There’s an extraordinary, rather rare, optical phenomenon that goes by the name of a glory, called so no doubt because of its resemblance to a halo. It’s caused by the shadow of an airplane (or some other object) on some clouds, which shadow becomes encircled by rainbow-esque rings – almost like a rainbow that’s perfectly round (which, actually, does occur, but only in very rare circumstances), but this isn’t a full-circle rainbow, it’s a glory. Confused yet?!
Curiously, the airplane’s shadow in the middle can disappear, leaving just the glory. You can get to see such an effect from a plane (if you’re lucky) coming in to land in cloudy weather if you sit at a window that’s not facing the sun. Which is where we were sitting; and this glory showed itself upon the dense cloud cover below us. I hadn’t seen this mysterious optical phenomenon at such a height for ages. This one was probably due to the air being relatively clean and fresh =>
There was little of interest out the window as we flew over Greece, then the former Yugoslavia (namely, literally – North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia!), then Italy, but come the Austrian Alps things sure changed for the (much) better. Oh my Golm! ->
And what’s that over there – smoking up through the clouds?
Can’t be a volcano, alas )…
It turned out to be the Gundremmingen Nuclear Power Plant.
Gundremmingen is one of the few remaining nuclear power plants in Germany. But it too is going to be retired soon – due to quit its ‘smoking’ (in fact its cooling towers’ steaming:) habit on December 31 of this year. Out of around 20 nuclear power plants working in the early 2000s, only six now are still operational. Many were closed in 2011 after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, then several more in the years afterward, three will close this December, and the remaining three – a year after that. And Germany will then be completely green and ecological. But certain evil tongues are saying they’ll just then buy atomic energy from neighboring countries! Well, we’ll have to wait and see about that. Meanwhile, we were coming in to land at Zurich, with my travel companion, OA, happy-snapping away! ->
That’s all for today folks. Greetings from…