Whenever you are flying over an area just after the takeoff or before landing, most of the time landscape below looks like a organized jumble of residential and commercial buildings with criss-crossing roads and highways. Since our mind is such a great pattern matcher, occasionally you recognize a landmark or building from up above and your mind feels happy.
But this morning in my regular early morning flights to Portland, OR I was in for a treat. Few minutes after takeoff I noticed marshlands and thought we are going over the bay area parallel to 101 side of the bay. Then I noticed the first bridge and thought that must be San Mateo 92 bridge. But then the 2nd bridge became visible and I could make out that 1st one must be Dumbartan bridge and this one is San Mateo bridge. Now it became clear that flight took the path of flying over south bay, east bay parallel to 880 north. So next I could see bay bridge and SF downdown lights and said wow. Now my eyes started looking for Golden Gate and San Rafael bridge and lo and behold you could see them both. Infact you could see San Quentin prison lights at the end of San Rafael bridge.
I thought to my self the only bridge to be seen now is Benecia bridge near Fairfield. I could see two very close small parallel bridges but wasn’t sure if they are the ones I am looking for. Since I cross Benecia bridge every two week I knew the landmarks to look for. When you are driving over the bridge you could see these big parked boats and I spotted them from the air. So it was the one I was looking for. You could also see the orangish brown round structures of the oil refinery so it was double confirmed now.
Overall it was too much fun to see and locate all the bridges of the bay area, seemed I am part of this land. Right now flying over this incredibly beautiful landscape of snow studded mountains with a lake in between. Don’t know where it is.
OK even the Flight Attendant pointed at the beauty of this. We are flying over Mt Shasta and Crater Lake should be coming in about 10 minutes. See the pics. . One reason these were closer was because I was flying on this plane which flies at 20000 ft rather than the normal 30000 ft. Will post this when I reach Portland.