The Changing Landscape

Whenever I get lucky enough to fly into a foreign land, I hope to see the landscape unfold through the plane window. I’ll crane my neck if necessary, around the head of a fellow passenger, known or unknown. I wonder how can you not want to see the colours of the country, the curves and lines, the density of populated areas? I remember flying over the Sahara, in total awe when a homestead was visible with nothing else for what seemed liked a hundred miles. I remember shrunken rainforest and the EastEnders bend in the Thames.

Last weeks flights were not as dramatic, but I still tried to capture what I could, yes I am that sad woman on a perpetual first time flight, with a camera pressed against the window. Here are some of the images from those flights.

Western Spain or perhaps eastern Portugal, in late September, it doesn’t look as if anything could grow there, but the rain will fall when it’s ready and the soil will spring to life.
What’s that coming over the hill, it is an ocean, the Atlantic?
Wait, I recognise this from my obsessive checking-out-the-destination-before-I-go habits, it’s the beginning of the long islands just off the Algarve coast.
Part of the Parque Natural da Ria Formosa, I’m nearly there!
Umm, as it’s my first visit to Portugal I don’t think I’ll hang around Faro above, too long.

Closer to home, there was a lot of cloud cover, with tempting peeps at the south west of England below, and there was a definite change in the landscape. As soon as we crossed the English Channel, I knew exactly where we were.
This is Paignton, a seaside town 25 miles from home, the pier is just visible.
Splatford Split2
This is the view that got me really excited, and led to me identifying Paignton and Silverton with my daughter’s help. It’s just outside Exeter on the dual carriageway heading west towards Torbay and Plymouth. The circular junction is one I like driving around, it makes you dizzy if you go fast enough – not that I’d break the speed limit of course! If you survive that one, another mile further and you reach the notorious Splatford Split, the place where the tourists get lost, confused and sometimes cause accidents when they realise they’re in the wrong lane.
I was gutted that the cloud cover hid the city centre completely and cleared 8 miles east over Silverton.
The long wide beach at Weston-Super-Mare, in north Somerset, it’s a kite paradise and although I’ve never seen it, on a clear day the Welsh coast is often visible.

This isn’t a very clear shot as far as landscape is concerned but I rather like the layers of sky, cloud and land.
So, this is my entry to this weeks photo challenge, the change I observed in the landscape, from one that was a fresh and lovely experience, to the landscape of my heart.

25 thoughts on “The Changing Landscape

  1. What a wonderful post, my friend. I think it’s a happy person for whom every flight is the first one! I envy you short flights too – for ease of access to the loo I now have to sit in an aisle seat if I’m travelling for 13 hours. last trip from Warsaw to Helsinki was a great chance to see Poland from the air, but I ended up chatting to a charming Finn. I know that delight in tracing familiar landscapes from the air – I used to fly Sydney to Moruya in a very small plane for work, and I too knew exactly where I was. My best flight view was in a little six seater from Broken Hill to Orange where I got to sit near the pilot because my fellow teachers needed to cower where they couldn’t be reminded where they were. You photos are beautifully clear and capture wonderful patterns. I love your light in the flight.

  2. Like you, I love to have the window seat, and hubby always acquiesces. In fact it’s just something that’s long been understood between us two. Great shots, Gilly. I often don’t know what I’m looking at, but I have to look all the same. 🙂

  3. Wow! I think these shots are just amazing Gilly. I would also love to take shots from up high like that. Everything looks so clean and undisturbed. Thanks for sharing these stunning shots and enjoy! 😀 ♥

  4. Portugal is on my would-love-to-see list. and i can quite empathize with you about peering over heads and shoulders to get a click from the airplane 🙂
    what a cool interpretation of this week’s photo challenge!

  5. I’m glad I’m not the only one who obsessively takes photos out of plane windows. We were flying over the Alps one day and a voice whispered in my ear: “That’s Mont Blanc and,” (pointing) “that’s the route I took when I climbed it.” It was a very surreal moment!

  6. I always have the window seat on flights if possible, even at night I love to look at the changing landscape. This year on the way home from the south of France, as we descended over London to land at Luton airport, I saw the Thames and Craven Cottage the home of Fulham FC. After we passed over north London I saw a large dark green mass of trees and a line of three reservoirs and immediately knew it was Epping Forest and the William Girling and King George’s reservoirs that lie between Enfield and Chingford. I knew this with such certainty because I’ve lived in the area for over 22 years and we now live just a couple of miles north of the reservoirs! I started to get excited, wondering if we would see the Sainsbury’s warehouse where my husband works, which sits next to the M25 and as it is supposedly the largest warehouse in Europe you would think visible from the air! Well we did see it and not only did we see it but we also saw our little road where we live! In all the many flights I have taken I have only ever seen something I recognised twice before and that was the Isle of Wight which is pretty easy to make out as you fly over the Channel and the south coast and last year flying into City of London airport and literally coming around the Shard from the south and following the Thames! It was incredible to see our little town of Waltham Abbey and the surrounding countryside, a place I know like the back of my hand, from a different angle, I regret not having had my phone in my hand to have taken some photos. Next time

    1. Nice to meet you Peach! and thanks for this lovely and interesting comment. Yes, next time and every time keep your camera in your hand – these were my phone mainly, it works well because you can press it flat against the glass and avoid some of the reflections.
      Here’s to exciting flights with stunning views 🙂

  7. Your wondrous images remind me of landing in Paris, enroute to Zagreb. My only glimpse of the wheel spokes grid and the Eiffel Tower. Such a thrill and reminds me I still need to not only deplane and change but stay in the city and see it from the ground. Cool topography and atmosphere in your shots, Gilly. Exciting.

  8. What a lovely phrase “landscape of the heart” and it describes that almost indescribable feeling that comes over you when you suddenly realise it is your little patch of the world you are looking at down there.

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