Trip: Sydney. 2012.
Airports are places where I always love watching airplanes. I’ve been doing this for years now and it is still as fascinating as it was then… truth is that even when we drive from Delhi to Gurgaon, I slow down whenever we happen to come across a plane landing or taking off around the IGIA (Indira Gandhi International Airport).
There was no reason why I wouldn’t do some plane-spotting on the Delhi-Sydney trip in May 2012. Watching the crafts from within the airport terminal or watching them as you walk down to your specified boarding gate, or when you walk through the bridge to the aircraft… or even as you sit on your window seat inside the plane! Wherever you happen to be, you can surely watch airplanes taxiing or just waiting until further orders!
The best plane-spotting we did was during one of the walks in London that took us to the East London University from where we could see the City Airport just across the river! We sat there on one of the University benches and just watched aircrafts take off or land… and there was one every alternate minute. When I told my wife about my plane-spotting during the Delhi-Sydney journey, she immediately said, ‘Ah! But the planes we watched from the University of East London while munching on our Yorkies was unbeatable!’
‘Yes indeed,’ I replied, ‘but one is closer to the crafts when one is inside an aircraft.’
‘So how many pictures did you click?’
And this was my cue to open the folder where I had neatly arranged all the airport pictures… and we watched them all in awed silence. Right from the trolleys on the huge runways to the massive tails captured, from the frontal picture to the rear of some craft, from the man controlling the bridge that attaches itself to the craft to a view of the airplanes lined up as it was up for an inspection by the aircraft maintenance company! The aircraft collection always amuses us to no end.
‘Interesting pictures. Did you click any planes at the Bangkok airport or Sydney airport?’
‘They are all similar, unless you happen to see the terminal architecture in the background,’ I said, ‘and only then you’d know that this picture was clicked at the Suvarnabhumi or the Charles Kingford Smith.’
She agreed to that and then I did tell her that the name Suvarnabhumi was chosen by HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej which meant The Golden Land. We then searched the net and found that this name was a traditional name for the Thailand-Cambodia-Laos-Burma region and that the name has a rather peculiar pronunciation for the Indian tongue. At least I would never pronounce suvarnabhumi as su-wan-na-poom… and we did find that a bit unusual.
‘Hope the Sydney airport doesn’t have any such pronunciation?’ asked my wife with a twinkle in her eyes.
‘No,’ I replied, ‘the Sydney airport name has a straightforward explanation. It is named after some Aussie aviation pioneer with the same name.’
After seeing all the aircraft pictures we thought it would be nice to put them all up in a blog post… well, at least the better ones. So this is exactly what I am doing right now. Enjoy the pictures…