We left from the Windy City... Chicago... That toddlin' town. The Wife hails from that neck of the woods, and to me it has always been one of my favorite Very Big Cities.
See you later, Chi-town!
We settled in for the 13 hour flight, which gave me plenty of time to consider the route we were taking. We flew East and then North, up over the North Pole. Our flight path meant we stayed pretty much suspended between the Earth and the Sun, and we had daylight for the entire flight. It was a little trippy travelling into the future by a day. If you were looking at our flight path from the sun's point of view, it would look like one of those support ribbons. Sort of hard to get your head around, so don't try if you don't want to!
Then we dropped in over Russia, another country I've never seen until now.
This is Sarah Palin's view too.
To get us into the China Mood, they first served us glorified Ramen noodles. The Lemon Cookie was good though.
There were weird lakes dotting the Russian landscape, and I could only wonder what mineral or pollutant was causing such delightful variations in the lakes.
We crossed over this river, which was unbelieveably wide and did not even warrant a name on the little moving map in the seatback in front of me.
normal river from 36,000 feet
Gigantor Russian River from 36,000 feet
We flew over Mongolia, both inner and outer, and had a MUCH better meal of yummy beef and noodles.
Then began descending into Beijing from the North West. This was rather fortuitous as it gave us a great view of the famous Great Wall of China. It is a myth that you can see it from space, but it is very cool to see between 20 and 30,000 feet!
Snaking Dragon Wall
Excellent welcome to China view.