Month: April 2011

The Dordogne

Dordogne
The Dordogne viewed from 38,000ft passing at over 450mph.

Last week my flights took me to the Dordogne départment of France.  Views over France were stunning thanks to the clear skies and temperatures were mild at just above 20ºC.  As we began our descent the picturesque countryside around the Dordogne region grew closer and closer and looked beautiful as it bathed in the morning sunlight.  This was the first sector of the day out of 4 and the last two sectors took me further south to the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France which borders the Pyrenees.  Just as our descent point approached, a view of the Pyrenees materialised in the distance, almost as if it was a mirage…

A day in Dublin & a couple of hops to Palma

This week was interesting – I had the opportunity to fly out of base for just a day, from Dublin.  The last time I went away was in December, to Madrid.  My base has regular flights to Dublin on the network, so it was rather convenient getting there, and it was a relaxed 2 sector day with a flight to Bergamo, Italy.  On the way back to Dublin, as we got to the southern coast of England, we got a nice short-cut and from ATC and flew in a north-westerly direction towards Dublin. This gave us a nice view of the western coast of England and it was a beautiful, clear night and gave me a great view of the coastline of Ireland & UK, and the piece of airspace that I make my short flights through between UK and Dublin, so often.

The next two flights took me to Palma de Mallorca.  On the one day the flight started a little later, and so we began our descent just as the sun set, and on the other day the flight was much earlier, so gave us the chance to enjoy the views in daylight.

 

Pyrenees at Sunset
Just about to descend as the sun sets over the Pyrenees.

 

I quite enjoy the flight path to Palma, it does give some amazing views as we are inbound.  We initially route over Birmingham, towards London and on passing London to our left, we see the Isle of White to our right.  The flight then takes us over France – Brest, Bordeaux and then over the Pyrenees just after passing Toulouse.  If it’s a clear day I will often point out the interesting details of the view en route to the passengers and it was on both of the flights this week.  Once we are over the Pyrenees and well into our descent, we fly over Barcelona and route further south over the coast and the Mediterranean Sea towards Palma. Eventually we see the high terrain and beautiful cliffs on the northern side of the island come into view. The view that the return flight gives is equally as impressive. We took off from the south-westerly facing runway and the standard departure eventually allows us to turn north, which gives us stunning views of the holiday resorts on the island and once again, the cliffs.