Friday, 29 August 2014

Płynie Wisła płynie from 6,500m

My 2,000th blog post, and to mark the occasion some aerial photography. Yesterday I flew to Rzeszów and back, a 38-minute hop covering a distance that would have taken at least five and half hours by train (and there's only two direct services a day from Warsaw). The flight in both directions followed the path of the Vistula, and the weather was good for photography. So then.

I flew port out, port home (A-seats on the plane's left side). On the way out, the sun was in the east, on the way back, on the west, so I was shooting into sun on both flights. Below: the two bridges at Góra Kalwaria, the first Vistula crossings south of Warsaw. I was here a few weeks ago by bike, crossing the road bridge.

Left: view from seat 17A. The plane is a 78-seat Eurolot Bombardier Q400 twin turboprop, a huge advance in terms of smoothness compared to the ATR42s and 72s it replaced. There's no discernable difference between this and a jet. The old ATRs (especially the oldest ones with four-blade props) would grind their way through the skies like a tractor with a broken gearbox.

Down below, the Vistula threads its way through the landscape, between Magnuszew and Ryczywół (lit. "Bellows the ox"). We have reached cruising altitude - 6,500m. The 07:30 flight is airborne at 07:55 and we've disembarked at Rzeszów Jasionka airport at 08:35.

Below: On the way back somewhere between Tarnobank and Sandometer - a numinous sensation. "HAVE - YOU - SEEN - THE - LIGHT?" The westering sun glances off the Vistula, under threatening clouds

Below: a massive rainstorm engulfs Warka and the Pilica valley. Again a short flight; no sooner has the captain announced that we are at cruising altitude, then he announces the start of the descent into Warsaw.

Turning in towards Warsaw, crossing the Vistula looking south, we see the river snaking its way across the plains, with numerous islands along the way.

The Polish landscape is unique and instantly recognisable from the air by its narrow ribbons of fields. From here, the plane heads west towards Czachówek, then aligns itself with the final approach over Piaseczno and Jeziorki.

An hour after flying over my house, I've passed through Frederic Okęcie airport, taken a train from the airport to W-wa Służewiec station, and from there another train to W-wa Jeziorki, and thence a 1km walk home.

This time three years ago:
Bad car day

This time four years ago:
Dragonfly summer

This time six years ago:
"What do we want?" "Early retirement!"

This time seven years ago:
Greenhouse sunset

1 comment:

Bob said...

Michal - congrats on 2,000 posts. Quite an accomplishment with the added value that the vast majority have been interesting and unique while being educational.