Monday, July 29, 2013

Flight Reports: Seattle to Sweden [SEA to ARN via PDX and AMS]

I love flying. There really is nothing like it and even with all of the hassle today, where else could you get a shot like this? Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier lined up, as seen from the my seat on a wind up Q400, is not something that you can get anywhere else. I recently got back from Sweden, where I spent a week and a half with family and friends from my studies there at KTH. It was a fantastic trip (and more on that soon), but the flights ended up being treats in themselves: Mountains! Greenland at predawn on the way there! Crisp views of the fjords of Greenland on the way back! The lakes of Stockholm in early morning light! All that is in this report.

My first leg was between Seattle and Portland on Horizon (SEA to PDX). I had two connections on this trip because that was the least expensive option and because I have only been through PDX once before. I wanted to see the airport and not have to connect through an airport on the east coast. On my past flights heading south, I've made the mistake of sitting on the left side of the aircraft (DEF seats), but this time I purposefully chose to sit on the right. If you are flying out of Seattle and headed South (California and Portland), sitting in seat A will almost always give you a view of the mountains on the way.

Portland itself is a nice little airport. Their airport code PDX has become something of a trendy name for the entire city. Getting to and from the airport without a car is made easy by the fact that the light rail comes adjacent to the airport itself. That would today be seen as a security risk in the post 9/11 world. The red line was "lucky" enough to have been designed and built before then, with service opening the day before 9/11. In contrast, the Link Light Rail in Seattle requires people to walk an extra quarter mile to get to the trains.

Next flight was on Delta to Amsterdam. An A330 with a window seat and a very odd ball guy beside me for the start. He ran a motorcycle repair shop, had been in an accident four days prior, broke his hip, had it replaced, and was now sitting in the seat next to me. Thankfully, the flight wasn't full and he ended up sitting in the center row. It was a good flight overall and I managed to capture most of it using my still being perfected flight lapse technique.

The flight was reasonable enough, although I forgot to order a special meal. Our flight path took us by the southern tip of Greenland, which is what you see above. Oh, and I surpassed 400,000 documented flown miles with this flight. Once in Amsterdam, it was a quick hop left to Stockholm on a KLM flight. I like KLM. They're cute. Lufthansa is serious, SAS has a streak of Nordic egalitarianism, and KLM is windmills and blue clogs cute. 

On this flight too, I got a great flight lapse, although I did get a stern, "What is that on my window?" when the flight attendant saw my contraption for holding the camera. Still, once he figured it out, he thought it was pretty cool. Thanks random KLM guy for not trying to shut me down (like on the Portland flights).

And with that, I stepped back into my summer dream, as if waking up as my Swedish self who never left and returning to the city as if two years had never past.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful presentation complete with great music and a poetic arrival Love it