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View from above

Maybe you've heard of the Nazca lines in Peru–miles-long drawings carved into the earth. Or crop circles. Whether left by alien hand, or crafty locals, I'm fascinated by these pictures visible only from the air.

Some of the Nazca lines, including a spiral shape. Near Nazca, Peru.


Another interesting aerial view is of California City, CA near Edwards AFB. There are whole suburbs that were mapped out, streets dug and named, waiting for the big economic boom to make it the next Los Angeles. But the boom never came, the houses were never built, and the unpaved streets are a faded reminder of the dream that didn't happen.

California City's abandoned suburbs. Looks like a circuit board to me.


And since I was recently at the Palace of Versailles, I thought it interesting that from the air, the grounds are shaped like a person, complete with smile.

The face of Versailles.


Any interesting aerial views you'd like to share?

All photos by Google – Imagery, Digital Globe.

Oui went to Paris

I have been shirking my travelog duties lately, so today I thought I'd cover a little of my trip to Paris. As luck (good or bad, depending on your preferences) would have it, we arrived in Paris on Bastille Day.

We reached the city in time for dinner and then a nine o'clock boat tour on the Seine River, which motored past the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Grand Palais, and under bridge after beautiful bridge. I thought we would see the Bastille Day fireworks from the boat, but it didn't get dark in Paris until almost 11 pm! We took a bus tour of the important sites and then got out to join the masses lined up along the Seine to catch the celebration after dark.

The fireworks were, well, fireworks, but somehow it was neat to be watching them in Paris. Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially since I'm not inclined to fight huge crowds. (Like the DC Cherry Blossom Festival. Never. Again.)

Our saintly bus driver fought the traffic for more than an hour and delivered us back to the hotel around 0130. The next day, we toured the Eiffel Tower and the Palace at Versailles, walked along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe, and rode the Metro.

Sunflower fields in the French countryside



One of many boats on the Seine that appeared to be lived on



The Arc de Triomphe at night, with flag out for Bastille Day



Notre Dame



The Eiffel Tower, duh



View of Paris and the Arc de Triomphe from the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower



Garden at the Palace of Versailles - I found the garden more interesting than the building



Gardens at the Palace of Versailles



Toyota Showroom in on the Champs, just like any other store



It was a quick two days in a lovely city full of history. And people. I wanted to see the Louvre, but they had limited hours on the day we could go, so we missed it. I guess that's a good reason to go back, oui?

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