Top of the World

Because the views were so epic, mountains for everyone! Most photos behind the cut, because… I seem to have the same affliction when handed a camera as several other people around here. Anyway, epic views being epic, the flight in (and then, out) was probably the most epic experience of the whole trip. Turbulence? Ya. Although I was told if the overhead compartments aren’t popping open, then I’ve had the easy trip. But what remains most about the flights in and out is that strange juxtaposition of feeling pretty terrified (understatement) yet reassured – the way the pilots handled the airplane through the turbulence was strangely comforting. Even with all the shaking and the bouncing, I never once had the feeling that things were actually out of control. And that is a powerful skill. I tip all my hats to the training and experience of those pilots.

Also I have included pictures of some fluffy horses between the epic views. Rather epic horses, actually – I can’t name the breed, but they were so beautiful, exactly my favourite in terms of size and general shape. Very beautiful horses.

Today’s musical selection is Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain, because I wanted to capture the dread of flying in through turbulence like I have never had the privilege to experience before. And there was a bald mountain looming over everything. And since playing the piece in my second season with the Ottawa Youth Orchestra, I have a special attachment. This version is performed by the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra.

The bald mountain – I’ve forgotten its name, and I really shouldn’t, as all the mountains have names.
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Onwards for more mountain views!

Soon after this I stopped taking photos, as I found the general atmosphere more conducive to gripping the armrests and contemplating my life. The landing itself in Innsbruck, however, was one of the softest I’ve ever experienced.
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My first real look at the Alps. At no point did they feel real.
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A peek through the trees. Everything was very dramatic.
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You’ve already seen a similar view; I couldn’t get over it.
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A first look at the mountain horses.
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Another view into the valley below.
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Lookit dem purty faces.
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Lampposts everywhere.
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Shadows and light and the last vestiges of autumn colour…
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I think these were my favourite mountains at any time of day.
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Some peaks with less snow on them. Though I’d love to see them when they’re all snow-covered, but I’m pretty sure the journey in would break my nerves.
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Not quite the low country, but there was some delicious sunshine.
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Chemtrails? Yes, but see how it breaks apart? That’s the currents of the air breaking it up. And the waves you ride when you fly.
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One last evening look before heading off to the airport – this camera has a lovely zoom function.
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  1. kestrel says

    Breathtaking. I agree with your favorite mountain view -- those are some fantastic mountains.

    If those horses were in the US… I’d call them Gypsy Vanners. Not sure but I suppose it’s possible that’s what they are. “Really cool” is something else I’d call them. :-)

  2. Nightjar says

    Breathtaking is the right word. The light in the “peek through the trees” and “another view into the valley below” is stunningly beautiful. And that sunshine, wow! And the horses are lovely.

  3. says

    Aah, Innsbruck. I was in that pretty city in January 1979, not that I was able to explore it much as a lonesome teenager.

  4. Ice Swimmer says

    Lovely views. The horses, light-and-shadow play of the clouds snowy peaks and lush valleys.

  5. voyager says

    The light in “another view into the valley below” is gorgeous and I agree with your choice of favourite mountains. It must have been an incredible feeling to actually be there and see such breathtaking views firsthand. Your photos are all wonderful and like all the best travel photos they make me want to see more.

  6. avalus says

    Epic really fits these photos!

    I guess you meant to say: the weight of all these mountains dragged the photos below the fold :D

  7. springa73 says

    I love the mountains, horses, landscapes, and big sky, but I found some of the trees especially interesting -- mainly the rich green, cone laden ones with the drooping branches behind the horses. They look exactly like the Norway Spruces in my yard, and they probably are the same species (Picea abies) since I’ve read that in spite of their name they grow in many parts of Europe, including mountainous parts of Southern Europe. Here in North America, they are an introduced species, commonly planted around where I live in people’s yards.

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