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Leg 2 (Portland to Amsterdam)

After Mt. Hood the view was rather unspectacular until the sun began to set. We went over a piece of Idaho, Calgary, much of Canada, Hudson Bay, and then things got interesting.

sunset sunrise not darkness in north at summer solstice

Before Greenland, the sun set, sort of. It was the slowest sunset I’ve ever seen, and it never completely set (keep in mind this was two days after summer solstice). The horizon was always orange and sometimes touched with brilliant red streaks. Unfortunately, these pictures don’t do it justice. Taking photos through thick, dirty airplane windows in relatively low light does not yield the true picture. I wanted to roll down my plane window and stick my head out the window. 😉

sunrise greenland summer aerial photography view from the air

This was my first time seeing Greenland from the air. We were so high that we had a good angle on the lower part of Greenland. The water, rocky coast, ice sheets, and sunset combined for a breathtaking view. Note that most of that is ice, not clouds, in the above photo. Again, it’s difficult to see and not reflective of the true beauty at the time when the photo had to go through that many layers of unclean glass. On the east coast of Greenland I could even see a few lights.

I think I was the only person on the entire plane looking out the window. Everyone else had their windows closed so they could sleep or watch a movie. I was riveted to the view out the window which looked otherworldly. If you are like me, and enjoy aerial views, be sure to get a window seat on the left of your plane if you may ever be flying over Greenland from the west in summer.

Soon after Greenland the sun began to rise again. The sunset/sunrise combo clocked in at about three hours. It never did get dark.

plane  sunrise

The sun rose perfectly behind the plane wing so that the sea glowed the sun’s orange reflection while I could still view the scene without hurting my eyes by looking at the sun.

aerial holland west coast

At long last we reached the coast of Holland.

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