Friday, March 23

We hung around in the lounge until our American flight left. Security was very tight - not only the usual hand-frisking of your and the xraying of your carry-on, but they also asked lots of questions about your bags and where they were, and as we boarded the plane they searched each of our bags in detail.  They set up at least 6 tables with 2 screeners each and they basically took our bags apart.  Serious.

The original flight path as shown on screen when we took off had us going basically north and over across the pole and then south through Canada, not too different-looking from the path we took to Shanghai:
Route to Shanghai

Here's the path our flight ended up taking. It's not as direct as the original flight, and we got nowhere near the North Pole. Not that it mattered since it was dark virtually the entire flight.  I'm pretty sure this route took us through Pakistan, just around Afghanistan, up through Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and on to Moscow.  Did I mention this was a 16-hour flight?  I slept most of this time, since we took off around 2 am.

Past Moscow we changed course slightly toward Helsinki and central Norway:

At this point, northeast of Oslo, we're only halfway there...

Still a long way to go - 4000+ miles.

Around four hours later, just past Greenland, dawn peeked out over the right wing, but not very much:

At this point we're having breakfast and are getting close to Chicago. 

Note that we are flying over Mackinac Island heading south:

We flew over the same spot flying North 18 days earlier.  We just completed our round-the-world tour!

And thus ends Alex & Bob: the 2007 World Tour.  We landed, missed our connection home, but got on the next one and were home visiting family & friends later on Friday.

Thanks everyone for following along and for your kind words while we were gone.  WE MISSED YOU!