It’s always a treat to fly across the European Alps on a clear day. The views of the snow-capped mountains, jagged peaks, verdant valleys and lakes are absolutely breathtaking. On a recent morning flight from Amsterdam to Milan Malpensa, I had the most amazing plane window views of the Swiss Alps and Lago Maggiore, the famous lake that is shared by Switzerland and Italy. I love taking photos of the views and checking the locations on Google Maps. This time, as I pinpointed the locations, I made a surprising discovery!
Aerial views of the Swiss Alps
Flying over the Swiss Alps is always an amazing experience on a clear day. My advice is to get a window seat (on either side of the plane) to enjoy the views. I sat in row ‘A’ on this flight to Milan Malpensa. During the approach into Milan, the plane followed a path across the Swiss cantons of Zurich, Schwyz, Uri, Graubünden and Ticino before entering Italian airspace above Lago Maggiore.
It was early-October so the valleys were still green with some snow on the higher elevations. These plane window views of the Swiss Alps were simply phenomenal!
The source of the Rhine River
As I started editing my photos from that flight and checking the locations on Google Maps, I made a surprising discovery. I had, unknowingly, photographed the source of the Rhine River in the canton of Graubünden! The second-longest river in western/central Europe after the Danube, the Rhine’s catchment area lies in the mountains of Graubünden. From here, it flows through the Rhine Valley, then northwards into Germany before reaching the North Sea in the Rhine Delta in the Netherlands. From my plane window, I had panoramic views of the various sources of the Rhine in addition to the Rhine Valley!
Aerial view of Lago Maggiore
The plane soon crossed into the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino and the famous Lago Maggiore came into view. I instantly recognised it as Lago Maggiore because of its size and serpent-like appearance, and the towns of Locarno and Ascona which lie on a peninsula in the northern end of the lake. The views of the lake and the mountain ranges, with the morning mist hanging in the valleys, were absolutely magical.
It’s been a while since my last visit to Switzerland and these views sure reminded me how stunning this country is! I think it’s time to return!
Read other Velvet Escape posts from the Plane Views series: