Getting to Budapest

Our first new experience was using the airporter bus for our trip to the airport.  We had always driven our own car before.  That went well and we then found ourselves on a smaller than usual plane heading up to Vancouver, B.C.  When you try to use frequent flyer miles in the middle of the summer, you wind up taking whatever itinerary is available.  Hence, we would up with a much less than direct flight plan!  But flying low in a small plane over the Puget Sound on a beautiful, clear day was an experience in itself.  The industrial Harbor Island and the tall, tightly spaced buildings of downtown Seattle were surrounded by ever-expanding low-level constructions.  This contrasted with the coastline of the peninsula and the many islands becoming more prevalent as green splotches in a sea of blue water reflecting sunlight in shimmers of smooth and undulating surfaces.  Then boats creating shafts of silver creased the blue waters between the larger and more numerous green Canadian San Juan islands.  The B.C. mainland quickly brought me back from the lush, wild forests of the islands into geometric signs of “civilization”.  Straight lines of reads and fields show how man has “tamed” his earth with the need for order and consistency.  Huge fields of exactly the same color, crops en masse.  A light aircraft journey makes you take a broad view of how we humans have changed the face of the earth, carving its rough diversity into clearly delineated boundaries of sameness.  Seeing the landscape of Northwest islands sometimes exhibiting mud flats as the tide flows outward reveals how relatively flat those islands are and how susceptible they are to a fries in sea level.  With loss of ice cap becoming more than just random talk, viewing the shallow coastlines brings thoughts of fear and sadness for what might befall future inhabitants in an ever-warming world.

 Upon arrival in Vancouver, we readily noted that one connecting flight to London was listed with the dreaded words “delayed”.  Happily, though, we noticed a slightly earlier alternative and were allowed to board that one.  Hopefully, our bags will make it also!

 The BA flight food was better than we expected.  Nice, flavorful lasagna, free wine, then a good breakfast of yogurt and a cranberry Brie roll just before landing made the long flight bearable.  We managed to sleep enough to be able to enjoy wandering through some of the many shops t Heathrow after landing.  With all that is available there one could practically buy all their necessities during a layover, if price were no object.  The London to Budapest flight was relatively short – only 2 hours and the sky was clear enough to see the ground throughout.  Once again it was interesting to see the lay of the agricultural fields.  In western Europe, they were smaller, varied and with boundaries following the contour of the natural land.  As we got farther west into the previously Communist lands, they began to look more like our own vast, mechanically efficient, straight lined truck farms with fewer areas of trees.

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