August 10, 2011
We drifted higher and higher through strata of amazing landscape. This takeoff has by far produced the most beautiful scenery. Angling away from land, one’s gaze travels for miles across flat terrain and into the North Sea. The Netherlands are, of course, very flat and covered by waterways. Blocks of fields surround residential dwellings.
We broke through the cloud cover. I was slightly disappointed as I hoped to be able to maintain a visual on the terrain, but my attitude received a quick readjustment. Slipping through the cloud cover, a whole new universe opened up. Never has an expanse of clouds looked so like another world; a landscape of valleys and hills, of ridges and ravines. Forgive me for leaving the cloud types and names back in eighth grade, but the variety between thick and thin created the illusion of a wintered Narnia with the occasional window to another universe of waterways below. In this context, “breathtaking” works quite well.
I am currently making my way to Stockholm, Sweden, where I will pick up an airBaltic flight to Vilnius. It has been about fifteen hours or so since boarding my first flight; in other words, I am running on almost zero sleep, as I only slept four hours the night before. But than, this is travel! Despite the harrowing dash through Amsterdam’s airport (a fifty-five minute layover to cross the airport and get through security), the traditional lack of sleep, and the ear splitting descent into Amsterdam that killed my hearing, I am reminded of why I love travel. And looking out my window, I am reminded of the majesty of God expressed through His astonishingly beautiful creation.