Aerial Exploration: Zurich to SFO

Another European trip. Five countries in five days which is a little more exciting in the winter. Not the good exciting. More of a Russian roulette with weather delays serving as the bullets. SFO to Lyon, France to Munich, Germany to Budapest, Hungary to Florence, Italy. My luck ran out on the way to Dusseldorf when I got stuck in Frankfurt due to weather. Got to love Lufthansa though. It was a weather delay, but they put everyone up in hotels, paid for my taxi and gave me a food voucher. U.S.-based airlines seem to wash their hands over ‘acts of God’ that cause travel delays. I connected through Zurich on a Swiss Air flight home to SFO.

Zurich, Switzerland
Wikipedia Google Maps
I’ve passed through Zurich on vacation before. It seems like a nice city, but perhaps a bit too… ‘precise?’ It lacks some of the gritty style you find in Paris or the friendly atmosphere of a Munich. To be fair I haven’t given it much of a chance. I’m sure it would be a lot more fun to travel with someone who knows their way around. Of course, it’s a financial center and the capital of Switzerland, so maybe it’s OK that it’s not a ‘fun’ destination. As we took off from the aiport, I was facing into the sun. Not the best of photos, but a nice view of Lake Zurich. Makes me wonder which was named first, the city or the lake.

 

North of 53, Manitoba
Wikipedia Google Maps
The skies over the Atlantic Ocean were cloudy but as we passed over the northern reaches of Canada, the sky cleared and I snapped a few photos out of the window. I thought it would be easy to find the locations on Google Earth, but it was nearly impossible! There are a lot of frozen lakes in Northern Canada. I had to cheat and found a web site, www.flightaware.com, that will show your actual flight path of any flight you’ve taken in the last couple of months (after a free registration). Turns out I was over northern Manitoba when I took the above picture. The official Manitoba website divides the Canadian province into eight main regions, the largest — and well over half their realestate! — is lumped into what they call North of 53. If you’d care to visit, “lumbering polar bears, great beluga whales and massive trophy fish await your arrival.”

Wekusko, Manitoba
Google Maps
Still in Manitoba, but a little closer to civilization. Tawow Lodge, only about 30km northwest of this site, offers cold weather adventures including ice fishing or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.” I think I’d wait for summer. The photo above is lloking south. Lake Hargrave is the large lake and the road below it, Route 39, leads north to Wekusko Lake — apparently a really good place for hunting and fishing according to Wekusko Falls Lodge.

San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge
Wikipedia Google Maps
We had great views of San Francisco as we were landing. You know its a great view when the flight attendant leans over to look out your window. The Golden Gate Bridge appears to be single-handedly holding back the fog from the Pacific Ocean to protect the city. Alcatraz can be seen just north of the bridge. There are three natural harbors along California’s coast — San Diego, Monterrey and San Francisco. The Spanish found the first two in the 1500s. It took over 200 years more for Spanish explorers to find San Francisco Bay (OK, they weren’t trying that hard after they found a route passed the Philippines to the East Indies). The narrow entrance and the fog are credited for sheltering the bay from sight for so many years.

Candlestick Park, San Francisco
Wikipedia Google Maps
Candlestick Park — home of the San Francisco 49ers football team (1971 to present) and former home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team (1960 to 2000) until they moved closer to downtown San Francisco. The city of Oakland can be seen in the distance across San Francisco Bay. San Jose/Santa Clara to the south are hoping to lure the 49ers to the South Bay with promises of a new stadium. The 49ers have won five superbowls during their Candlestick years.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted December 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    Gee wiirskell, that’s such a great post!

  2. Posted March 11, 2016 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    Zurich San Francisco Office

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