. What kind of strange land is this we are coming to?… Read the rest

Air over Amsterdam 8:46 am

We have just passed through the clouds, and so too, apparently, has the sun. For when you leave the colorful sunrise behind and come down beneath the cloud cover, you kind of expect the day to be dreary and grey. What a surprise then to be greeted, as you leave the layer of mist behind, by a brilliant, dazzling golden light that fills up the otherwise dismal world with warmth and brightness. A fleeting moment of bliss that dissipates as the golden glow fades.… Read the rest

Sky over Taiwan, 5:38 am

The captain has just made his landing speech over the intercom, announcing that it is raining on the ground. Up here however, above the clouds it is, fair to say that the sunrise is fantastic. The plane’s wing, sweeping backwards, cuts across the blue grey landscape of clouds, forming a constant reference against the soft hills and gently sloping valleys flowing by. The sky above is a rich blue, paling towards the horizon where it is streaked in fiery orange and bright golden yellow, with a few free floating tufts of cloud livening up the otherwise empty sky. The light … Read the rest

Over Incheon 5:03 pm

We are flying at the same height as the setting sun. It paints an orange strip on the shadowy surface of the sea beneath us and lights my face in a warm glow. The sky above is still a light blue and right in the center of the sun is a horizontal yellow line dividing the dusk below and the brightness above. It is perhaps the most beautiful landing I have ever experienced, I just wished they could turn off the jazzed up Christmas melody in the background. Except for that, it is almost nice. At least the beauty distracts … Read the rest

Over Göteborg 12:45 pm

The same familiar airplane surroundings, the screen now tells me I am over Göteborg, my home town. What bothers me is not the effort I spent the last two days to get to Stockholm via my parents house just to be back so suddenly; neither is it the rather soggy excuse of a sandwich they have provided me with. No, what bothers me is why they provided a packet of skimmed milk, some sugar and a small – in lack of a better word – spoon with my sandwich. What also bothers me is why they decided to make a … Read the rest

Over Örebro 12:28 pm.

In front of me, the blue leather back of a seat and a bland gray piece of plastic euphemistically called a table with the words “Fasten seatbelt while seated” and “Lifejacket under your seat” printed on it. To my left, an incredibly bright sky, white clouds and wing of an aircraft. Up and to the right is a small screen with a rather grainy graphic showing me that I am over Örebro, my parents home town. I left here for Stockholm a little over five hours ago and now I am back. Was it worth all that trouble? Wouldn’t it … Read the rest

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