My blogging journey started in 2005 with a trip to Leh. Leh thus has an immense sentimental value for me! I re-visited Leh in January 2016! The winter flight to Leh was operated by GoAir. The trip in 2005 was a road trip. So this was my first chance to click the glorious mountains while landing at Leh! Like any good traveler I did my research. I was told that on a Delhi-Leh flight I should choose the A side window seat and the reverse while coming back!
I opened the GoAir website punctually 24 hours before my flight so that I could choose a window seat at the web check-in. To my surprise even at that early hour all but one window seats were gone! But I got 30A the last available window seat, it would have to do!
As I was flying in January, the airport was on high alert. Till the Republic Day is over security at the Indian Airports remains high. I am only stating this as a fact, I would rather deal with high security than with a breach of security! We were traveling in a big group, we were on invitation from the Hotel Grand Dragon. It took us ages to clear the security!
Eventually I found my window seat in the plane. The plane was full of Ladakhi people going back home. There were only a few tourists going there in the bitterly cold weather. I initially thought the people sitting next to me were locals but I eventually realized that they were from Japan! I had a good flight, there was no turbulence. I bought a cup of tea in-flight and enjoyed it.
The plane soon started its descent to Leh. I was now glued to the window! It was a mesmerizing panorama unfolding below me! As there was no luggage space left on, the rack I had kept my camera bag in front of the seat! Everyone had heavy woolens in their hand luggage hence the overhead compartments became full! I put the opportunity to good use, I took out my DSLR to click the pictures at the landing! The Japanese couple sitting next to me passed their camera as well. I was happy to click for them, they like the pictures!
As we got out of the plane, a gust of icy wind greeted us. The temperature was -3 degree Celsius. I had a down jacket and an overcoat in my hand luggage. I was doing fine.
Even though Leh has become popular with the tourist, the airport is still basic. Even the doors were covered just with blankets! There was no real door. I wonder where all the tourism money is going!
On my return flight, the hotel did the check-in and I got a middle seat! I sulk like crazy when I don’t get a window seat but with some good pictures on the landing, I decided to be more gracious about the middle seat, I only sulked a little!
When it comes to aeroplanes I think the world can be divided into window lovers and aisle lovers. And no one loves the middle seats. If you wish to confirm this argument skip doing the web check in and see which seats you get on a full flight. All windows and aisles would be gone and all you will get is a middle seat! I am a firm window seat lover.
On a few occasions when I forgot to do the web-check in and got a middle or aisle seat, my misery knew no bounds! Middle seat is a bit more miserable than aisle seat for the obvious reasons. You have the freedom to move around if you wish when you get an aisle seat but to me that is a very poor consolation. You ask why? Well the pictures are my answer to you.
No aisle seat can offer me this view. I recently visited Goa and came back today. I was invited by the Goa Tourism Department to attend the Goa’s Coconut and Cashew Festival. I managed to get a window seat both the times. The views are the reason of my addiction to the window seat. The only person who manages to dislodge me from it is my daughter Chhavi.
I have been on aisle seats when the person occupying the window seat has been fast asleep through a blazing sunrise! Nothing can be more frustrating for a window lover! Thankfully my Goa trip doesn’t fall in that category. I could see the Zuari Bridge from air. The coastline looked so majestic from the air!
I find the best opportunity to click pictures is when the plane banks on your window side. It is an awesome feeling to see the sea and sky merge in the far distance. And when I think that someone else paid for ticket because I blog, I feel truly blessed.
I knew Maldives was beautiful but I didn’t know it was this beautiful. So, if you live in India haul yourself to Maldives at the first opportunity with your dear ones. You will find flights from Kochi cheaper. Even from Delhi as I booked in advance I got 17 thousand Indian rupees as the return fare. It was the same for Lakshadweep, Andaman and Male. Though I have not been to Lakshadweep I would recommend Maldives over Andaman any day. As for my costs, I visited a budget island, Maafushi and for two people it was almost as expensive as my going to Andaman alone. I am smitten by Maldives. After South Africa this is the second country where I thought of applying as a college professor. Let me send my kid to college! Sigh, which is such a long time away.
In Maldives one of the most expensive expenditures is the speed boat transfer. And even though local ferries are incredible fun, they are very few and far between. Also every one accepts the US Dollar as currency on the islands. My nephew had local currency which we used for ferry and having coffee at Male.
Now there are a lot of pending stories, while I am really looking forward to not traveling for next two weeks. I never thought I would ever say these words but I am also looking forward to not seeing the insides of a plane for the next two weeks. There I said it.
It has been three weeks of continuous travel, first to Finland then to Rajasthan and now Maldives. Even though I know I am incredibly lucky as the first two trips were invitations, it does take a toll. So while I try and recover a bit, you enjoy my video of flying over Maldives.
But this post is not about the diamonds in the sky. It is just a view from the high up in a plane. It was the early morning Delhi-Ahmadabad flight.
I took up my first flight in my late twenties! Compare it with my daughter who took it at two years! By now she has started taking my window seat as well. My nephews who are much younger than me know how much I enjoy sitting on the window and they leave it for me! But not my daughter, not yet.
This was on my flight from Delhi to Ahmadabad. The day break was much more breathtaking but try as I might, I could not capture it. The lights of the plane would reflect in the window and spoil the picture completely. It was only later when it became brighter I stood a chance. I am seriously thinking of buying a point and shoot as they are much more handy in flights than bulky SLRs!
The water body appeared quite close to Ahmadabad. I wonder what it is. As a rule, I hate getting up early but if it is an early morning flight, I don’t mind. All I need is a window seat to keep me happy and occupied.
This post is part of Sky Watch Friday. Do check it out.