Thursday 21 August 2008

Lisboa without a fleece boa

Shortly to Lisboa

A few days away to Lisbon since I could not take a long summer holiday because plans to receive guests went awry.

Having shifted that holiday to Christmas time, it is looking like I would not get the hotel I require, so I probably would be looking further afield, which is a shame or an opportunity.

As I may have written in many other blogs when I travel, I am always fascinated by air travel, the way that big mass of metal takes off gracefully and flies through the air till it gets to its destination.

Air crash somewhere

One must reflect, commiserate and sympathise because as I arrived in Lisbon, CNN had the breaking news of an air crash at take-off Madrid’s Barajas International Airport where it now appears 150 lives were lost. My prayers are with the survivors and relatives of those who perished.

The pressures of running an airline with the high fuel costs, outrageous surcharges, unrelenting competition and shareholder unrest can make the whole idea of air travel less safe than it should be, considering the said airplane aborted a take-off before it had that fatal accident on a second attempt.

Concerns one has

One only hopes that the pilots who should have a clear view of the health of their plane are not being put under pressure to take undue risks because of business pressures.

On my KLM flight, the plane was just about half-full that the captain advised that passengers should not change their seats until after take-off in order not to affect the balance of the plane.

Meanwhile, we had to take off our seat belts because the plane was being refuelled as we settled to leave, whilst being reminded that a half-full plane is bad business for KLM but they are there to serve the customer, I almost felt a lump in my throat for being cynical.

Lizard lakes

Once we took off, the views were magnificent, eventually; I decided to take some pictures from that vantage point of 11,000 ft, lakes looking like dragon-lizards and that amazing view of sprawling mountains and homesteads that makes you ask, who scribbles on the earth in this way?

Every time I am in the air, I see much of the beauty of the earth that is lost in the proximity of urban life and the struggles to survive, I can only wonder at what those who go into orbit see of earth from afar.

The hazy pictures in my picture album are probably the effects of light, pollution or some phenomenon I cannot explain beside the fact that some pictures were taken with my 2-megapixel mobile phone that was in flight-mode.

I am now here in Lisbon and would be posting a few more pictures and stories of my 5-night stay.

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