Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Flying Within View of Mt. Everest and Into Paro International Airport

We made it out of Kathmandu and landed safely in Paro, Bhutan. The mountains closed in all around us as we made our descent and all I can say is "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas anymore." Here are pictures from flight in.

What's that up ahead off the right hand wing? It's the Himalaya Range, Earth's highest mountains where the Indian plate is being shoved against the Eurasian plate. The collision creates this fantastic range of mountains.

We were told to circle around Kathmandu for about 45 minutes due to air traffic on the tarmac. I didn't mind. The Nepalese foothills are in the foreground.

It was bright clear day above the regional haze which we saw all the way from Chiang Rai to Kathmandu

After the five hour wait we boarded our Druk Air 319 Airbus for the 1 hour flight to Paro

And we flew right past Mt. Everest! It is obviously the highest peak here with Lhotse (right of Everest) and Nuptse (the flat ridge left of the peak) nearby. When I snapped this shot the top of Everest was still 2,000 feet above the jet. The twin-looking peak near the far left edge is Pumori, which I was privileged to stand beneath on our Everest Base Camp trek in 2007.

It was straight shot steeply down into the airport. Paro is up ahead in the valley on the left hand side.

The wings nearly touched the mountains it seemed

Everyone clapped loudly as we touched down

Our first look at Paro was directly up the valley we had just descended in the jet

Sign announcing the Royal Wedding

Illuminated sign in the immigration waiting area is for a cell phone company but says at the top: "Welcome to the Land of GNH (Gross National Happiness)." This should be really fun in the next three days!

1 comment:

Gaelyn said...

Wow, once again! The flight views are incredible. The landing looks a little dicey. How could you not like GNH.