If you were wondering why I’d have to fly to Delhi via Chicago – rather than San Francisco or Los Angeles – you wouldn’t be the only one. Everyone I’ve talked to has wondered the same thing. But when you get tickets from San Francisco to Delhi to Kenya and back to San Francisco for $1450 you don’t quibble over the connecting airports.
But to my surprise there were two great things about this routing:
- The miles – 24,000 in all!
- The opportunity to fly over Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, it turns out, is probably waayyy more BARREN than you would imagine. When I first noticed that we were over it, all I could see was what appeared to be cracked dry clay (much like an empty riverved) for hundred and hundreds of miles. No sign of life whatsoever! Then about 30 minutes later mountains appeared that – from a depth and complexity perspective – might well rival the Grand Canyon… but still no signs of life.
When we reached Kabul, I saw the most dramatic sunset of my life. And I wish I would have known how to use my new camera at that point in the flight because words will never do this justice.
The sun sunk quickly in the sky turning the color of red molten lava burning from within. It rushed toward, and then pooled on, the horizon before finally disappearing all too quickly into the Earth’s crust… leaving behind intense layers of red, pink and orange stacked on top of each other – radiating from where it had been and extending across the entire horizon – which at 48,000 feet appeared to be about 1/3 for the Earth’s circumference.
I’d never seen anything like it and it will be burnded into my memory forever.