Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Airport Experiences

I don’t know when it started, but I developed a ritual of taking a photo of the plane I was about to embark on, just before boarding. It was a nice record and demarcation in my endless reams of google photos I would take when travelling to multiple countries.

After a while, this ritual became an obsession.

It was ridiculous.

Hong kong

I began to think that if I didn’t take that, by now, mandatory photo of the plane beforehand, I might have a troublesome flight. That was silly and totally illogical, but nevertheless, it did occupy my thoughts particularly when I was embarking on an aircraft at the departure gate and couldn’t see my plane through the window!

About to fly from Lapland south to Stockholm in Sweden

Worst Airport Landing

Flying into Narita, Japan from Europe, one year, I noticed the front landing camera on the plane showed the runaway we were about to land on, was way off to the left of the screen, far away from our forward trajectory.

I was thinking the pilots might have been going to circle around once more before landing, when the aircraft suddenly banked sharply twice, one way, then the other and landed in a huge thud on the runway, bouncing three times, up and down, bump-bump-bump, before safely taxiing to the terminal gate.

My digestive system baulked at these hijinks and I am sure I tasted eggs and bread roll for a second and third time over.

Once we were safely landed at the terminal, I turned to ask the French/Arabic-speaking passenger seated next to me if that had ever happened to him before, on a previous flight. His only response was an uncertain nod. He hadn’t understood a word I said.

Which left me wondering how often this kind of landing happens?

Pilots have reported they relished the chance to land at Kai Tak, the former Hong Kong airport.

The landing path for the planes at Kai Tak would make a sharp turn and fly perilously close to the high rise buildings; so close it was said that passengers could see Hong Kong residents in their apartments, eating their evening meal as the plane whipped past.

Here is some footage of Kai Tak – if you have no patience, scroll to the 3.15-minute mark for some real action

The Hong Kong airport moved to a new location in 1998, I believe.

This is how I found it in 2012. Quite safe.

Hong Kong Airport

Winter Flights

Flying in wintery countries like Scandinavia can be tricky. Flying into Iceland even more so. I was informed that only specially trained pilots are allowed to fly into Iceland, in winter. Taking off in Reykjavik in a heavy snowfall was daunting. At least my plane followed the Airport snowplough along the runway so the ice was removed and the airstrip nicely groomed ready for the plane’s takeoff.

In Helsinki, flying in summer might even be a little hairy. in 2016, I walked across the airport tarmac, being careful to dodge the FinnAir aeroplane taxiing just behind me. I hadn’t crossed the tarmac of a larger airport, on foot, since arriving at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan airport in the 1980s. It was fun and noisy!

Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt

What are some of the weird things you’ve seen or done in airports?

The obsessive bookworm asked that question in a recent post and it got me thinking this would make an excellent prompt for this fortnight’s challenge.

Passengers carrying sleeping bags as carry-ons, folks sleeping on the floor during airport layovers, children walking around in pyjamas on night flights, people washing their whole bodies in toilet washbasins? These sights are not all that unusual at airports.

I ‘m sure you can tell me of stranger occurrences.

Post a photo or write about Landing, or an unusual experience, at an airport.

Once you have constructed your post about Airport Experiences, tag your post-Friendly Friday and pingback to this post. For further instructions scroll down.

The Unexpected – A Sunflower Garden on the roof at Singapore Airport Terminal 2

Challenge Prompt Questions for Further Inspiration

What are some of your experiences at airports?

Have you had a rough or bumpy landing in an aircraft? What was your scariest landing? Have you ever overshot the runway?

Do you have a favourite airport? If so, why?

Longest airport layover?

I once did 22 hours layover at Singapore airport and if I can help it, won’t do that again. It was a good airport to spend time in, but it was far too long to be cooped up in the one place, not sleeping when you have come off a night flight, dragging around a tired child and hand luggage, desperately trying not to lose my backpack this time.

Photographic Tips – Capturing Fast-moving objects

Photo by Budgeron Bach on
amusement park ride

Some tips from a blogger for photographing fast-moving objects.

Sometimes your images will appear out of focus, but in reality what you see is motion blur from camera shake. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you’re shooting at a shutter speed that’s faster than your focal length.

So, for example, if you’re shooting at a focal length of 70mm, you’ll want to use a minimum shutter speed of 80mm. And that rule of thumb applies to subjects that don’t move, as for fast moving subjects you’ll want to increase your shutter speed much more than that.

Photos appear at their sharpest when there’s a lot of contrast in the scene. Flat images and images with very minimal tonal differences will, therefore, appear less sharp. Ensure that there’s enough tonal range in your images to maximize the appearance of sharpness in your final images.

Join the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

More instructions for Joining the Friendly Friday Blog Challenge

Don’t forget to leave a comment and pingback to this post so that others can find your post.(pingbacks sometimes fail).

This is the final time I will host the Friday Challenge for 2021. My wonderful co-hosts each have one further Friday challenge prompt in 2021, for you, (Sarah on Nov 19 and Sandy on Dec 3).

After that, the Friendly Friday challenge will go into recess until 2022.

I appreciate all the support, the inspirational and interesting photos and various contributions throughout 2021. I also enjoy the new friendships the challenge brings and have learnt so much along the way.

Thank you!

Keep writing and clicking those cameras!

Friendly Friday

89 thoughts on “Friendly Friday Blog Challenge – Airport Experiences”

  1. That sounds like a terrible landing Amanda, would have scared the life out of me.
    I used to live in Sai Kung HK and Kai Tak was around 15 minutes away. When a plane landed the first thing you noticed was the smell from the nullahs!
    I’ll have to see if I can think of any airport stories

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really feel with you when you describe your lurching landings; I am not the greatest flyer, although homeopathic anti-anxiety meds have helped in recent decades, so I empathise with the memory of the sensations.

    Lived in Hong Kong in the days of Kai Tak – several times a year we would make the journey to & from this airport. It was nerve-wrecking to say the least (I took very strong motion sickness pills then, and hopefully I would be just dozy enough to make it through).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh my goodness, I hate those bumpy landings too. Anything bumpy on the plane I hate haha. No weird experience for me at an airport except maybe waiting inside the plane for more than one hour for the plane to take off, for a very very short flight (NY to Virginia in 2005 I think)

    Liked by 1 person

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