Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Views From Above

I love bird's eye views. If I go to a city and there is a way to get up high, I take advantage and enjoy the splendid panoramic view. When Darcy and I went to NYC in March of 2002 one of the highlights was being at the top of the Empire State Building and checking out the 360 degree view of Manhattan and beyond. (Who knew six years later we'd be married and expecting a baby!?)

In Europe during the summer of 2003 we went to the highest point of every city we went to. In Paris we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, and the Notre Dame Cathedral (pictured here).

In Munich we went to the top of their equivalent of a space needle. Looking down from it, we saw the spot of the 1972 Summer Olympics.

In Venice we went to the top of the tower in San Marcos Square.

In Florence we climbed to the top of the Duomo Cathedral.

In Rome we walked on the roof of the Vatican.

This last September while in Shanghai, Darcy and I went to the very top of the Pearl TV Tower. Here is what it looks like from across the river.

And looking back from the top.

I though to do this post on my flight home from Portland on Sunday. I was flying over San Francisco, marveling at how awesome the city looked from up in the airplane. I could see Golden Gate Park and the "Panhandle" that stems out from it as if I were looking on Google Maps. The tall buildings downtown looked small, and the hilly streets barely looked sloped. From up there, people seemed like ants going about their business and I felt like a giant.

Here is a cool shot taken moments before the above picture that includes the Golden Gate Bridge.

Then the plane continued its descent over the peninsula. I looked down at the beautiful and pricey neighborhoods of Atherton and Menlo Park and thought of all the successful people (if you consider being rich successful) who were below me. The dark green area by the plane's wing is where Atherton is. Such beautiful neighborhoods down there.

Just after this I stared right down at Stanford's campus. I could see the golf course that Tiger Woods played on as a college student back in the mid-early 90's.

Then I landed and became an ant just like everyone else. Oh well, it sure was fun seeing the bay area from above for a little while. Doing so really changes your perspective.

I recommend clicking on these pictures to enlarge them. The smaller blog versions don't do them justice.

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