Views From The Flight To Beijing 1

    The flight from Guiyang to Beijing was spectacular. Most of it was under a high-pressure area that gave excellent views of the ground. I learned that this part of China is nearly all mountainous or heavily eroded. These pictures cover the second half of the flight, from roughly Xian to Beijing. That would put the first part of these pictures over the Loess Plateau, which is exactly what they looked like.

This is probably the best view of the Loess Plateau that I got. Note that the highest (uneroded) levels are flat like a table-top. that is the mark of a plateau. Note also the heavy erosion of the soil-like loess.

A closer view of the loess plateau. You can see that all the flat area is farmed. (Note the roads and the fields.) Loess is very fertile, and makes excellent farmland.

Another view of the Loess Plateau.

This picture haunts me. It is of a girl of about 12 who was walking around the back part of the plane, where I took the photographs from. She came up to me, leaned on the seat backs, and started talking to me. The picture captures her intelligence, curiosity, and concentration. I could see that she was from a well-to-do family, and was probably attending one of the best schools in Beijing.

Now the plateau part is nearly gone from the mountains. Practically the only flat land is in the valleys. You can see one stretch of table-top near the right, however.

Here is a closer view of the area. The table-top part shows more clearly on the right. Note the snow lingering in the sheltered valleys.

Another view. Here again you can see only a few remnants of the top of the plateau.

A closer view. Note how even the tiniest plateau is cultivated.

A river valley with meanders clearly visible.

Ahead to Views From Flight 2
Back to Guiyang Jan 04