Flying Above the Arctic, Views of Ice, Ocean, and Land

March 8, 2013 — 12 Comments

Before I started a new journey on the Camino de Santiago, I had an incredible flight from Vancouver to London over the Arctic. I’m not saying being cramped in coach for ten hours was all that fun, but having a window seat during a flight with mostly clear skies was certainly inspiring. During my previous trip to London, there were only thick clouds before the night assured there would be little else to see. I was very fortunate this time, and thought these scenes over ice, ocean, and land were amazing. I must preface this post by saying that I really don’t know exactly where these photos were taken so, for the most part, I’ll let the scenes speak for themselves.

 The quicker route from Vancouver to London is over the Arctic and takes between 9 to 10 hours. These first two photos of mountains were actually in central British Columbia, Canada.

Mountains British Columbia, clouds, volcano, snow, ice


I’m sure this is a volcano. If someone recognizes it, please let me know. I would be very interested in finding out.

Mountains British Columbia, clouds, volcano, snow, ice


I always enjoy cool shots of wings with a scenic background. In case you’re wondering, I was never compensated by Air Transat but if someone is willing to send me on assignment somewhere, preferable to a sunny location, I would be willing to listen.

Plane Wing, air transit, clouds, land


This is over Northern Alberta or the Northwest Territories. A land of lakes.

North lakes, Alberta, Northwest Territories, tundra, Taiga


The Arctic Ocean. The ice on the brilliant blue water looks like art.

Arctic Ocean, ice sheets, blue water


These photos are in order so this was a drier, and possibly warmer, location.

Coastline Arctic Ocean, land, water, lakes, river


The low-level clouds, and sheets and rivers of ice look beautiful over the barren Arctic tundra.

Scenic Ice Arctic Ocean, mountains, ice, clouds, lakes

Clouds, Ice, mountains

Land Ice Arctic Ocean, plane, fog, clouds


I thought this view was amazing. I envy anyone who has the opportunity to fly to these remote locations and spent some time. One day…

Ice, Land, Arctic Ocean


The Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the world’s oceans covering an area approximately the size of Russia. In fact, some oceanographers refer to the Arctic Ocean as a sea. However, it’s five times larger than the Mediterranean. Since much of the Arctic is covered year-round by ice, and with the extremes of light through the seasons, there are living species both below the surface of the water, and on ice and land that are not found anywhere else. Warmer temperatures in the air and water cause ice to melt and retreat which in itself attracts new species. It also opens more of the Arctic to ships and the land to exploitation.

I wonder what it’s like to walk around this remote island in the Arctic.

Ice, island, Arctic Ocean, Clouds


Ice Arctic Ocean mountains, clouds


Ice Mountains, River, Lake, Ocean, glacier


A favourite shot as I was lucky to zoom in on the frozen river.

Ice River, glacier, rock, clouds


 A beautiful sunrise to start the day in London—or so I thought…

Sky Mountains, sun, sunrise, Blue sky, clouds


as we flew closer to the UK, the clouds thickened and…

plane Wing, clouds, blue sky

by the time I arrived to London Gatwick, it was pouring rain. That was okay because I enjoyed the flight, and made the best of my short time in London which included a memorable visit inside Buckingham Palace. The next day, I flew to Biarritz in the southwest of France to begin my new journey on the Camino de Santiago, this time, on the Camino del Norte. I hope you enjoyed this post as it’s the first time I have taken photos from the air.

If you have my book, Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, or have ordered it, I really appreciate your support. It’s also out on Kindle and Kobo. My Goodreads and Amazon pages have reviews and more information. Please share this post, and thanks for your time.

About Randall St. Germain

Randall St. Germain, author of Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, is a middle-aged Canadian Boy who is passionate about nature, photography, hiking, music, and self-improvement. After the death of his mother, he chose to walk the famous pilgrimage, the Camino de Santiago, across the north of Spain, despite knowing little about it. He certainly didn’t plan to write a book until the latter days of his Camino. Similar to walking the Camino, writing and publishing a book was a learning experience. It was also very rewarding, and part of his ongoing journey. Please join him as he takes you along on his journey in Camino de Santiago In 20 Days, and on his blog Camino My Way.


12 responses to Flying Above the Arctic, Views of Ice, Ocean, and Land

  1. We flew from Toronto to Bejing over the arctic once. It was in May and all we could see was solid snow and ice for hours. Oh, and sunshine, so looking out the window was a little blinding. Your photos of land masses, water and ice are gorgeous. It’s incredible to see something so remote.

    • Thanks for the comment, Michela. I was lucky this time because as I wrote, the previous time I flew to London, the weather was not very good over the Arctic. It was also just after the volcano in Iceland which caused further problems. Actually, I was lucky to even get away because the flight restrictions were lifted only a few days before. I was happy I requested a window seat for this flight 🙂

  2. ananto pratikno March 10, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    This is really awesome!! Envy you. Someday I’ll be there. Salam @anantop Jakarta.

  3. I can see why the frozen river shot is a favorite – stunning!

  4. Your blog and the pictures are amazing, it’s my dream to travel to the Arctic 🙂 Really, breathtaking views!

    • Thanks so much, Tom. I have always wanted to visit the Arctic too. Years ago, I saw a documentary about the Dempster Highway in Northern Canada and admired the ruggedness and beauty. I hope I can do more than just fly over the land. Nonetheless, I was very lucky to have some amazing views on this flight. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  5. Stunning! I can almost feel the Brrr chill in the air. I also think the photos of Air Transat airplane would make fabulous promotional pictures. 🙂

    Great post Randall!

    • Thanks. I was lucky to have such a clear day. It was my first time flying with my new DSLR so it was a bit of a learning experience. I’m not sure if Air Transat is interested. They probably have many wing photos already. It was a fun trip 🙂

  6. Nice to know you are enjoying your journeys. Savor every moment.

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