Getting around

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True, it's been a slow week here on EGAD. I'll try to keep that sort of thing to a minimum in the future. Suffice to say that a number of projects are competing for my time, some of which may get chronicled here, whereas others are entirely unrelated; a few might even relate to my job.

As such, I've been something of a slacker about the photography recently. But as a stopgap, I still have a pile of older photos that can surely be massaged into a semi-coherent ramble of some sort.

According to the local weather reports the first snows may have fallen over the weekend, at least in the very technical sense of there being snowflakes in the air. Looks like it's gone back to wet and chilly since then, which is pretty much how it was when I left, too.

mpls_rain_wing.jpg
My last snapshot of Minnesota. 2004:10:01 14:28:00

Chicago will take a little longer to chill out, with the substantial heat capacity of Lake Michigan right next door, but I hear it's already dipping below freezing some mornings. However, it was sunny and reasonably warm when I was there, transferring from Delta to Iberia at O'Hare. I managed to snap a picture of the plane at the terminal, although for some reason people seem to think it's odd to be taking pictures in an airport, unless there's some sort of soccer mom involved.

ord_maria.jpg
The enormous Maria Guerrero, an Airbus-340. 2004:10:01 16:04:06

I haven't decided if I should invent some symbolism for the fact that my Airbus was named the Maria Guerrero, which in addition to translating (with incorrect gender ageement) as Mary the Warrior, is the name of one of my aunts. I don't recall ever seeing names on the planes operated by American carriers, but I do know there are named craft in the United States' aeronautical tradition. And I am fully prepared to believe that a passenger jet can have as much personality as a boat.

madrid_subway.jpg
Interior of a (line 8?) Madrid subway train, clearly before the morning rush. The cars are connected by flexible joints, like some city buses in the States, giving the feel of an extremely long, mobile corridor. 2004:10:02 23:13:08

I likewise quite readily suspect that the US carriers feel that it would be somehow silly to go around slapping names on the sides of their planes, especially considering that the things get sold, repurposed, and whatnot on a regular basis, so they're constantly being repainted. But then again, given how airport terminals are generally constructed, I suppose it's possible that I've seen the noses of so few planes that I've just never noticed the practice.

A transatlantic flight at night is a relatively boring affair, once you get out over the ocean. I flew over some bits of Canada en route that I don't normally get to see, but since only so much of it is really inhabited, it also holds rather limited interest on a nocturnal flight. I was able to make out Prince Edward Island, I think, but other landmarks were only discernable through the assistance of a progress map that occasionally flashed up on the television monitors. On the whole, this isn't a terrible thing, considering that so far as the circadian system is concerned, the flight is like living a night in fast-forward. Sleeping when one can is a good idea, since once dinner is done you've perhaps four or five hours to do it in, while the body still believes it's 9 pm.

The entire north Atlantic was covered by a high fog of some sort, and if I'd had a steady place to mount my camera for a long exposure I'd have tried to capture the effect. Rather than the ten kilometers or so the monitors claimed our altitude to be, we appeared to be hovering above a fuzzy, luminous surface perhaps a couple of kilometers down -- although distance is hard to judge with something as scale-free as fog. Nevertheless, the monitors reported our altitude as 9, 10, 11 kilometers; oddly enough, we appear to have been climbing for the entire flight. Unless there's some effect associated with nighttime or the north Atlantic that artificially inflates altimeter readings, of course -- but I don't think the atmosphere contracts by 15% at night.

Madrid is not an American city, by the way, in rather the same way that the Alhambra is not the Sears Tower.

madrid_plaza.jpg
A small plaza in central Madrid, a few blocks south-east of El Palacio Real. Much of the central city looks approximately like this. 2004:10:02 09:15:48

Each was, in its respective heyday, a center of cultural and economic activity in its region, and besides that, a building. But the aesthetics, function, philosophy, and ages differ tremendously. I've probably got one more post worth of Madrid photos to put together, so we'll delve into that some more.

4 Comments

Just to solidify my role as the annoying little sister I'd like to ask, uh, which one of our aunts is named Mary Guerrero? Because for the life of me, I coulda sworn it was the name of our *mother* :-)


Well, no need to tell Aunt Mary you said that.

But, I should totally have gone for the other one, instead. Then I could have made some kind of crack about riding in the "mother-ship." Which, on second thought, would be so bad, it'd loop right around to good, and straight through to bad again.

Just or informational purposes, if I may:

- yes, each and every Iberia airplane has a name.

- Maria Guerrero was a famous nineteenth century spanish actress. One of the main theatres in Madrid is named after her.

- the building that stands on the right side of the small plaza is the seat of the city council. A wee bit to the left of the picture is one of the oldest buildings in town (Torre de los Lujanes, fifteenth century). The whole area is called Madrid de los Austrias.

Just thought someone might find this interesting...

"...giving the feel of an extremely long, mobile corridor."

Yes! That is exactly what it feel like!

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on October 17, 2004 9:08 PM.

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