October 17, 2013
Before my trip to the Himalayas, I had heard that people travel from all over the world just to fly on the Kathmandu-Bhutan route for a chance at being able to see the peak of Mt. Everest. It is actually pretty rare to see it because it is usually covered in clouds most days of the year. My travel itinerary included a few days in Nepal and about a week in Bhutan. Out of all the amazing things I knew I’d see in these countries, I was really excited to possibly see the elusive peak of Mt. Everest from the plane. It has been on my bucket list to see it since I was a child! I researched it online and learned that I’d have be sitting at a window seat on the left-hand side of the Druk Air plane.
Upon check-in, all the window seats were taken and I was so disappointed that I almost cried. I was on the right side of the plane stuck in a middle seat. The worst possible seat. As all the passengers filed onto the plane, I kept looking over to the left side with envy at the people sitting next to the windows and noticed that there was one left window seat one row back that was empty right up until take-off. How can that seat possibly have not been assigned already!?! Did that person not show up for their flight?!? Why doesn’t the couple in that row seem to care as much as I do about sitting in that seat? Can I switch seats? These things were going through my mind. I politely asked the flight attendant if I could move over to the left side of the plane, and she said yes! Everyone in my group looked at me enviously as I switched seats at the last possible second, and they must have wondered why they didn’t think to do the same thing.
Feeling pretty good about the turn of events, I got my camera out and said a little prayer that we would actually be able to see that darn peak. The forecast hadn’t been too promising. I had almost dozed off when the pilot announced for everyone to look at the left side of the plane to see the Mahalangur mountain range. The first of the tallest two peaks is Mt. Everest, he said. There were squeals of delight throughout the plane, and you could hear the beep beeps and click clicks from everyone’s cameras. You could also feel the plane tilt a little as many people from the right side got out of their seats into the aisles to lean over to try and catch a glimpse.
I was awestruck. Wow, it’s so majestic and beautiful!!
I must have taken a hundred photos, between my iPhone, my DSLR, and all the cameras that my friends from the right side of the plane handed me to take so they could tell their friends they saw it, too.
After I felt satisfied at getting some good pics, I put my camera down and just took it all in. I asked the couple next to me if they’d like to get a closer look, but they said they were good, that they had taken a private flight the previous day to see the peak and for me to enjoy it.
Behold, the tallest mountain in the world!
The airplane pilot mentioned that we were incredibly fortunate to have such a beautiful, clear day. He said he flies that route almost daily and has only seen Everest a handful of times in the past year. I was so lucky to be able to see Mt. Everest from my airplane seat, and it’s an incredible experience I will never forget. And now I can check it off my bucket list!