Definitely a highlight of the trip so far! Leaving the sunny south of France and crossing over the snow capped Alps made for some amazing scenery. Seeing it from the air was very impressive, even on a simulator. Struggling to push my plane above the mountains I chose to hug valleys where I could. Making sure I had all the aircraft’s heating elements turned on, such as pitot heaters, so all my instruments would work correctly, I hooked a 90 degree turn around Mount Blanc. This took me into a tight valley which would eventually lead to Sion. It felt so remote and cut off inside all those high peaked mountains. My small aircraft managed the famously tight approach without a problem. When I was advised by air traffic control to “go around” I had to navigate a rather tight turn with in the valley but at least that meant I got to check out some more scenery.
Mt Blanc, Switzerland
A Sion Landing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16P8tZX6MPg
A Drive Around Sion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAOLwb8jkws
Day out in Sion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acb48jLwR3Y
Looking around images on Google earth I really liked a couple of old buildings on some of the smaller hills to the North East of the runway.
The organ on the west side of the Valère basilica, believed to have been built in 1435, is one of the oldest in the world. Its pipes are arranged to form a rough outline of a church; the larger pipes form two towers, and the smaller ones create a triangular church roof.”
Check out Google Earth for some great 360 degree photos from inside the church.
The Valère basilica
Before leaving I did get to watch a rather fun air display over the airport. Here’s the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtWRp283yNg