Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Flying over the Himalayas

I am rarely so happy to get on a plane. Sure, I enjoyed my time in Tibet, but as the plane door closes and the cabin begins to pressurize, I slowly feel the altitude sickness seep away. My headache clears, and breathing no longer requires conscious effort. It turns out that living beachside on a tropical island is great for many reasons, but preparing the body for the elevation of Lhasa, Tibet is not one of them. As the plane climbs out of the valley and into the air, I marvel at the Himalayas spread out before me.




At first, the snow-capped mountains are far off in the distance. Long after the other passengers on the China Eastern flight have closed their window shades and turned to books and iPads, I cannot help staring outside and trying to shield my eyes from the sun's bright glare. Thoughts of James Hilton's Lost Horizon and World War II tales of hazardous flights over The Hump flit through my brain even if we're nowhere near where these took place. We turn northeast, and I give up any hope of glimpsing Mount Everest out the window.





The peaks start reaching higher and higher into the sky as the cloud cover begins.




Some towering mountains manage to reach above the clouds beckoning us closer for a better look.




But not too close, I silently pray. Signs of life appear in a valley below. It must be so isolated in that town. I have no idea where we are and wish the plane had a TV with a route tracker displayed.




Unexpected sights reveal themselves such as twin mountaintop lakes. Is that what they are? Why aren't they frozen and covered in snow?



The mountain range spreads out below me, as far as the eye can see. For centuries, the Himalayas have captured the public's imagination. It deserves all the attention it gets.



Pinch me. I can't believe I'm here. I'm flying over the Himalayas.


This post is part of "Travel Photo Thursday" on Budget Travelers Sandbox and "Oh the Places I've Been" on The Tablescaper. Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.

16 comments:

  1. What great photos and you captured my imagination with your narrative!

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  2. Loved your photos. The Himalayas are very special. We lived in Kathmandu and Mugling for a while.

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  3. I felt exactly the same way when we flew into Nepal many years ago. We could see Mt Everest from the window and what a fantastic, unforgettable sight that was!

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  4. Wow that looks amazing!! It is taking me back to when I did a Mt Everest flight in Nepal, but that looks even more amazing

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  5. Wow! Such a beautiful sight and amazing pictures!

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  6. Wow! It seems Nepal is calling us.

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  7. Hi Michelle! Ooohhh...you went to Tibet! That's my favorite place in the whole wide world. I love the Himalayas and flying over that region. Your photos are wonderful and bring great memories. I so look forward to hearing about your experiences in Tibet. My 2-week trip there seven years ago was one of the most profound travel moments I had.

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  8. How beautiful! I would love to see the Himalayas some day. You almost want to look for Yeti in your photos :)

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  9. You managed to catch some awesome shots. They all spark the imagination. Would love to visit Tibet sometime, and look forward to reading more of your adventures.

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  10. Oh Michele I'm so envious of you being able to even take those pictures! I'm very familiar with The Hump as I not only read about it in my WWII research over the years but I also saw documentaries on it. I was in suspense there for a second thinking that maybe you would, in fact, get to see Everest from the plane. That would be a dream come true for me. Nonetheless that mountaintop you did get is absolutely beautiful! And now I want to know which one it is :)

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  11. love the images and what interesting with the twin lakes. :)

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  12. These are some great window shots and especially of the Himalayas. I love those peaks peeking above the clouds. They look amazing. I'm looking forward to reading more about your Tibet trip. I've heard and read many life-changing moments during visits there or to Nepal so curious how family travel was. Welcome back!

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  13. We did a flight over the Himalayas out of Kathmandu. I was so in awe, just as you were. Incredible!

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  14. Incredible pictures. They remind me of our 46h train journey from China to Tibet. The mother nature can really surprise us,no? :-D

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