After enduring what has been the worst winter I have ever seen as far as snow and lack of ‘positive’ temperature is concerned, I am really excited about the next few weeks and months.

For those of you who are familiar with my site  you’ll know that Plane Spotting is a passion of mine and in most cases my travels and vacations have their foundations based on the desire to photograph as many aircraft as possible.     To this end, I typically have a normal rotation of my regular airports that I visit during the year and I try to add a few new ones along the way.

So with the last of the snow finally gone, along with serious weather related cancellations  and other ‘irrops’ thanks to winter, I finally can be on my way out the door with cameras, lenses and memory cards in hand…..

Starting next week, I’m off to Anchorage where I’ll spend a couple of days standing along side runway 32 and watch a varied collection of long haul cargo arrivals and departures from EVA, UPS, Panalpina, Atlas, Fedex, Korean and others along with Alaskan specialists Everts and Era.   Last year I made the trip to ‘ANC’ in January and had to contend with a day with blizzard conditions as well as a day that was absolutely perfect.  This year I thought better of it, and decided on a spring visit and looks like the weather will be perfect.

Some examples of what is possible in Anchorage:

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Then things really start to pick for my travel calendar as I head to Europe in the first part of May.   It starts in earnest when I connect to my LH flight to Frankfurt from  Washington DC  where I’ll have a chance to spot from Lufthansa’s Senator Lounge.  The lounge overlooks the tarmac between terminals and provides a good opportunity to see a few international ‘heavies’.

Once in FRA, I’ll spend a day visiting friends at Lufthansa as well as spending some quality time on FRA’s excellent observation deck before finding  a duck or pork knuckle for dinner.

From there, it’s on to Hamburg for the Port Festival and HAM-DO.

While in Hamburg I’ll finally have my first ride on Lufthansa’s Junkers Ju52 when it flies over the opening parade of the Festival.   In addition, HAM-DO will take participants behind the scenes at Airbus as well as Lufthansa Technik.   No doubt, some outstanding photo opps are waiting.

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Lufthansa’s Junkers Ju52 flies over the Hamburg Port Festival

After 2 days in HAM, it’s a quick run to Istanbul for a day in order to pick up a gift for a certain someone.  I’ve built in a long layover in Munich in between flights from HAM to IST, which gives me plenty of time to take a photo or 2.   Istanbul also presents spotting opportunities albeit through green-hued windows.  In this case, the subject of the photos are more important than the quality.   IST is full of unique carriers that I normally do not get to see, so several hours have been built in for spotting in IST.

From Istanbul it’s to Zurich via Vienna where I will spend 2 days dedicated to nothing but plane spotting in and around ‘ZRH’.   The airport is perhaps the most spotter friendly airport in the world with 2 dedicated observation areas within the Airport perimeter as well as several spotter friendly areas around the airport.  I hope 2 days will be enough!  A big thanks to Twitter’s @easyspotting along with Tis, whose website, www.PlanePics.org, provides a fantastic resource and  great advice for spotting in Zurich.

I had a few hours on a recent trip to Zurich which convinced me to go back.   Here was some of my motivation:

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I caught her through a window last time (notice the reflection around the engines?)...This time, I'll be outside waiting for her.

I caught her through a window last time…This time, I’ll be outside waiting for her…

From ZRH, I head for home via Frankfurt where again, I’ve built in time specifically for spotting before boarding my LH flight back to the states.  In all, 8 days, 6 cities and plenty of plane spotting opportunities.  I can’t think of a better way to see Europe! 🙂

The calendar only gets busier….a couple weeks after this trip, it’s off to Seattle to see what new toys are coming out of Boeing’s Everett facility.

Winter is slowly becoming a distant nightmare of a memory!