Frankfurt to Bilbao – Airline Photography

February 18, 2008 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel 1,313 views

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WolfskehlenI finally made it back from my annual pond hop. My single-serving friend on the flight from Charlotte to Frankfurt was a pretty interesting person. She was a tiny, 45-ish, Indonesian woman with a frustratingly huge amount of unused leg-room. Her husband is German, and they live together in Frankfurt, but her husband does most of his business work in Newark, New Jersey, which is where he was during our flight. Their children live in Indonesia. She was returning from Minnesota, where they have an apartment that they rent for most of the year, but she had just spent forty days there ice fishing on Lake Superior! Upon arriving in Frankfurt, she was going to spend only eight hours alone in their empty house (husband in New Jersey, remember) and then head to Indonesia to see the offspring. Pretty wild, huh?

On my flight from Frankfurt to Bilbao, LH4502, I blatantly ignored the “please turn off any electronic devices” and took some photos out the window. It took me a while to figure out how there was a strip in the middle of each photo that wasn’t in focus. It must be the stream of hot air shooting out of the engine. Rather amazingly, I was able to find almost all my subjects in Google Maps after landing.

Afternoon sun in Frankfurt.

Wing, Clouds, Mountain

Wing, cloud, and mountain.


Wolfskehlen. I loved the dense little shape of this village, surrounded by farm land. I still can’t believe that I actually found it in Google Maps.

Gernsheim and Biebesheim am Rhein

A windy part of the Rhine. The towns are Gernsheim and Biebesheim am Rhein.

Saint Jean de Luz

Saint Jean de Luz. I had no idea what this was when I photographed it, but it looked pretty cool.

Basque Bridge

A raised bridge to ease travel through the mountainous Basque Country.


Windmills on a mountain ridge.


Sopelana, Spain.


A cool shot along the coast near Sopelana.


I’m pretty sure that this is a cloudy, sideways view of Mount Buciero (that mountain at the top of this blog) and the tip of Laredo.

Castro Urdiales

Castro Urdiales, a town we’ve visited once and pass a lot on the motorway.

And finally I arrived in Bilbao, with a rather windy landing. For the first time ever, my bags were the two of the first six on the conveyor belt. And there was my lovely wife, smiling at me when I walked outside, ready to take me home.

  • Thank you so much for providing the link to your flight’s status. No, really.

  • Thank goodness there’s no sarcasm in the blog comments here. I can’t even begin to imagine how terrible that would be!

  • Sarcasm? What’s that?

    (Love the photos.)

  • Nice pictures. And no, that’s not sarcasm.

    Usually the ‘no electronic devices’ stricture applies only to the rising to/descending from cruising altitude portions of the flight, and from what I’ve heard and read, even that rule is unnecessary from an electronic standpoint. I read somewhere recently that the main point is they don’t want people with laptops out to block up exit rows etc. if there’s a takeoff or landing problem. So it really pisses me off when they won’t let you use your iPod during that horrible limbo period of getting to the gate.

  • Liz

    Wow, these are beautiful, Erik. I remember seeing dense villages like this from the air over France and Spain with expansive farmland surrounding them. It’s a completely different world over there, for sure. You’re so lucky to be there! Hopefully we’ll see you again soon.

  • I’ve got some of those noise-canceling headphones, and sometimes I have the audacity to wait for them to come tell me to take them off, and then hold up the cord showing that it’s not connected to anything, so it couldn’t possibly be an electronic device. Of course I usually take them off anyway.

    The whole system of airline rules is incredibly stupid anyway. How many stories of cabin depressurization survival have you ever heard?

    My favorite rule is the “Everyone please raise your window shades for landing” rule. What?!?

  • The window shade thing is so that the air traffic controllers can wave at you.
    What do you mean, you don’t wave back?

  • Oh I gesture at them, alright!

  • Jake

    Glad to hear you are back safe and sound. Great to see you in MB and already looking forward to next year.